Leadership Without Easy Answers DuJuan Goulbourne Ahour

Values in Leadership

Leadership engages our values. Many peoples values are different due to their moral code and beliefs.

However, on the other side, leadership is value-free. This is what scholars are leaning more towards as far as which properly defines leadership. An example of this is how Pablo Escobar led a huge drug cartel, however many may not value his morals and actions.

Pablo Escobar

A good leader is someone who gets people to accept his/her vision, and communities, and address problems by looking to him/her. They also enable people to tackle tough problems.

According to the Heifetz, history is the story of great men and their impact on society.

To form a well definition of leadership with values, there are four major criteria.

1. It must resemble current cultural assumptions so that, when feasible, one's normal understanding of what i means to lead will apply

2. It has to be practical

3. Point towards socially useful activity

4. The concept of the definition should offer a broad definition of social usefulness.

To Lead or Mislead

Living things respond to stress by finding balance. We attempt to adapt to the equilibrium in our lives.

Patterns of Disequilibrium in a social system.

1. Current problems present no new challenges and a response from the current repertoire may restore from the current repertoire may restore equilibrium successfully.

2. When the society has no ready solution for the situation, and the social system may still try to apply responses from it's repertoire.

3. The society may then learn to meet the new challenges. In terms of adaptation.


Adaptation is the action or process of becoming suitable for a new use or purpose.

Why do some people fail at adaptation?

This is because some people may misperceive the natures of the threat that may be facing. Another way is when they can perceive the threat and the danger from it, but their adaptive capabilities aren't enough to protect them from the challenge or threat. Another reason could be that the distress that is caused from the problem is extremely prominent, and people don't want to face it.

The Roots of Authority

Social living things depend on authority

Authorities in societies are considered as those who have the power or right to give order, like parents, teachers, police, officials, etc. They protect, secure, care for, provide, and adapt.

The Little Kids Study

Heifetz described a study done on little kids where they were all put together in an environment. Their were certain kids that took authority over the others. This resulted in the other kids putting their attention and focus on the kids that took authorities. They also saw how the kids stayed in close proximities to them. How they allowed the authorized kid to represent them when talking and interacting with another group. This study leans towards the theory that the need for dominance and authority is apart of human nature. Heifetz also described it being very prominent in primate societies also.

What does all this have to do with LEADERSHIP though?

Throughout these chapters, Heifetz explains values, adaptations, balance, and authority in order to dig deeper into what leadership really is. These four elements all play a role depending on the situation at hand. When there is disequilibrium in a society, it takes a value or "value-free" leader to take authority over others. They have to be able to influence the people and enable them to adapt to the threats, in order to regain balance in their society.



Work Cited

Heifetz, Ronald A. Leadership Without Easy Answers. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.]: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2001. Print.

Created By
DuJuan Goulbourne


Created with images by burrows.nichole28 - "Values" • Hugo Pardo Kuklinski - "La muerte de Pablo Escobar" • hang_in_there - "Leader" • kevin dooley - "1" • TooFarNorth - "2" • i_yudai - "3" • jontintinjordan - "number 4" • Sarah_Loetscher - "art biennale balls" • griffithchris - "Red Fail" • Alexas_Fotos - "cop policewoman colleagues" • Mr Moss - "Four Kids 3 - 74/365" • TeroVesalainen - "question mark why problem"

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