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Category: Leadership During COVID-19

In this special blog series, guest writers consider how our academic framework, research agenda and the associated leadership studies literature contributes understanding and support the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 and the biopolitical moment for leadership

In this special blog series, Staley School of Leadership Studies professor Brandon W. Kliewer considers an approach to teaching leadership that can further develop our capacity to exercise leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all of the fragility of human life. As the world assesses the damage and begins to consider appropriate paths forward, leadership scholars, developers, and practitioners are increasingly confronted with a series of biopolitical questions. The objective of this short essay is to introduce the biopolitical as a concept relevant to the interdisciplinary field of leadership studies and leadership in practice.

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Third Floor Research: Measuring the impact of leadership development

In this special blog series, Staley School of Leadership Studies professor Tim Steffensmeier and leadership communication doctoral student, Tamas Kowalik, consider an approach to teaching leadership that can further develop our capacity to exercise leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The impact of leadership development programs oftentimes seems obvious as principles and skills acquired are put into practice in the daily operation of organizations. Anecdotal evidence and testimonies abound regarding the positive impact of leadership trainings. Moreover, it is common practice to evaluate leadership trainings to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Third Floor Research was developed to test and expand upon the ways we measure leadership development. We are curious about how leadership development affects individuals and organizations that are working to make progress on difficult challenges.

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Working with others: Creating the capacity to exercise leadership

In this special blog series, Staley School of Leadership Studies instructor Tamara Bauer considers an approach to teaching leadership that can further develop our capacity to exercise leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mainstream media often highlights examples of leadership that feature individuals doing something for or to others. (Example: an individual comes to “save the people and save the day”). While there is a time and place to help someone by doing something for them (like in a crisis), there is even more power for long-term transformation when we shift our perspectives and actions to exercise leadership WITH others. This shift can better create the capacity for all of us to engage and for all of us to exercise leadership.

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Briefing: Civic Capacity and the Coronavirus

In this special blog series, Staley School of Leadership Studies partner David Chrislip considers how associated leadership studies and civic engagement literatures contributes understanding and supports the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

“Sometimes change is so vast and dislocating that it is hard to tell disaster from opportunity.”

The Economist, April 11, 2020

“The larger project, however, is to increase the resilience of American society.”

The New York Times, April 9, 2020

The Crisis

As the coronavirus continues to devastate communities across the nation, planning for the aftermath is beginning to take center stage. As horrendous as the initial shock has been, it is but the first of many cascading impacts that must be addressed. Economic decline (collapse, in some places), increases in inequality in health and wealth, inadequate capacity of institutions to respond, failing health and education systems, and so on, will follow, rending the social fabric of families, communities, states, and the nation. Trillions of dollars will be allocated and spent by federal, state, and local government agencies and foundations to address these challenges. Some communities will be able to put these resources to good use. Others will become more dependent on outside entities (like governments and foundations) for their survival and less resilient in the face of future challenges. The longer-term response to the effects of this pandemic will be as important as the initial response to its manifesting symptoms.

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Leading change with women and girls during COVID-19 in Uganda

In this special blog series, Staley School of Leadership Studies partner Zaharah Namanda, with framing from Trisha Gott, considers how our academic framework, research agenda and the associated leadership studies literature contributes understanding and support the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Zaharah Namanda is a community worker and leader, with a focus on education with and for women and girls. She is a country co-director for the Africa Education and Leadership Initiative (Africa ELI), a non-governmental organization that provides educational opportunities for young female refugees from South Sudan. Namanda has been leading prior to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing strategic direction and working with a team to implement programs, coordinate logistics, and monitor and evaluate student performance.

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Adaptive leadership in public education during COVID-19

In this special blog series, Leadership Communication doctoral student Jurdene Coleman considers how academic frameworks, research agendas, and the associated leadership studies literature contributes understanding and support to the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak locally. Jurdene Coleman

COVID-19 is presenting our nation with countless adaptive challenges; public education is no exception. Adaptive challenges differ from technical problems in many ways. First a technical problem, while it may be complex, has an identifiable solution. An example in public education might be choosing which math curriculum to implement. Next, technical problems can be solved by an entity with the right expertise and using a known process for problem solving. If we keep with the curriculum adoption example, we typically have teachers volunteer to use one of several curricula and give feedback to administrators who then bring the final recommendation to the school board. Adaptive challenges on the other hand, can only be addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties (Heifetz , Grashaw & Linskey, 2009). Adaptive challenges require an organization to go beyond any authoritative expertise to mobilize discovery, shed certain entrenched ways, tolerating losses and generating the new capacity to thrive anew (p. 19). The new adaptive challenge is what does education in USD 383 school district look like without our classrooms and school buildings?  

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Creating space to recognize leadership activity during COVID-19

In this special blog series, Leadership Communication doctoral student R.J. Youngblood considers how academic frameworks, research agendas, and the associated leadership studies literature contributes understanding and support to the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak locally.

Our connection to space is intimately contested, negotiated, and resisted.

This connection serves to shape our understanding of self in relation to both material and conceptualized notions of space and allows us to build relationships as a result of a connection to shared purpose. We can understand exercises of leadership as deeply connected to both the physical spaces that we interact with and the conceptual spaces we create in conversation and interaction with others.

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