1st Edition

Leading in Place Leadership Through Different Eyes

By Rita Hilton, Rosemary O'Leary Copyright 2018
    200 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    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

    Professional Satisfaction

    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

    Our Findings

    Her Stories

    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?


    Rita M. Hilton, Ph.D., is an organizational and leadership development expert and an ICF-certified executive coach. She currently serves as Director of Talent and Organizational Development for a US government agency.

    Rosemary O’Leary, Ph.D., is the Director of the School of Public Affairs and the Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at the University of Kansas, USA. 

    "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