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.
Table of Contents
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?
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.