Maybe I’m making up for yesterday, but I feel the need to write two posts today.
If it is possible to be a groupie of an academic I am well on my way to signing up to the Dr Amanda Sinclair fan club. I stumbled across one of her articles about a month ago, and she was then mentioned by S2 in our first meeting. She is one of the few theorists who has me exclaiming “yes!” as I read her work.
Sinclair, A. 2004, ‘Journey around leadership’, Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 7-19.
I read the above article today as part of my feminist readings. It’s not technically a feminist review of leadership theory, but more a personal narrative on how her journey has informed her views on leadership and leadership theory.
It rings extremely true for me, I felt it echo my own experience. I have not only studied and worked in the arena of leadership for 15 or so years but I have been a leader too. And the challenges she illustrates in being a women leader in a male institution (Melbourne Business School) made me reevaluate some of the feelings I had in leadership positions.
She also speaks about taking leadership study out of the organisational context and putting it into the life context. This is a great academic reference for the way I want to approach leadership in the arts and creative industries. I think pinning it to an organisational context is too narrow and not realistic when researching those whose identity is shaped by what they do (not who they work for.)
Dr Sinclair also discusses the reluctance of women to identify with being seen as a leader. She writes, “Behind this refusal is a range of motivations from modesty through to a more active rejection of leadership as too dripping with white patriarchy to even remotely associate.” (12) Maybe there is something here about artists unwillingness to define themselves as leaders – not necessarily from a patriarchal perspective (though there may be that too) but that the concept of leadership is so far away from their experience that they struggle to see themselves as leaders if that is the form leadership takes?
I’m heading back to my last article for the day on feminist leadership theory, but if interested at all in this area I encourage you to read Amanda Sinclair.