Leading Blog






12.18.08

Out of Context: Preparing Young People for Leadership and Effective Citizenship

outcontext

The competencies for both leadership and for active and informed citizenship overlap. Unfortunately, we are doing very little to prepare people for either. Mike Summers, vice president for Global Talent Management for Dell Computers, shared the following with Tony Wagner in The Global Achievement Gap:

“Kids just out of school have an amazing lack of preparedness in general leadership skills and collaborative skills. They lack the ability to influence versus direct and command.” “In other words,” Wagner writes, “the only kind of leadership young people have experienced is one that relies on obedience versus the kind of reasoning and persuasion that is the new leadership style demanded by businesses organized in teams and networks.”

Summers continues, “Students have a naiveté about how work gets done in the corporate environment. They have a predisposition toward believing that everything is clearly outlined, and then people give directions, and then other people execute until there’s a new set of directions. They don’t understand the complexities of an organization – that boundaries are fluid, that rarely does one group have everything they need to get a job done. How do you solve a problem when people who own what you need are outside your organization or don’t report to you. or the total solution requires a consortium of different people? How do you influence things that are out of your direct control?”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:42 AM
| Comments (0) | Out of Context



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