An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Shooting an Elephant, or, Leadership – A Core Curriculum

Presenter: Barbara Kellerman

Date: 29 September 2010


Is there a canon of literature essential to learning how to lead? Is there a literature which simply must be included in a leadership curriculum?

In her recently published book, Leadership: Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence, Dr. Barbara Kellerman, of Harvard and Dartmouth, argues in the affirmative. Join us in this Leadership Perspectives webinar as Dr. Kellerman highlights the great leadership literature which ought to – though currently it does not – constitute the core of a leadership curriculum. In Leadership, Kellerman outlines a core leadership curriculum in three parts: literature about leadership, literature as leadership, and literature by leaders. The first, literature about leadership, emerges from the writing of thinkers such as Confucius, Machiavelli, Mill, Weber, Freud, and, yes, Stanley Milgram. The second, literature as leadership, indentifies examples of writing which may be viewed as acts of leadership in their own right, such as contributions by Wollstonecraft, Paine, Marx, Engels, Fanon, Carson, and Singer. The third, literature by leaders, turns an eye to the words of leaders such as Elizabeth I, Lenin, Gandhi, Churchill, Mandela, and Havel.

As she has does in her book, Kellerman will provide running commentary on the great works and indicate how and why they changed the world forevermore – and ought to occupy a central place in any leadership curriculum. Participants of this webinar will also be entered for a chance to win a complimentary copy of her book.

Speaker Information

Ranked by as among the “Top 50 Business Thinkers” and by Leadership Excellence in the top 15 of 100 “best minds on leadership,” Barbara Kellerman is Visiting Professor of Leadership at Dartmouth and the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. There, she formerly served as the Center for Public Leadership’s Founding Executive Director (2000-2003) and Research Director (2003-2006). Having held professorships at Fordham, Tufts, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Washington, and Uppsala Universities, Kellerman has also served as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Fairleigh Dickinson and as Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland.

Kellerman received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. (Political Science) degrees from Yale University. She was awarded a Danforth Fellowship and three Fulbright fellowships. At Uppsala (1996-7), she held the Fulbright Chair in American Studies. Kellerman was cofounder of the International Leadership Association (ILA) and has appeared often on media outlets such as CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, Reuters, and BBC. She has contributed articles and reviews to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Business Review and speaks to audiences around the world. She is on the Advisory Board of the Leadership Research Network, on the Advisory Panel of the White House Leadership Project Report , on the editorial Board of Leadership Quarterly, and on the Publications Committee of the International Leadership Association.

Kellerman has authored and edited many books, including Leadership: Multidisciplinary Perspectives; The Political Presidency: Practice of Leadership; Reinventing Leadership: Making the Connection Between Politics and BusinessBad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why it Matters; and Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders. Her latest book, Leadership: Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence was published in summer 2010 by McGraw-Hill.