Transformations in Leadership, Volume 1, no.3 (Spring 2009)

Shrestha, Asheshwor Man
Bosack, Mike
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Honolulu : East-West Center Leadership Certificate Program
This journal features articles and reflections by the students of the East-West Center Leadership Certificate Program. Over the course of two years in this program, these students explored different forms of leadership and practiced service-learning. A key exercise for the students was to profile a leader of their choosing. They had a chance to interview leaders in different fields from across the globe. Some of the articles in this journal are based on that research. The leaders profiled within this journal are truly remarkable. Notably, their power to lead comes not simply from charisma or force, but through knowledge, passion, and relationship-building. Throughout these profiles in leadership, two key themes emerge: humble origins and empowering others to lead. Though individual circumstances differ based on time and setting, each of these leaders emerged from an ordinary background to achieve extraordinary accomplishments. Of course, not all leadership is moral or just, and analysis shows the consequences of negative command and coercion. Nevertheless, good or bad, important lessons on leadership are available in each of these articles. As evidenced in the articles, engagement and relationship building are the primary steps in leadership. Transformational leaders build upon relationships and empower followers to break traditional power structures and make that quantum leap forward to lasting personal and team accomplishment. Practicing good leadership skills is not an esoteric art. On the contrary, the themes of good leadership are open to any and all individuals. Leadership need not be associated with prestigious position, and it is not an innately inherited quality. Anyone can rise up to connect with followers, to establish a relationship with them, and enable them to transform themselves and their surroundings. So often, it seems, that is the definition of true leadership: empowering common people to achieve uncommon feats.
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