Glorification of Leadership Skills
Susan Cain, in her article on “Not leadership material? Good. The world needs followers” which appeared on the New York Times on March 2017 argues that glorification of leadership skills, mostly in college admissions has ripped off leadership its meaning. This kind of trend has led to strong emotional debates all over the universities and now going down to even high schools on different opinions on both the sides of parents, teachers, and students.
Leadership skills are the main issues addressed in (not leadership material? good no problem. The world needs followers) by Susan Clain. The author’s main claim here is about the glorification of leadership skills and her main sub-claim lies in the alternative of practicing it. According to her story about a woman called Sara who applied and was later called to Vassar College. In her admission, she tells us that the parents were asked to fill a questionnaire where her father truthfully described her to be more of a follower than a leader. The author goes ahead to let us know of her opinion where clearly and strongly argues that no father in his right mind will such a thing in the recent times.
Throughout her sermon, she continues to clearly state that today’s leadership has been far high prized above anything else. Moreover, Penny Bach agrees to the fact that the doors’ sus and thinkers in schools are not prioritized in front leading.in addition to that, the author suggests that there is a group of individuals who are thought to rise above others and are highly celebrated she continues to argue that highly competitive institutions are part of the American DNA who seem to be flying high above the rest.
Not only does the author disagrees with the overemphasize of leadership in the name of preparing the students for world business as if it is all that is needed, she also accepts the fact that team worked should be enhanced. Finally, the author tries to argue with the audience on the importance of a quick stop to the glorification of leadership skills and rather concentrate and practice it with honest with what we have.
Susan quotes many students who she had spoken with previously who read that the actual leadership skills as a code for authority and also have developed a definition that leaders as those constantly order people around. This clearly is a negative attitude developed in this young generation.to some, it has led to a pressure build-up in colleges and being succumbed to failure. As she tells a story, Susan talks about a woman who tried to overhaul her personality so that she could be among the few selected for prestigious roles. When she was later chosen, she was literally kicked out for not outgoing enough.
Leadership skills being overprized high above all. This is due to the fact that leaders are known to be first options and are always termed to be bright. In her article, Susan reveals what Penny Bach, the head of St. Paul’s School For Girls had to tell her, “it seems as if higher ed is looking for alphas, but the doors and thinkers in our schools are not always in front leading.” This clearly shows the huge gap between the people perpetuated to be leaders and the rest of the group referred as inferior. Susan used this direct quotation to bring out the reality that exists in the midst of many institutions of which little would have the idea of what goes on behind those school gates.
The power of unity in leadership and being part of team players have a large significance in terms of improvement of one’s skills. Let it be known that a well-functioning body like a student body cannot stand on its own, it should comprise those people who choose to go their own way. It also needs followers who in turn be their team players.The body also needs leaders who are called to service rather than the leaders called to status. In her article, Susan tries to bring out her discussions with some of the students through word of mouth and she gathered that many students, refer leadership skills as a code of dominance for authority and also noted that the students noted leaders as “those who order people around” however many may think this is wrong but not according to a prominent professor called Ivy. Susan used this character to bring out a different opinion from a known source in order to bring out the truth behind the restriction of leadership to political or business power.
Focussing on the romance of leadership theory which makes us to inaccurately attribute the failures and all possible success of an organization or institution to its leader thereby ignoring all the followers. According to Susan, one of her fellow writers Adam Grant suggests that most of the frequent questions he gets from her readers are meant to inquire how contribution is done when themselves are not in charge. He further adds that these questions aren’t asked by leaders but,” they are known to be fundamental questions of followership”. He added. To me, this was a tremendous point made to show that no matter what or situation one is, whether a leader or not, we should not always accurately attribute to our success and failures.
In conclusion. All that the author is trying to focus and bring out to the light in her article is the need for institutions, parents, leaders of all kind and also students that in order to build a better tomorrow of great leaders with leadership skills, we all should avoid the glorification of today leadership skills and instead turn to major ways on how to practice and learn on how to exercise it wisely. On these, the author has my full support and I strongly agree with her suggestions to seek a society of creative, caring and committed people and make leaders who feel called to any kind service rather than to stature.
Ford, J. and Harding, N. (2015). Followers in leadership theory: Fiction, fantasy and illusion. Leadership, 14(1), pp.3-24.
Johnson (2014). Why “Good” Followers Go “Bad”: The Power of Moral Disengagement. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(4).