In Leading in Place, the authors open up new avenues in the debate on leadership by drawing the reader’s attention to the ways in which women can be—and are—leading in organizations and communities in sometimes unconventional, often unrecognized, ways.
Through surveys and interviews, this practitioner-academic team has conducted a thorough and fascinating study of women in various leadership roles, from paid high-level executives to community volunteers. The book bridges the chasm between what the experts write about leadership and what is experienced in organizations and communities. It pushes the reader to think about how unconscious biases have influenced perceptions of leadership in research and organizations. They suggest leadership research should be updated to integrate 21st century realities by moving past both bias towards male prototypes, as well as the ‘great women’ genre, revealing a wealth of experience and knowledge, including insights about leading in place.
With strategies for addressing issues around leadership at both the individual and organizational levels, this book will provide students of leadership as well as professionals with insights that challenge the ways we think about women leaders and leadership more generally.
PART I: The Challenge
Chapter 1 Introduction
Why This Book?
Leading in Place Is a Rising Phenomenon
Conversation about Women and Leadership Is Skewed
Women Have Been, and Are, Leading in Place
Organization of the Book
Chapter 2 How Leadership Gets Construed
Outlines of Leadership Research
What Is ‘Known’?
Leadership Unfolds across Spheres of Life
Chapter 3 Taking Another Look
The Employment Landscape Varies over Time—With Implications for Demands on Leadership
Research Has Influenced—and Skewed—Practice
It’s Time for an Upgrade in Thinking about Leadership
First Interlude: Pivotal Points in Leadership Development
Part II: The Story from Many Voices
Chapter 4 Questions of Leadership, and Women
Seeing Those Who Lead in Place
Stories Shape Our World
Stories, Women, and Leadership
Exploring How Women Experience and Value Emergent Leadership
Chapter 5 ‘Her Stories’ about Leading in Place
Position or Behavior?
Stories of Leading in Place
How Prevalent Is Leading in Place?
Second Interlude: What Does Leadership Success Look Like?
Chapter 6 Women’s Perceptions
Introduction to the Survey
Who We Heard From
Perceptions of Leadership
Experience of Leaders
Chapter 7 Women’s Experiences
Experience as Leaders
Aspirations and Learning
Successes and Challenges
Choices and Trade-Offs
Limitations and Questions Begging for Exploration
Third Interlude: What Development Experiences Would Be Beneficial?
PART III: What to Make of It
Chapter 8 Findings and Insights on Leading in Place
The Leadership Literature
The Pros Offered Not Only Insight, but Also Advice
Balancing Work and Life Constitutes a Gender-Neutral Reality
What are the Implications for Research and Practice?
Epilogue: Letter to Our (and Others’) Daughters
What Is Leadership?
What Choices and Trade-Offs Do Women Make in Order to Lead?
What about Leadership and Power?
Do Others Need to Recognize Your Leadership to Validate it?
What about Biases?
What Else Have We Learned about Leadership?
"Now more than ever, leadership is a concept that requires a set of new eyes, a fresh perspective, and a unique vantage point of exploration and reflection. Leading in Place does all of these things and more. An examination of leadership from a female perspective truly fills an important void in the body of knowledge surrounding this important influence related process."
Christopher P. Neck, Arizona State University, USA
"In their survey of close to 300 women, Hilton and O’Leary provide a rich, in-depth picture of leadership in practice, illustrating how women leaders make a difference and serve as important resources for their organizations. Their work here is outstanding and most impressive. This book represents a significant contribution to the literature on leadership and is a must read for researchers as well as practitioners."
Norma M. Riccucci, Rutgers University, USA
"Readers of Leading in Place will exclaim, 'That’s my experience. Why hasn’t someone written about this before as leadership?' With this book, Hilton and O’Leary engage in breakthrough thinking by recognizing and naming the central role individuals play in exercising leadership without the top position to fill a void, move a goal forward, or take advantage of an opportunity on behalf of the organization. This book represents women from millennials to baby boomers, and they do not agree on long-held assumptions concerning bias and behavioral expectations. In the end, Leading in Place, with its case studies and rich dialogue, is a needed addition to the many books on leadership and, more importantly, sets a standard for studying women in leadership."
Catherine Gerard, The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, USA