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Winter 2010: Leadership and Creating Social Movements

From the Editor

Welcome to the seventh issue of Knowledge Connect. The following selections revolve around the topic of leadership. Leadership is often equated with power. In practice, the true power of any leader is not determined by his or her position alone; it depends upon the economic, political and social forces over which he or she presides.

Leaders in the social impact sector often deal with complex and sticky social problems. Making headway on these problems is hard work. Three books highlighted below: Leadership on the Line, Power and Love, and Studying Leadership, examine the perils and possibilities of leadership.

Fixed notions of leading are explored by The Harvard Business Review on leadership styles at work in India. We need not change time zones to find new paradigms for leaders, though. The McKinsey Quarterly reconsiders how leaders help their teams deal with changing circumstances and The MIT Sloan Review reexamines our expectations of star hires. Meanwhile, Derek Sivers puts the ‘ship’ back in leadership. He turns our focus from the leader to those who courageously follow, and makes us question where leadership truly arises.

With the rapid rise of social movements, we are witnessing the creation of nontraditional, nonhierarchical forms. These call for leaders who can engage and inspire rather than command and control. Jonathon Fisher reflects on leading a Sydney-based social movement through his review of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest. How do you lead a movement? What are the demands on leadership? And, what are the opportunities for followers? Hopefully you will find something relevant in the summaries that follow. Links are provided so you can further investigate pieces of interest.

We welcome your posts and comments.

Editor, Knowledge Connect

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