Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model
Michael C. Jensen
Harvard Business School; Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Kari L. Granger
Sunergos, LLC; Center For Character and Leadership Development
May 21, 2013
THE HANDBOOK FOR TEACHING LEADERSHIP, Chapter 16, Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria, Rakesh Khurana, eds., Sage Publications, 2011
Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper 11-037
Barbados Group Working Paper No. 10-10
Simon School Working Paper Series No. FR 10-30
The Editors of the "Handbook for Teaching Leadership" say the following in their introductory chapter: “How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs [students] about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?" (p. XXIV)
The sole objective of our ontological/phenomenological approach to creating leaders is to leave students actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression. By “natural self-expression” we mean a way of being and acting in any leadership situation that is a spontaneous and intuitive effective response to what one is dealing with.
In creating leaders we employ the ontological discipline (from the Latin ontologia “science of being”). The ontological model of leader and leadership opens up and reveals the actual nature of being when one is being a leader and opens up and reveals the source of one’s actions when exercising leadership. And, ontology’s associated phenomenological methodology (explained in 2) below) provides actionable access to what has been opened up.
The being of being a leader and the actions of the effective exercise of leadership can be accessed, researched, and taught either:
1) as being and action are observed and commented on “from the stands”, specifically as these are observed by someone, and then described, interpreted and explained (third-person theory of), or
2) as being and action are actually experienced “on the court”, specifically as these are actually lived real-time (first-person experience of). As a formal discipline, the “on the court” method of accessing being and action (that is, as being and action are actually lived) is named phenomenology.
In short, an epistemological mastery (a from-the-stands mastery) of a subject leaves one knowing.
An ontological mastery (an on-the-court mastery) of a subject leaves one being.
Of course the students themselves do not need to study ontology; they only require the access to being and the source of action that is provided by the ontological perspective. And, they don’t need to study phenomenology; they only need to be provided with the actionable pathway to the being of being a leader and the actions of effective leadership made available by the phenomenological methodology.
For the Slide Deck Textbook for the course and the entire 1044 pages of the course materials as the course was taught at Whistler, B.C. Canada, in October, 2012 see:
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62
Keywords: Leader, Leadership, Ontology, Phenomenology, Context, Occur, Correlate, Natural Self Expression
JEL Classification: M1Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 27, 2010 ; Last revised: May 22, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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