Daniel R.

Stout EDAL212B Personal Philosophy of Leadership Due September 7, 2005 Leadership in its everydayness Every time someone takes a leadership class we hear the same old answers when asked what leadership really is, these answers usually start to define individuals like JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. with their charisma, intelligence, compromise and good looks being mentioned. Something seems a miss though…why is it that these people are leaders? Is this the best definition of leadership? And what would “ideal” leadership look like, and better yet, how would one practice the good leadership that is described as the ideal leadership? Let’s take a look at each one of these questions one by one. Why are these people leaders? Most likely, because they are the ones who have made it into the history books and are taught as being some of the most incredible people ever to walk the planet, but usually this is only part of the story. Many times there are alternative knowledges that are remnant among these people, but because of our focus is on absolute truths and simplistic teachings, we close off these avenues of knowledge and perspective. This functioning of history points to the good and commits violence to the ontology of all people who had a differing story about those vibrant leaders. Something else these leaders had in common was that many times they were trapped in the traditional western modes of thinking using deductive logic and having a desire to solve immediate problems with grand policy options that will create a safe world once again. This is just like the desire to solve for urban pollution, which at the beginning of the 1900s was horse manure in the roads. What happened, we as a species invent a way to solve this disaster, we invent, the automobile, and you see what that did for urban pollution. So what, I’m critical of most modern leadership, but what does a good leader look like then, what is the definition of leadership? I believe that all we have to do as leaders is open up discursive space. What I mean is that we need to offer a forum for persons to present their truths about the world. We must remember as leaders there is that power comes from the way we speak, it is the most powerful weapons we as humans posses, so we must constantly monitor and question its power. Sounds complicated doesn’t it, it’s really not that complicated. In order to show what good leadership is, we must look at three independent areas, life, thought, and actions. Life, what I mean here is to look at what Roland Blieker describes as living in everydayness. Everydayness means that we don’t go on urge to solve immediate suffering, with an urge to apply quick fix solutions to problems. This methodology is exactly the same sort of humanistic thought process that created the “urban pollution” we have today. We must question, not abandon urges for solutions. After we question actions and evaluate all knowledges, we can act. Everyday we must live the best life we can, and everyday adhere to the what we see as a good life, for me its opening up discursive space and evaluating problems as an event. Thought, this one is a little more complicated, but Michael Foucault, describes a good way of going about evaluating documents (which are defined as historical happenings), here he says we should evaluate documents as events, this meaning that they are taken out of the chain of western deductive reasoning. We remove the event from

time and space and evaluate it in its own. While we may come back to western deductive reasoning we must first open the space to alternative knowledges. The way we approach the event (the problem) is the way we can open up this space. Typically when we evaluate a problem, we look immediately to how we can solve the problem, I propose on the other hand that instead of doing that, we stop, evaluate the problem as an event, research and encourage alternative knowledges to be heard and listened to, and then decide a course of action. Actions, up till now it seems as though we are just talking a bunch of theoretically goo, but its not true in every sense of the word. By Actions we must focus on the Parrhesiastic contract and how we may hand it out (Stout, 2005, Attached behind). Simply put, this is a simple and effective way for persons to open up discursive space and allow the alternative knowledges to be experienced. Why is all of this important. Power, in my leadership discourse paper (also attached) we see that power is created by speech. Speech uses the three axis of subjectivity to control and own other people (for explanations of this theory please refer to the paper). This power has the ability to commit the violence to ontology that I talk about before; this is violence against the ability to BE. This power that is created by NOT opening up space for alternative knoweledges is the exact type of practice that allowed the NAZIS to commit genocide. They were able to create a Truth with their discourse and create a power that allowed them to exterminate so many people. If we as people were to look at problems as events, as discussed in the thought portion of the paper, we would have realized the need to open space for alternative knowledges, and I’m just betting the opening up of space would have exposed the genocide that was occurring and allowed us as a people to say that it wasn’t right and should be stopped. But because the Truth was created in Germany, the people were blindfolded to the horrors of the day. Not Convinced, Nuclear testing, this was necessary for the peace and prosperity of the United States of America. We needed the bomb in order to win the Cold War with the USSR. Because of the US’s control of Truth, we as a nation were blindfolded to the nuclear war that was created by the constant testing of nuclear weapons, the government began dumping nuclear waste on Indigenous Peoples land, leading to radiation killing many, many people. An opening up of space would have provided an avenue for us as Americans to see the nuclear war that was being enacted in our name against people who live with us in the US. Ultimately this begs the question, how does it function in the real world. As a leader there will always be decisions that will not be easy to make, but as long as we approach the world in its everydayness, leading by example, we can dissent against the dominant hegemons and slowly transverse its power. To do this I have tried to evaluate problems as events, and open up discursive space. This doesn’t always require a big parade but can in fact be done in our head before we take any actions. All that is required is that we break away from a thought process that is so trapped inside western deductive, and humanistic thinking. This doesn’t mean that we abandon deductive or humanistic thinking, but we do questions its dominance and as I try to do, evaluate all options, open up the space to see all the angles and go from there. So, I ultimately in my everydayness, try to tear down power structures and question them and determine whether it is justifiable or not. I believe that although it sounds complicated, as I know, I’m still trying to apply the concepts of Foucault and

Bleiker to leadership, that these leadership ideas and concepts can be used effectively to create a better and fairer society. Because remember, Power isn’t bad, it isn’t good, its dangerous, and we must always evaluate its apparent dangers to prevent atrocities.