What History Teaches Us

This week’s reading discussed Queen Elizabeth as a historical example of leadership. The question that Burns (2003) posed was “Was she more the maker of history or a product of it” (p. 39)? He cited the circumstances surrounding her reign, such as religious divisions, mistrust in a female ruler, and incessant plots against her life, as strong influences in her style of leadership.When most monarchs might try to restore order through strict rule as her sister Mary did by promoting radical Catholicism, Elizabeth chose to focus on keeping the throne stable to offer a “still center” between whatever other issues might divide her countrymen (Burns, 2003, p. 40). “Stability was to be guarded at the expense of other values, such as liberty and justice” (Burns, 2003, p. 41).

When comparing this ideology to my business major, Continue reading “What History Teaches Us”

What Makes a Leader?

It’s an age-old question: Was Hitler a leader?

Under the broad definition of a leader as ‘someone with followers,’ I answered yes. For better or for worse, people followed him. James Burns (2003) would argue differently–that he was a ruler rather than a leader; that people obeyed his orders, but they did not necessarily follow his vision. On this, we disagree. Continue reading “What Makes a Leader?”

Slaves of History

          Are you in control of your own destiny?

Philosophers throughout history would say not. James Burns (2003) analyzes the thinking of men such as Karl Marx, Leo Tolstoy, and Herbert Spencer—19th century philosophers from Germany, Russia, and Britain respectively—in his book Transforming Leadership. Whatever our character traits might be or whatever guiding principles we adhere to, “life happens,” as it were. Endless happenings affect our daily lives. Some we can control or mitigate for while others are inevitable.

As Burns (2003) points out, “if these are unsettling questions in our private lives, imagine how complex and urgent they can be in society as a whole, Continue reading “Slaves of History”

Change Poem

Goodbye Mother, Goodbye Father!
Off I head to be a world changer!
With all you’ve taught me here I go
Christ’s love and light everywhere I’ll sow.

Transfer year, joining clubs galore.
No time for roommates, I’m out the door.
I’m perfectly angelic, purposefully naïve.
I know I’m ‘better-than’ whatever they believe. Continue reading “Change Poem”