By leading, what I mean by doing the right thing is a sense of vision, a purpose, a strategic intent, a dream, a mission – call it what you will – but, it has to do
basically with purpose and objectives. Whereas management has to do with doing things right. That means they are concerned about efficiency, about control mechanisms,
about the short-run, about how do you do it. The difference
between leading and managing is a difference between asking “What?” and “Why?”, which is what leaders are to be doing, versus asking the “How?” Effective leaders
really do not tell in their direct report to the subordinates “how.” What they do is they try to create a set of intentions – a tapestry of intentions. Warren Bennis,
Ph.D. April 2001 Audio Journal of Education
Why leadership? Isn’t this what community education does?
What do you think? Or, is community education, in most public school districts, more engaged in management? What do you think – does the quotation, above, from Warren
Bennis shed any light? What do you think?
In this assignment, you will explore 2 texts on leadership and build a personal
framework for the development and evaluation of leadership – resulting in your own
working framework for leadership.
Getting into Leadership
This is not a course, however, in ‘leadership’ as a subject off by itself. This is an important point to keep in mind as our work, here, will help you frame your own
ideas about leadership in the specific context of community education.
Assignment: Leadership by the Book
In this portion of the assignment you’ll review 2 books on leadership and interpret the author’s ‘spin’ on leadership.
1. Out of the Box Leadership – Houston, Blankstein, Cole
2. The Politically Intelligent Leader – White, Harvey, Kemper
Here are the instructions in a step-by-step fashion:
1. Read the selected texts for this course.
2. Write a review for each text. In this review, first include a complete citation for
the text and then follow these guidelines:
First of all, a book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a critical reaction in which you
point out strengths and weaknesses of the material, and how it helps — or misleads you — in
understanding the content of the book. Here’s a general outline to follow (in order) for you to take
adequate notes as you read/review your book:
Book topic, author and author’s background
Questions to ask:
•?Who is this author? Is he or she considered an expert in this topic?
•?Does the author’s background, time, or place affect the conclusions reached? Do you find an
•?What is the author’s point of view or frame of reference (usually found in the introduction or
Selection’s thesis and specific examples from the text.
Questions to ask:
•?What is the author’s major hypothesis; what’s the purpose for writing this book and what’s t he
hook that draws the author to this topic?
•?What are the most important pieces of evidence to support it?
Your (and/or other reviewers’) objections/contrary views.
Questions to ask:
•?What is the quality of the evidence — convincing? Adequate? Are the sources recognized by
others in the field?
•?Are there other works on the same or a similar topic?
•?Does any of the author’s information (or conclusion) conflict with other books you’ ve read,
courses you’ve taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject?
•?How might you resolve any conflict?
The book’s impact on you and other potential readers.
Questions to ask:
•?Were any previous ideas you had on this subject changed or abandoned due to this book?
Were they reinforced? 3
•?Would you recommend this book to others? Why?
Adapted from the University of Kentucky, LCC, 1997.
These ideas should give you the content needed. From there it’s a matter of
constructing the review and typing it up.
3. After writing-up the book reviews, compare the books in terms of how
they serve the leadership needs you perceive in community education.
Write your comparison and restrict the length to no more than two pages.
(The idea behind this comparison is to give your colleagues a ‘taste’ of the
literature as they might seek to build their own professional library.
4. So, is that clear? In summary, first read/review the books from the required reading list. Then, write-up the book reviews. (See the guidelines in Step 2, above.)
Then, write a comparison of the books you read and reviewed and your perceived Community Education leadership.
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