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The Loop

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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Recognizing students for leadership and service

On Sunday, May 3, students, faculty, staff, friends and family from the Staley School of Leadership Studies and across Kansas State University gathered to recognize the success and honor the achievements of several K-State students at the Celebrating Service and Leadership awards program.

For the first time since the inception of this awards program, the event took place digitally over Zoom and Facebook Live. While guests could not gather physically, the importance and value of coming together was not lost in this virtual event.

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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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