Today I want to talk about Political Leadership. The book, Leadership Theory and the Community College by Carlos Nevarez, J. Luke Wood, and Rose Penrose, makes it seem very negative. I’m not sure that I think that it has to be negative, but I did score Low in this particular leadership style.
I think that the part of it that makes it seem so bad is that it is all about gaining power over people. And I guess, in a way, when I was younger, this is how I viewed leadership: power. But that’s not necessarily true. I scored pretty high in Democratic leadership because I believe that the team as a whole should hold the power and that the leader’s job is just to use the group’s power in a way that benefits the entire team (and that the team has agreed on).
I don’t like thinking of Leadership as Power itself, which is what I began to understand from the Political Leadership chapter. Maybe a leader controls the ebb and flow of power, directs power, but doesn’t embody power. I don’t think that a leader is supposed to control people or that a leader should think of people as resources to be moved around. I don’t like the notion of “Quid Pro Quo.” I believe in balance, equality, and equity, but quid pro quo sounds so heinous, like “You’ll get the promotion if you convince this person to quit…” or something like that. Like, if you think they’re good enough for the promotion in the first place, why can’t you just advocate for them anyway?
I was accused of being judgmental about this by a classmate and the truth is I’m not. I’m sure that someone has to have this leadership style and I’m sure that it is super effective in some ways. But in an environment where I would want to work, this is not going to be a super common style of leadership.