Russ:I would like to welcome Barbara Kellerman who is known for a couple of reasons.
One is her scholarship in the field of leadership that has connected beyond the notion of the heroic leader into the that of the relationship between leader and follower. More recently her work extends beyond that—and we will get into that. A second reason is that she is also the founding Executive Director of the Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. There she has been rubbing elbows with well known leaders, as well as emerging leaders who are very sharp, coming up through the ranks and moving into more formal positions of authority. Barbara, I want to say thank you for joining us and I’m looking forward to this conversation.
Barbara: My pleasure, Russ, and thank you very much.
Russ: How did you get into this leadership game in the first place?
Barbara: There are always both personal and professional reasons. I actually remember as a child being quite interested in position. I guess it was mainly among girls at that point in time—in school, in camps. I was always interested in human patterns of dominance and deference.
I remember my curiosity was peaked when I was a graduate student at Yale. I took a course and said I think I work on leadership. To my astonishment I went into Yale’s library card catalogue—this goes back to the 1970s – and found very few things. This is hard to believe given that there are gazillions of entries on leadership now. Then, there were very few scholarly books and articles on the subject.
I then got in contact with a man by the name of James McGregor Burns, who of course you and your readers would know as the author of the seminal book Leadership. He had written a biography on Franklin Roosevelt in 1956 that had a postscript on leadership. He was very encouraging and I think his eminence combined with his support of my curiosity made me increasingly interested in leadership, beginning seriously in graduate school. My doctoral dissertation even had the word leader in it. It was about a German political leader, a man by the name of Willy Brant. He was Chancellor at the time. Ever since then I have been interested in the subject as an intellectual area of inquiry, as opposed to the areas of leadership training and development. This interest has stayed with me all my professional life.
Russ: During your professional life you were not only in academia, but you were also involved in development activities?
Barbara: Mainly I have been an academic. I have been a member of a faculty most of my professional life, since I got my Ph.D. at Yale. Of course, when you teach leadership now there is always presumed to be some connection between learning about leadership and what students typically perceive to be learning how to be a leader. But I actually say to my students, ”If you want to learn how to be a leader, you are in the wrong class; if you want to learn about leadership and followership you are in the right class.”
Russ: I have in my bookcase two books side by side: one is titled Leadership and the other is called Followership. They are both by you. I would like to hear about how this connection between the phenomena of leadership, which is about power and authority, relates to the followership dimension. My sense of your message is that you can’t have effective leadership without effective followership.
Barbara: Yes. I think that’s right. They’re so entwined. It always baffles me completely that there are these gazillion books on leadership and three or so on followership. I also wrote a book published in 2004 called Bad Leadership.
Barbara: That was another deviant book because 99% of the books on leadership are about good leadership: about how to be a good leader. It seems curious that those of us in Leadership Studies are so inattentive to the ubiquitous problem of bad leadership. But as I wrote the book on bad leadership, I realized how integral followers are to leaders. You simply cannot have bad leadership without bad followership.
The core chapters are stories of different kinds of bad leaders. I divided each chapter into three different sections. One was about the bad leader. Another was about those who most obviously were bad followers. The third was about the context. My archetypical, extreme example of this—and I say this to audiences all the time—is the case of Adolph Hitler. Of Hitler it is said that he killed six million Jews. Then, I say to whoever is listening, “How many Jews did Adolf Hitler actually kill?” The answer, of course, is zero. So who were those intervening individuals who did the dirty work for the dictator? This is an extreme example of the principle that still holds: you cannot have bad leadership or for that matter good leadership without an active, integrated followership.
Russ: When was Bad Leadership published?
Barbara: Bad Leadership was published in 2004. Before then I had written many books on leadership and I’m sure that I, like my colleagues, paid lip service to the follower as the obvious counterpart to the leader. But it’s one thing to pay lip service and it’s another thing to take an all-important syndrome like bad leadership seriously. Bad Leadership enabled me at least to do just that. This then led to my next book, which came out in 2008, which was of course titled Followership.
Russ: In 2004 you made a connection between the individual who is in what I would call the leader role and the followers or the people who are key players in defining that role. I would add another: stakeholders and the determination of which stakeholders are active in the context of leadership.
Russ: The context includes the culture, as well as the systemic, process, and technology domains that those in leader and follower roles are performing. Is that what you had in mind?
Barbara: I not only had this in mind, but that triad has now been crystallized for me – it’s been an intellectual evolution of sorts. In the End of Leadership—I describe leadership I actually ask people to picture all this as an equilateral triangle in which no single side is more important than the other two. One side is the leader, the other side are the followers and the third side is context.
I have become increasingly convinced that contextual intelligence is key and every bit as important as every other kind of intelligence. To support a point you made a moment ago, when I say context I think of it as a series of concentric circles. I will often ask people to imagine themselves throwing a stone into a pond – you will see concentric circles. The first or inner circle is the immediate context, say, the small group that you’re working with or in. Then, outside this circle is a slightly larger circle. This might be the organization within which the small group is embedded. Outside this circle is where we are now – what is this moment in time and where on are larger scale are we located and so on. So context is a many-layered series of concentric circles, each of which pertains to patterns of dominance and deference.
Russ: I’m hoping we can explore the three sides of that triangle. But before we do, I want to point out that the End of Leadership is as much about concept and practice, the way of understanding leadership, as is it is about those who have invested so much in what you refer to as the leadership industry. This includes trainers, developers, theorists, authors and the like. Is that correct?
Barbara: Yes. Would you like me to say a little bit more about the leadership industry?
Russ: I wish you would.
Barbara: I have noticed that the over the last 10, 20, 30 years it’s really about 35 years let’s say, since the mid 1970s or early 1980s, there has been an explosion of people who are interested in leadership. Leadership as a subject of inquiry is of course as old as human history. We can go back to, say, Plato and Confucius and, of course, Machiavelli, and so on. But what happened about 30 – 40 years ago—for reasons that I actually explore in an earlier book that came out in the late 1990s, titled Reinventing Leadership —what happened is that people started to believe that leadership could really be taught to large numbers of people simultaneously. In order to feed this urge to learn how to lead and learn how to manage you ended up having a growth industry, consisting in part of thousands of so-called leadership experts, of which I presumably am one and so are you, Russ.
These experts made their living in leadership in one or another way. They wrote about leadership. They spoke about leadership. They taught leadership. To accompany them were growing numbers and finally countless books and articles on leadership, countless courses, seminars, workshops, institutes and centers. It became an industry into which large numbers of people poured large amounts of money, including from large corporations and governments. It started in the United States, but it soon spread around the world. The leadership industry is alive and well in China, for example.
So this is a very recent phenomenon—only several decades old. But it is now a business from which a lot of people make a lot of money and in which a lot of people are investing a lot of money. I have some level of skepticism about it, as is evident in The End of Leadership. I don’t mean it’s all bad or silly or an illusion, but there is a lot of stuff out there that is less than wonderful. The End of Leadership was written, in part, so that we might take a more critical stance vis a vis the leadership industry as a whole.
Russ: You have certainly done that! I want to provide a quote from the book that is in tune with this:
As a whole the leadership industry is self satisfied, self perpetuating and poorly policed; that leadership programs tend to proliferate without objective assessment; that leadership as an area of intellectual inquiry remains thin; and that little original thought has been given to what leader learning in the second decade at the 21st century should look like. (169)
That’s pretty powerful stuff Barbara.
Barbara: Oh, I agree with myself, Russ!
Russ: I agree with you too.
You go on to say,
There have, of course, been curricular revisions, adjustments here and there to the existing model. But in spite of the widespread disappointment in and distrust of leaders in the society at large, and despite the seismic changes in culture and technology, there has been scant alteration to the prevailing paradigm of learning how to lead; no significant attempt to reimagine the model to extend it over a longer period of years, say, or to include significant learning the liberal arts, or to adjust to an era in which leading is less about refining the individual and more about reimagining the collective, no obvious progress in formulating a fundamental coherent curriculum sequenced in a demonstrably (proven) sensible and successful way; and no thought given to instructing on following, when following wisely and well is manifestly as important as leading wisely and well.
Sounds like we are stuck.
Barbara: When you read this, I said to myself, “Okay, I have not changed my mind; this sounds like me.” Take one obvious example: the question that I raised in the book, the question of metrics. How do we assess the quality of what we’ve done? Many of us teach leadership courses to in one or another way develop leaders. How do we know that we’ve done what we say we’re doing?
Well, most of the assessments are subjective. So, you have 40 students in the class – ostensibly learning how to lead. Then you ask, how was the course? Most often, because leadership courses are very, very popular, certainly at the Kennedy School, they say, “Oh, it was great! I learned how to lead! I understand myself better, I had great experience…” and so forth. But this subjective assessment is not followed up typically by any sort of objective assessment, or longitudinal assessment.
That is an obvious case in point of how the leadership industry just sails along without any serious critical sense of what exactly are we accomplishing, if anything. By the way, there is a parallel in undergraduate education; you hear a lot now about how high is student debt. How do we know what students are actually getting for these enormously expensive undergraduate educations? Is their investment worth it? Can you prove or demonstrate their investment is worth it?
I am raising similar questions about the leadership industry. Is the large investment we make in leadership education and development worth it? Can you prove it or demonstrate it?
Russ: I was on a dissertation committee for someone at the Center of Creative Leadership. There was an attempt to do a follow-up assessment of how effective people were in meeting goals that they had established in a leader training program. It was very difficult getting data beyond the contract point of when those organization members who had participated in these trainings were still receiving coaching and had contact with the Center.
It’s a point well made. It raises all of the questions about the nature of assessment and so forth, which is relevant to going back to your triangle. I would like to talk about what is it that we actually look at…
Barbara: Russ, may I interject to make a point?
Barbara: I just want to support what you are saying about the difficulty of assessment. I am not chiding the industry for not assessing brilliantly for precisely the reason that you just said: it’s really very hard to do. I just wish the industry were more up front about how difficult it is to teach leadership – about how uncertain is the process. I just wish there were more openness or transparency about the difficulties to which you yourself just eluded.
Russ: The fact is that most of those people who do leader development are focused principally on skill development and behavior development in relation to what they consider good practices or best practices for leader roles.
Barbara: I would agree with that.
Russ: So if we’re talking about leadership I make a sharp distinction between the term leader and leadership—actually among three terms: lead, leader and leadership. By leader I mean the role that I alluded to earlier. Lead is what people do when they step into that role and leadership is equivalent to your triangle. I expand it a bit, but it’s essentially those in leader roles, those in stakeholder roles and the context in which they are operating.
Russ: There are very, very few people—and correct me if I’m wrong, because you may know some of this literature a lot better than I do—but I don’t see many people who are attending to all three sides, whether they are talking about leader development, leadership development or even the study of leadership.
Barbara: I think you and I agree on the word leadership, which is why I speak of the book Bad Leadership. The other book is called Followership. Good or bad leadership involves equally leaders, followers and context.
There are semantic problems associated with our field. One is the fact that people define the words leader and leadership in very different ways. People just use them differently. I heard that there are approximately 1,400 different definitions of the words leader and or leadership. So there is very little agreement among the so called experts. The other semantic problem—I myself have been completely unable to find a solution – is the skittishness about the word follower. There are three people who have written books per se on followers – at least that I know of. I am one, a man by the name of Ira Chaleff is another; and a man by the name of Robert Kelley is another. We all three address the problem and we all three choose to use the word “follower” simply because in the English language “follower is the natural counterpart to the “leader.”
Russ: Yes. Chaleff also did a book with Ron Riggio and Jean Lipmann-Blumen on the art of followership. In this issue of ILR there is a minireview in Leadership Emerging of a book by Micha Popper, Fact and Fantasy About Leadership in which he cites your work and offers a very similar model.
Barbara: The semantic problem is that people overwhelmingly equate follower with being weak, with being sheep-like, with being a member of the herd. But I refuse to be cowed by the problem. I chose to define the follower in what I consider a logical, particular way, as is evident in Followership.
Russ: There are parallel semantic challenges with the term leader in some cultures like Italy and Spain because of historical usage of those terms.
Barbara: Absolutely, and certainly in Germany.
Russ: So let’s talk about definitions. You did cite the multiplicity of definitions. But what we’re really talking about now is the failure in the field to just make distinctions among these terms. My own strategy is say we need to begin to start making distinctions and then we can contextualize our definitions
Barbara: The trouble is it’s very hard. I have been in a number of conferences over the years, a good number, where people say, “Okay let’s try to define “leadership,” and it leads nowhere.
Russ: Because they’re defining it in all contexts at the same time…
Barbara: Exactly, exactly.
Russ: … and that doesn’t work.
Barbara: Right, exactly.
Russ: Let’s look at the sides of your triangle for a moment. We can start off with leader. We can call that the individual who is leading or is in a leader role. If we talk about trying to assess what is effective and what is not or even what is good and ethical and what is not, we can look at their behaviors. So we have observable things, events that we can look at. Where do you stand in relationship to the things that we cannot directly observe like intentions, worldviews, values, aspirations things like that?
Barbara: In Bad Leadership I had to wrestle with this, there is always the issue of whether you are speaking of means or ends or both. I generally shunted it aside in the book, because it was so complicated and not necessary for my purposes to address. So I just decided in that particular book not to deal with it. Part of the task is always good, clear writing – I particularly try to write for a broad audience so that anybody can understand what I’m trying to say. I want my written work to resemble a good newspaper article—it should be jargon free. When I thought about how I would define the words “good” and “bad” – as in good and bad leadership – I decided to draw along two axes. One is effective—in other words bad leadership is ineffective and good leadership is effective—and the second one pertains to ethics. That is, good leaders are ethical and bad ones unethical.
You can have somebody lead effectively but unethically. Conversely, you can have some in a leadership role who is perfectly ethical, but completely ineffectual. But I don’t try to get into anyone’s head. I am interested only in behavior. In fact I think of leaders as having three different resources. One is power, one is authority, and one is influence. I use the word power in its most extreme sense, that is, the capacity A has to get B to do something B would not do otherwise.
Mao said power grows out of the barrel of a gun. If I am your boss and I have the power to fire you that’s the certainly power out of the barrel of a gun – I have the power to get you to do something you would never do otherwise. Most people would not call that leadership—that’s not leadership, they would say. That’s simply using force as your disposal. But to me that is leadership. Meg Whitman making the decision to fire some 30,000 people from HP – well, that’s leadership, even if it’s not experienced that way by the person being fired. I have a very clear definition of leadership. If I can get you to do something, whether you want to or not, then for that moment I am the leader and you the followers. I look at what is. I don’t try to get beneath the surface. I take a purely functional approach.
Russ: Do you account for things like the work that comes out of emotional intelligence, adult development in terms of stage theories or any of that?
Barbara: I do not, Russ. I do not dismiss it as unimportant or trivial. It just is not the work I do. I know the adult development and emotional intelligence literature and, in fact, my term contextual intelligence derives from the idea of having several different kinds of intelligences. But looking at leaders developmentally is not now the work I do.
Russ: You might have some thoughts about it even if you haven’t written about it.
Barbara: In fact, yes, years ago I was closely tied to a book titled, Seasons of a Man’s Life. Yale psychologist Daniel Levisohn was the author. It had a direct relationship to my dissertation – which was a portrait of the leader (then German Chancellor Willy Brandt) as a young politician. So I have paid attention to this sort of work in my life, absolutely. But I am saying that where I am now is to not focus directly on the leader – to me at this point the leader is part of a larger social system in which followers and also context are equally important. So that is one of the reasons I’m less interested in emotional intelligence and adult development. If I am looking at the Obama presidency, to take an obvious example, I am not asking about the president’s personal or professional development. Rather I take a more holistic approach, in which a range of other elements come into play.
So I would be more interested in Obama as one side of the triangle to which I earlier alluded. What is the response of the American people to this man, the president of the United States? And what is it about this moment in time that we need to know before the 2012 election? What, in other words, is the historical circumstance? Obama’s limited emotional intelligence, his limited ability to closely connect, interests me, but only in so far as it affects his public performance. For example, as is well known, he did not meet with the leaders of the Congressional opposition until well over a year after he was in the White House. Is that emotionally intelligent?
No! But, again, I don’t frame it in terms of emotional intelligence. I just look at the behavior and ask how it affected leaders of Congress who were by and large ignored by the White House until two or three years into the presidency. The point is that I am trying in my own work to be much less leader centric than are most of my colleagues. I am not that interested in the leaders persona as I am in how they relate to those around them, that is, the followers, the stakeholders—whatever word you want to use—and how they all are located at this particular moment in time in this particular place.
Russ: Do those questions about values, intentions, worldviews and the like ever come up for you in your work on the followership?
Barbara: They do. You know I teach a course at the Kennedy School titled Followership. I might add that it’s not as popular a course as those with the words leader or leadership. This amuses me, although I have to say that at the end of the semester I generally have made some converts. What, they begin to ask, does it mean to be a good follower? So the question of values comes up in both roles – that of the leader and that of the follower.
Russ: How do you go about addressing that?
Barbara: Both in the book, Followership, and certainly in the course I do address this issue – the issue of how to be a good follower and, or, what good followership entails. One of the most obvious examples—the one that seems to hit students hard when they reflect on their own selves—is the degree to which most of us, most of the time, are bystanders. If, say, we are in an organization and something goes wrong, we tend generally not to do anything about it for a series of clear and often justifiable reasons. But having a better sense of the impact we have even if we do absolutely nothing —that is one of the main things you learn about followership. Doing nothing does not mean you have no impact. Doing nothing absolutely has an impact.
Barbara: So, yes, when you pay attention to followership, and when you can get students or whoever is your audience to attend to the phenomenon, it tends to be a very, very rich and rewarding conversation. This semester I had about five or six students in the class who were in the military: Navy. Air Force and Army and so forth. They are, of course, imbued with leadership issues – and leadership learning – as they advance their careers in the military. But, they became very interested in followership. I believe, Russ, that in time this other side of leadership, followership, will receive increasing amounts of attention, partly because the world is changing and it’s become so glaringly obvious that followers matter.
Russ: You indicate that leadership – or what I would call leader – development is actually individual development. I am curious to know how you would talk about that, whether it’s in terms of followers or leaders—what is it that we are developing? Are we developing a skill set? Are we developing a worldview? Are we developing a mental model? What exactly is developing in development?
Barbara: It depends. Everybody’s has their own view of what they are learning when they are involved in leadership development, leadership training, leadership education—those words are used almost interchangeably. Different coaches, consultants, teachers, experts, whatever, have different conceptions of whatever this involves. However this is not directly my issue since, as I said earlier, I never professed to teach how to lead. I teach about leadership.
I most care about leadership as an area of intellectual inquiry. In fact, about two years ago I edited a book [Leadership: Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence] that grew out of a course I originally developed at the Kennedy School. The course is titled “Leadership Literacy.” It is in effect a great books course. I still wonder why leadership education is generally so bereft of such curriculum. You must be familiar with these works, if you are to ever understand leadership at a deeper level.
Some of the all time great thinkers, beginning with Confucius, Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke are included.I go on to women such as Mary Wollstonecraft and I include in the course Hitler, Lenin, Freud, Churchill, Mandela and so on—great thinkers, great orators, great leaders. How can you understand leadership if you are entirely bereft of the kind of liberal arts education that gets you to think at a deeper, richer, more complex level?
So the way I approach individual development or leader development—to circle back to your question—is to develop or educate the students about the phenomenon of dominance and deference. What are the psychological, historical, philosophical, sociological, political roots of how we behave in this general regard? It’s really a multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, liberal arts approach to the subject. How do you know leadership without knowing Shakespeare?
I do, incidentally, try to introduce the arts into the conversation. It’s all about edifying students in the broadest sense of this word. I do not claim, as I said, to develop students into leaders. What I do claim to provide is an intellectual foundation for explorations, either intellectual or practical, into the phenomenon of leadership.
Russ: I am particularly attracted to the notion of transdisciplinarity as a way of thinking about leadership because it transcends and includes, if you will, all those fields that you talked about and more.
Russ: And that’s very exciting. I just published a book last year with Sue McGregor in Canada called Transversity, which is looking at the application of transdisciplinary theory in higher education in the US, Mexico and Brazil, Australia, Austria, a number of other places. This is the direction that I think the field of leadership needs to go. I think that’s what you are urging.
Barbara: Well I am supportive, but not very optimistic. The system does not generally reward those who transcend disciplinary boundaries. By the way, as you know since you wrote the book, it’s a larger phenomenon. Universities will pay lip service to interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary work, but they do not typically really support it.
Barbara: You tend to get tenured, rewarded, for being a specialist, not a generalist.
Russ: You might be delighted to know that there are some exceptions occurring. In the US Arizona State University has got a very strong transdisciplinary program oriented or mostly oriented to research and development and that sort of thing. There are growing numbers of transdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals and ASU has transdisciplinary tenure tracks. But, that aside, I think there is hope. In addition there are some transdisciplinary degree programs developing at a variety of other institutions.
Barbara: I agree with you. But, still, it’s slow going.
Russ: Let’s turn to the third side of your triangle, the context. As I indicated earlier, I would tend to look at two different dimensions of that—one we can observe and another we can’t. We cannot directly observe the culture, only its artifacts. I like to think of culture as the constellation of worldviews and tensions, values, aspirations that you find in any system. It’s not just what people agree on, but it’s also what they don’t agree on. The culture is bounded by the system they are a part of and I am wondering if culture is a variable in the ways that you think about followership and leadership.
Barbara: Once again, I couldn’t agree with you more, Russ. You’ve put it very well. It’s not always palpable, but we know it’s there. It could be any number of things. In The End of Leadership I have a chapter on culture. I think the leadership culture has changed so dramatically even in the last several decades. In order to understand the present in this culture, it requires that you understand the past, at least to some degree. Incidentally, that’s one of my beefs against the leadership industry— it’s entirely a-historical.
Leadership now is not what leadership was five or ten or twenty years ago. Similarly, leadership five, ten and twenty years from now is going to be different from what it is now. Leadership and followership evolve over time, just the way other human phenomena evolve over time. Which raises the question, what do you need to know about the here and now to understand how things are changing? What do you need to know about the current context, the current circumstance, in order to lead in 2012?
It depends of course on what direction you want to take, who you want to lead, and even where you are situated. If you’re in China, that’s one circumstance, in the United States another, in Brazil another and in England still another. It’s that variability that makes leadership and followership fascinating as subjects of study. It’s that variability, that complexity, that that we need to study more carefully than we generally do, more carefully than the leadership industry generally encourages.
Russ: Yes, we are in harmony there. The other part of that is what we do observe and measure in relation to leadership. Scholar-consultant James O’Toole has written about the importance of organizational systems to support effective leadership. Without those effective systems, it’s more difficult for individuals and leadership to be effective within organizations. I know your interest is primarily in the political realm, at least I believe that, and so I am wondering if there is anything about the systems, the technology, the processes, the structures that you think are important to be paying attention to in talking about leadership and followership.
Barbara: Yes, it is certainly true that I am probably more skilled in the political realm. I am after all trained as a political scientist.
Russ: Me, too. Berkeley.
Barbara: Oh, really?
Barbara: Oh, I didn’t know that. Maybe that’s why we are so similar in so many ways in our approach to this.
Barbara: In my case in the last decade at least, I have become increasingly persuaded that leadership in one sector is much more similar to, than different from, leadership in other sectors. The same historical, cultural, and systemic factors that impact on leadership and followership in one domain, impact on leadership and followership in the other domains. So, just to take a recent example, I have been fascinated by the case of Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase. I blog regularly [www.barbarakellerman.com] – and I do so equally about leaders and followers in the private sector and public sectors.
After all, the government has large organizations, just the way the corporate sector does. So all the dynamics to which we are alluding are quite similar, wherever they are located. This brings me back to a word that you used a moment ago and went by too quickly – technology. I give the subject of technology its own chapter in The End of Leadership.
Social media in particular are changing patterns of dominance and difference in ways we do not yet fully understand. I think social media are going to alter forever, did already alter forever, relations between those who have power and authority and those who do not. The Arab Spring provides perhaps the most obvious case in point. But there are related changes in the private sector as well, and in the public sector more generally.
I want to say a word about a group that has been written about for some years. They have not yet been heard from in large numbers, though this could well be changing. I am referring particularly to share holder activists.
Shareholder activists do not yet use social media to any major extent. One of the reasons is generational, by the way. But, if I were predicting, which I guess at this moment I am about to do, I would say keep your eye on shareholder activism, which I am speculating that we will see much more, even in the next year or two. More shareholders will protest more often, particularly against excessively high rates of pay for CEOs.
Russ: Right. We are already beginning to see that. I think you are spot on.
Barbara, before we end, I just have one more question: Is there anything I haven’t asked you about you wish I had?
Barbara: Oh my goodness, Russ, it’s been a really interesting and I think pretty rich conversation. I think I would just end by taking a bit of a global perspective. We tend in this country to teach leadership from a vantage point that might most charitably described as parochial. But I would argue that the most fascinating aspect of our field is what’s happening to patterns of dominance and deference at the global level—how are leaders and followers relating in Russia, in China, in Europe?
I do not intend this as a political comment. My reference is to larger historical trends, for example, the striking spread of democracy even in the last quarter century.
I would urge your leaders to look at these changing patterns, which, again, clearly imply the world will be different five and 10 years from now. These changes are not domestic phenomena, but rather global ones.
Russ: Barbara, thank you so much. This has been an exciting conversation for me and I hope you will take a look at the Integral Leadership Review one day and see what we are up to.
Barbara: Well, thank you so much, Russ. I appreciate having gotten to know you, if only vicariously over the phone, but it was a great conversation and I deeply appreciate it.