At certain crucial times, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II, America was blessed with great leaders. But now? What is leadership? How is it cultivated? What political processes bring great leaders to the top of the heap? And what processes will keep demonic leaders, like Hitler, from gaining ascendance? Can philosophy help us understand the nature of and limits of leadership? John and Ken welcome Deborah Rhode, Director of the Stanford Center on Ethics.
We all need leaders in our lives: politics, business, education, and the home. But what guarantees that these leaders will be moral and effective rather than corrupt and useless? Ken reminds us of the breadth of leadership types, quoting Shakespeare: some leaders are born, some are made, and some have it thrust upon them. Ken and John begin by discussing what exactly a good leader is by looking at historical examples in different fields. Distinctions are made between leaders that require charisma and those that do not.
- Polly Stryker the Roving Philosophical Reporter (Seek to 4:48): Polly Stryker discusses leadership in an area often not considered: the homeless. An interview with Father Vitale, a priest who runs a homeless program in San Francisco's infamous Tenderloin, reveals interesting opinions of what makes a good leader.
- Ian Shoales the 60-Second Philosopher (Seek to 49:48): Ian Shoales speeds by different definitions of leadership throughout history through the lens Thomas Carlyle's writings and life.
Deborah L. Rhode, Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford University
Online articles from JSTOR (subscription required)
- The Concept of Political Leadership: An Analysis, Leon Dion, Canadian Journal of Political Science. Vol. 1. No.1.
- The Psychological Characteristics of Leadership, Benjamin N. Schoenfeld, Social Forces. Vol. 26, No. 4.
- Deborah L. Rhode's The Difference "Difference" Makes: Women and Leadership
- Robert Cole's Lives of Moral Leadership
- Thomas Carlyle's A Carlyle Reader
- The Arbinger Institute's Leadership and Self Deception
- Sviatoslav Steve Seteroff's Beyond Leadership to Followership
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