Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2010

Introductory Reading for Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model

by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron and Kari L. Granger

Abstract

This paper is the sixth of six pre-course reading assignments for an experimental leadership course developed by the authors over five years (2004-2008) at the U. of Rochester Simon School of Business working with students, alumni, executives, and faculty from various academic institutions. It is currently taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, was taught in June 2009 at the Erasmus Academie in Rotterdam, and a version is currently taught at U. of Rochester Simon School of Business, and the Erasmus University Law School. This course will be taught at the Mays School of Business, Texas A&M University June 9 to June 16, 2010. The intention of this course is to leave the participants actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression, and for the course to contribute to creating a new science of leadership for ourselves and others to use, experiment with, research, improve on, and innovate from. This leadership course is different from others you may know of or have experienced. This course is based on the proposition that: 1) given being and action by the right context for leader and leadership, everyone has the capacity to be a leader, and 2) there are certain personal obstacles that must be dealt with in order to actualize that capacity. In the course students master a context that gives them the being of a leader and the effective exercise of leadership as their natural self-expression. Rather than teaching "leadership strategies" or being a "how to guide," this course allows participants to create for themselves that enabling and empowering context that gives one the being and action of a leader as one's natural self-expression. And, in the course we provide participants the opportunity to become aware of and deal with their personal obstacles. This allows them to remove, or at least relax, those obstacles and access their natural capacity for leadership. The promise of this course: You will leave this course being who you need to be to be a leader. You will leave this course with what it takes to exercise leadership effectively. While you will not necessarily have all of the experience and knowledge you need to be a truly extraordinary leader, you will have experienced whatever personal transformation is required for you to leave the course being who you need to be to be a leader, and with what it takes to exercise leadership effectively.

Keywords: Leadership Development; Curriculum and Courses; Strategy; Performance Capacity; Attitudes; Behavior; United States; Netherlands; Texas;

Citation:

Erhard, Werner, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, and Kari L. Granger. "Introductory Reading for Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-091, April 2010.