The course is a leadership laboratory where instructors work with the participants to create direct access to the ways of being, thinking, planning, and action required to be a leader and to exercise leadership effectively – in any situation, and no matter the circumstances.
The course has also been delivered in Whistler, B.C. Canada,in October 2012; Cancun, Mexico in October 2013 and December 2015, Bermuda in November 2014; and Abu Dhabi U.A.E in October 2016 to benefit the Erhard-Jensen Ontological / Phenomenological Initiative which supports the delivery of the course in Universities throughout the world.
The content and the learning/teaching method employed in this course is based on a new ontological / phenomenological model of leader and leadership. Rather than studying and trying to emulate the characteristics, styles, and actions of noteworthy leaders or to communicate knowledge about leader and leadership, this new model of leadership has been specifically designed to provide participants with direct access to being a leader and to the effective exercise of leadership. An epistemological mastery of a subject leaves you knowing. An ontological / phenomenological mastery of a subject leaves you being.
The course employs a unique contextual framework (structure for analysis) that distinguishes what leader and leadership are, and does so in a way that creates direct access to being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership. This specification of what leader and leadership actually are is also intended to contribute to the foundation for a true science of leadership. As a consequence of this contextual framework, the central role that the future plays in being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership are made clear, and how one kind of future constrains one and the people one is leading, and another kind of future frees one and the people one is leading for breakthrough results.
Course participants are provided with a new and powerful model of integrity; it is demonstrated that integrity as it exists in this new model is the foundation on which leadership is built. Participants discover that integrity, as it exists in this new model, is a necessary condition for maximum individual, group, and organizational performance.
The course makes clear the difference between management and leadership, the difference between the exercise of authority or decision rights and the exercise of leadership, and the difference between being in a “leadership position” and actually being a leader. It highlights the fact that being a leader and exercising leadership effectively does not require one to have authority or even to be in a “leadership position”.
The pedagogical method employed is “transformational learning". In transformational learning we seek to become aware of our context of interpretations and beliefs, and to be critically reflective of our underlying assumptions. In transformational learning, our prevailing worldview and frames of reference (which are almost always invisible to ourselves) are uncovered thereby enabling us to reconstruct them such that more clarity and power is available to us.
“It is almost a cliché of the leadership literature that a single definition of leadership is lacking.” (Bennis,p.2)
“The scholars do not know what it is they are studying, and the practitioners do not know what it is they are practicing.” (Rost, p.8)
“…authors have tended to confuse their readers with contradictory conceptual frameworks, their theories and models have not added up to any meaningful conclusion about the nature of leadership.” (Rost, p.180)
Creating Leaders: A New Model 11 Years On: This presentation reviews the history of the leadership course created at the Simon School of Business in the years 2004-2008. The first presentation of this material took place at the Simon School of Business “Sands Lecture” on February 5, 2014, and later at the Simon School NYC Conference - “The Global Marketplace: Rising To the Challenges of Regulation, Disruption and International Competition”, May 8, 2014, Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.
An Ontological/Phenomenological Model of Leadership, Uchenna Baker, Rutgers University; Graduate School – Newark, New Jersey - This study documents the possibilities that emerge when participants engage in an ontological leadership course that invites them to create futures that call for their leadership. This study postulates that the implementation of an ontological model in the classroom can be one key contribution to the development of students and educators and the reformation of American education. When educators and students are invited to examine who we are being as leaders in the classroom and the world, we are then better equipped to engage as citizens and agents of change. Collectively, we can renovate education and empower individuals from all walks of life who may then inform and create the future of American education and society.