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INNER LEADERSHIP LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Dimensions of Inner Leadership

Instructions. Understanding inner level leadership is more difficult than understanding some past models. As a way to get in touch with the dimensions of this model, complete the following activity.

  1. Concentrate on those elements and feelings involved in the inner leadership model.

  2. After you have analyzed your understanding of this method of leadership, make a drawing depicting inner leadership.

    Use pictures, diagrams, colors, words, numbers—whatever is needed and available—to create a visual object that represents what you know about inner leadership.

    Be expressive and creative in your drawings so that what they indicate will aid you, and perhaps others, to understand the dimensions of inner leadership more fully.

  3. After you have completed the creative aspect of this assignment, prepare a written analysis and explanation of what you have drawn.

  4. Share both the drawing and your analysis with a colleague or friend.

Activity 2: Sitting in Council with Others

Instructions. Read the following short statement and then respond to the questions listed below.

For inner leadership to work up and down the organization, new ways of viewing the leader–follower interaction are necessary. Counciling-with followers is a new insight into the relationship between leader and follower. It is essential for this model of leadership that inner leaders learn to delegate even, or perhaps especially, when followers are not fully prepared or the work community is in a change mode.

Sitting in council with followers puts the leader and follower together in an equal, sharing relationship, both committed to realization of the vision and the tasks at hand and both caring for the values of the others. Ideas flow freely as influence shifts from person to person. Any or all may propose or alter ideas, methods, problems, and solutions.

A counseling role used typically by top leaders is unilateral action taken by the counselor (leader) toward another person. In a word, counseling is telling. Counciling-with followers is, rather, finding out together what is right, proper, and needed. Followers become advisors and inner leaders learn from the followers (Fairholm, 2000a). This shared approach is often discussed in terms of participatory or democratic approaches to management. This technique is based on relationship and meaningful interactions—the essential elements of leadership.

Discussion Questions

  1. When talking with coworkers, do I tell them things or encourage a sharing of information?

  2. Do I encourage group discussions and facilitate group dynamics? Do coworkers frequently exchange ideas?

  3. Do I have the self-esteem to allow others to have good ideas and take the lead at times? What challenges does this approach present? Analyze your typical operational responses to these kinds of challenge.

  4. Am I able to synthesize group information and formulate decisions or next steps?

  5. What do I need to know or learn to do to increase my expertise in counciling-with coworkers?


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