Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

Leadership & Leaders

Nancy C. Andreasen provides insight on leadership, with references to additional PKAL material and activities on leadership.

PKAL focuses on leaders developing leaders. In this, we ask individuals to reflect upon their own leadership experiences and potential, and have developed a PKAL leadership characteristics inventory to advance such personal reflections.

In Kansas City, we spotlight leadership & leaders in many ways. In a formal session, leadership will be addressed, in part, as service to the home campus community. Exploring steps and paths to building such leaders, participants will examine some ...tion dimensions of leadership:

  • action/inaction/distraction
  • cooperation/collaboration/confrontation
  • perfection/celebration/exhaustion/emotion
  • competition/promotion/gumption.....and more.

Stories about the endless journey of leadership will be threaded throughout the formal and informal discussions. Our hope is to underscore how closely 21st century goals for student learning map more general characteristics of leaders, no matter their sphere of responsibility and opportunity.

In The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius, Nancy C. Andreasen describes creative people as:

[Persons who] to tend to approach the world in a fresh and original way that is not shaped by preconceptions..... ...Creative people enjoy adventure. They like to explore....

...creative people also have traits that make them durable and persistent....Persistence is absolutely fundamental, since creative people typically experience repeated rejection because of their tendency to push the limits and to perceive things in a new way.

...Creative people also tend to be intensely curious. They like to understand how and why, to take things apart and put them back together again, to move into domains of the mind or spirit that conventional society perceives as hidden or forbidden. Creative people are also often perfectionistic and even obsessional....

These traits tend to be combined with a basic simplicity, defined by a singleness of vision and dedication to their work. In fact, much of the time, their work is really all that creative people care about.

Both Andreasen's insights and Friedman's challenge will serve as a point of reference for discussions during the weekend on leaders developing leaders, no matter who the 'leaders' are on either side of the equation: students, faculty or their administrative colleagues, stakeholders from disciplinary and educational communities.