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Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations
Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations

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6 Summary of Week 5

The main advantage of thinking and approaching leadership as a practice is that it enables you to focus on the work that gets done rather than to become preoccupied with the status and personality of individual leaders. It also opens us to the possibility of considering the aesthetic – rather than merely the rational and calculative – aspects of organising.

You saw that the performances, spaces and technologies of leadership can be separated out, and you looked at each in turn, although in reality these three aspects overlap when leadership is being performed through practice. You can’t escape practice and its aesthetics – they are what generates what we come to think of as leadership, yet it is amazing how little attention is paid to practices compared to assumptions about the preferences and personalities of individuals. Leadership happens when technologies, spaces, performances – and the people embedded within them – interact in interesting ways and we provided some examples of how these dimensions can come together in interesting ways, as is the case with NZLI. When we considered this week’s key practice, we did so by introducing the idea of aesthetic awareness, developing a sense of the kinds of things that are assembled together in order to make leadership work (or not).