Dr. Thomas Cronin's Qualities Of Leadership

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Dr. Thomas Cronin's Qualities of Leadership

Dr. Thomas Cronin's Qualities of Leadership


Leadership is one of the most talked about issues and at the same time one of the most elusive and enigmatic. Americans often crave big, beyond leadership in their communities, businesses, military unions, universities, sports teams, and the nation. However, we have ambivalence about love-hate of those in power. And especially do not like anyone who tries to boss around. Yes, we admire Washington and Churchill, but Hitler and Al Capone were the leaders-and also highlight a fundamental problem. Leadership can be exercised in the service of noble ends, liberating, rewarding, but can also serve to manipulate, deceive and suppress. (Mann, 2003)

A Sense of Humor, Compassion, Proportion

"One of the most universal cravings of our time," writes James MacGregor Burns, "is a hunger for compelling and creative leadership." But what exactly is creative leadership? A Wall Street Journal cartoon had two men talking about leadership. Finally, a return to the other in disgust and said, "Yes, we need leadership, but we also need someone to tell us what to do." That is, the leadership for most people most of the time is a hazy abstraction, yet distant and confused. Therefore, think or define leadership is a kind of intellectual leadership challenge himself. (Stogdill, 2000)

What follows are some thoughts on leadership and leadership education. These thoughts and ideas are very personal and hardly scientific. As suggested below, almost anything you can say about leadership can be in contradiction with counterexamples. Moreover, all matter is full of paradoxes. My ideas here are the product of my studies of political leadership and my own participation in politics since the level of meeting people for the White House staff. Some of my ideas come from helping to advise universities and foundations and the Houston-based American Leadership Forum on how best to go about encouraging leadership development. Finally, my thoughts have been influenced in a variety of ways in talks with five numer4ous especially insightful writers on leadership - Warren Bennis, James MacGregor Burns, David Campbell, Harlan Cleveland and John W Gardner. (Bird, 2000)


A sense of Integrity

One of the most important things to say about leadership is that it is usually widely dispersed throughout society. Our leadership needs vary greatly. Many major advances are produced by people long before their time who are willing to wave for change and propose new ...
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