“Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.” Seth Berkley (American scientist)
SEL Connection: Power is something students think about all of the time. They know teachers exert authority over them and they get to see firsthand how their parents and coaches treat them and their peers. They also see how power changes people and begin to develop strong opinions about how power is used. When their friends get positions of authority in the school, they watch and are quick to criticize if someone they know begins abusing power.
Claim: Berkley claims that true leadership is not based on coercion but on a sense of responsibility and purpose. If a leader has a vision and is responsible, then people will follow. Great leaders don’t have to use power. They get things done through having integrity and building consensus.
Counterclaim: Yet leadership without the expression of power isn’t very effective. You can have a great vision and be a good person, but if you don’t wield power to implement change, then you are forever trying to convince people to follow, and that doesn’t always work.
Essential Question: Try putting this question on the board to get a conversation going about leadership – What motivates great leaders?
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