Barbara Kellerman


Leadership Literacy
This course is designed to give all students with more than a passing interest in leadership a fundamental familiarity with the leadership canon, with texts that are seminal and timeless.

On the one hand this canon is not large. But on the other hand some of history's greatest minds - theorists and practitioners alike - have seen fit in some way to write about power, authority, and influence. This inclination has been evidenced since the beginning of recorded history - and the world over.

Leadership Literacy travels time: from Lao-tse to Lenin, from Freud to Friedan, and from Carson to Kramer. The course presumes that knowing about leadership determines in part how leadership is exercised. And while the materials are primarily western in their origin, it further presumes the views they express and the subjects they cover are of consequence wherever in the world there is leadership on the one side and followership on the other.

Professor Kellerman taught a course similar to the one above at Dartmouth, in Fall 2010. At Dartmouth the course was titled, "Foundations of Leadership - and FoIlowership." Click here to download Leadership Literacy Syllabus.

Women And Leadership
This course is designed to provide students who have a general interest in leadership with ideas, information, and insights that pertain to women and leadership in particular. It does not intend, directly, to train women to become leaders, or even to become better leaders than they already are. Rather it is based on the assumption that knowing about women and leadership, that understanding the dynamics of power, authority, and influence as they apply to women especially, will impact at some point in some way on how leadership is exercised.

The course assumes the following: that women have historically had less access to leadership roles than have men; that the reasons for this diminished access are as varied as they are complex; that as a simple matter of equity women should have greater access to leadership roles in the future than they have had in the past; and finally that so far as leadership is concerned, women have at least some challenges that are uniquely theirs.

Professor Kellerman taught a course similar to the one above at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, in Fall 2010. Click here to download Women and Leadership Syllabus.

The widespread assumption is that leaders are of major importance and followers of nearly no importance. This course is intended as a corrective. It presumes that followers have always mattered more to the course of human history than is generally thought and that for various reasons they matter more in the 21st century than they ever did before. Their increased power and influence is, moreover, a global phenomenon, key to understanding patterns of dominance and deference the world over.

The course is both theoretical and practical in its content and application. That is, it provides an intellectual understanding of the follower phenomenon its origins and functions, its evolution over time, its distinctions and directions, its impact on historical causation, and of course, its relation to the leader phenomenon. Similarly there is a practical component what does it mean to be a good leader so far as followers are concerned; what does it mean to be a good follower; what is the importance of the follower in small groups, large organizations, and collectives such as the nation state; what is the impact on the whole of different types of followers, from Isolates to Diehards; and, of course, the overarching question what does it do to our understanding of the way the world works to view power, authority, and influence through the lens of the follower, as opposed to that of the leader? Click here to download Followership Syllabus.


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