Leadership for the Greater Good:

Global Thought Leaders Explore Today's Challenges

ILA’s blog launched in March 2020 amid a world struggling to make sense of the pandemic, racial inequality, and challenges to democracy. We charge our bloggers to apply their leadership knowledge and practical wisdom to inform and inspire us as we continued our work of advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world. Bloggers include authors from 12 countries spanning 5 continents.

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Leaders Who Lust in Our Midst

The leadership industry — leadership centers and institutes, leadership programs and courses, leadership teachers and trainers — sells moderation. In fact, sometimes leadership, including leadership that is exceptionally effective, is quite the opposite. Sometimes leaders are excessive.

Gendering Leadership in Times of COVID: The Case of the “Strong Man”

The striking image of a maskless Donald Trump standing defiantly on the White House balcony on his return from hospital exemplifies the so-called “strong leadership” associated with men and masculinity. Why is the notion of the male strong leader still so influential and persistent?

Why Crisis Leadership Can Be a Missed Opportunity for Change

A crisis is not a good time for change. Or is it? In times of crisis, leaders often aim to restore stability as quickly as possible. This is understandable. However, a crisis can also be used as a starting point to deeply explore new ideas and approaches that may be more effective and sustainable in the long run.

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Leadership and a Positive Peace: Losing Battles but Winning the War

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare our vulnerabilities, divisions, falsehoods, and brutal inequalities. These deep divides and holes in the fabric of our societies weaken our resolve for peace and lead us to question what it is about our cultures that creates so much room for insecurity and what role better leadership might play.

Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together

“The only thing we know about the future is that we do not know the future.” What implications does that have for leadership and the structures of our organizations, particularly amid rapidly moving crisis? How does this change the relationship between leaders, followers, and the public at large?

Leadership and Leadership Appointment Are Not Necessarily Synonymous

Often citizens assume that leaders in positions of power have the essential leadership capabilities needed for the work. However, many leaders measure their effectiveness solely on the stock market index and do not understand that effective leadership requires an intricate balance between the economy and humanity.

The COVID-19 Crisis as a Test of Followership

Is it not time we stopped asking what leaders and science can do to fight COVID-19 and ask instead what followers should be doing? Accepting that we are facing a complex and unpredictable situation, how do we stop calling for simple solutions, learn to live with uncertainty, and take responsibility for our own actions?

False Positives: A Pandemic of Prozac Leadership

Being positive can facilitate transformational leadership but taken to extremes it can become insincere and manipulative. Excessive positivity constitutes a significant barrier to reflection and learning. By silencing critical voices, Prozac leadership has hindered our leaders’ response to the pandemic.

The Deep Structure Is Our Responsibility

The implicit rules for acceptance and success are encoded in the deep structure of organizations and social groups. Recent events have reminded us that the deep structure in America is pervasive, pernicious, and even deadly. What can whites and cis-straight people do to address such a horrible legacy?

Where Is Boris Johnson? When and Why It Matters That Leaders Show Up in a Crisis

An enduring issue for leadership is the emotional effect of leaders’ presence and absence on those who look to them for direction, guidance, and reassurance. If leaders fail to show up, it sends a signal that they don’t really care. In times of crisis, care becomes a highly salient marker of effective leadership.

“Building Forward Better” – Why Women’s Leadership Matters

As we deal with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on women, minorities and the poor, much has been written about the effectiveness of the leadership traits exhibited by women. What has been different in women’s leadership?

ILA’s Leadership for the Greater Good blog is supported via a grant from the MetLife Foundation.