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Facing up leadership - Critical perspectives and practical options, UK

Feb. 23, 2015 - Feb. 26, 2015

It is all too easy to believe that ‘strong leadership’ or ‘inspiring leadership’ is the key determinant of success, whether it be in a school, a business, a political party or a fragmenting and over-heating world. It is a seductive idea. Leadership, as it is conceived in its popular literature, is a practice of seduction: leaders persuade and inspire, they have visions, they empower their people.

Leadership is necessary. But not the kind we are sold. In the first part of the course, we ask why this rhetoric seems to flow so easily? What is going on with leadership? We look closely at the overstated literature and the floundering practice.

In the second phase of the course, we will develop multiple alternatives to that paradigm. We will study the common themes that run through them and convert them into straightforward practices that, taken together, constitute a complete alternative form of leadership.

Why Attend?
The aims of the course are to explore the history of leadership theory and current approaches with special reference to the relationship between ideas and practices of leadership. Those who are required to exercise leadership in the course of their work; those who doubt their capacity or legitimacy as leaders; those sceptical of the very idea of leadership and those who feel that something like leadership is absent from contemporary organisational and social formations: all will find in this course a transformational perspective and a renewal in their faith in the possibilities of collaboration and leadership alike.

What to Expect?
Course content will include a tour d’horizon of leadership theory and a discursive exploration of the dilemmas and contradictions that arise every time the word leadership occurs.

The work of the course alternates between open discussion, highly structured and focused discussion, theory inputs and critical readings. Each reading is a chance to practice a different means of textual analysis – as the readings proceed you will find, if you have not taken part in such a process before, that your ability to see through the surface of a text to the meanings, possibilities and intentions below will quickly improve.

Practical exercises may be used to illustrate points of practical leadership. You will be introduced to an evidence-based method that helps you understand the mechanics of dialogue and decision-making and that gives you simple ways to act in support of dialogue and collaboration. Discussions will take place in a series of settings that take you out of the classroom

In the central element of the course you will be invited to offer up your own experience of leadership and any current challenges you face to be the exclusive focus of the group’s attention in discussions shaped by the material.

Who should Attend?
The course will be a transformative experience for anyone for whom leadership is a duty, a joy or a burden; anyone for whom leadership is a word tainted with patriarchal power and anyone who wishes to change the world, but doesn’t quite know where to start.

Dates and Fees:
Dates: 23 - 26 Feb 2015
Course fee: £1,140 + VAT
Location: Brantwood, Coniston

*course fees include course materials, lunches and snacks - excludes accommodation, breakfast and dinner

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