A leadership project, Reflective Human Action, initiated
in 1995 has remained on the cutting edge of leadership
theory and practice. Frances E. Andrews and Dorothy I.
Mitstifer, working with Marsha Rehm and Gladys Gary Vaughn,
developed the theoretical foundation and wrote the module,
Leadership: Reflective Human Action.
The work of Terry (1993) and Drath and Palus (1994) led
the authors to develop the definition below.
"an active, mind-engaging process of MEANING-MAKING
in a community of practice."
Andrews, F.E., Mitstifer, D.I., Rehm, M., Vaughn, G.G.
(1995) Leadership: Reflective Human
East Lansing, MI: Kappa Omicron Nu.
Terry says that leadership is taking "responsibility
for ourselves in concert with others, . . . [creating]
a global commonwealth [a self-governing group] worthy
of the best that we human beings have to offer"(1993,
p. 275). Drath and Palus (1994) describe leadership as
a shared human process: leadership is meaning-making in
a community of practice, i.e., "a group of people
with a shared history of doing something, usually work,
together" (p. 4). "Leadership is intimately
connected to processes of group . . . and even species-wide
integration and togetherness and ultimately to communal
survival, growth, and enhancement" (p. 13). Thus,
leaders do leadership.
The Kappa Omicron Nu mission, empowered leaders,
reflects the intention of the organization. The mission
or outcome of the program and activities of the organization
is an ambitious one; members are challenged to make this
mission a life-long quest. The adjective, empowered, in
this connection is defined as "focusing . . . energy
in . . . [ones] Circle of Influence. . . . its
acting with integrity to create the environment in which
we and others can develop character and competence and
synergy (Covey, Merrill, & Merrill, 1994, p. 238).
Block (1987) talked about empowerment as "enacting
Block, P. (1987). The empowered manager.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Covey, S. R., Merrill, A. R., & Merrill, R. R. (1994).
First things first. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Drath, W. H., & Palus, C. J. (1994). Making common
sense: Leadership as meaning-making in a
of practice. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.
Terry, R. (1993). Authentic leadership. San Francisco: