The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the phenomenon of leadership at the intersection of aesthetics, identity and self within a dynamic, fluid and interactive compositional mixture which is part of a leader’s continuous process of invention and reinvention.
The methodology of this paper is a conceptual analysis and presentation involving some of the extant literature in the field of aesthetics, identity and leadership, including Harold Bloom’s theory of poetry that provides an entrance point to understand the problem of identity. The authors argue that a person, such as a leader, has multiple identities and interactions with others which lead to the co-construction of the self. To demonstrate this argument, the authors explore a case study of the life of the opera diva, Maria Callas.
An exploratory conceptual model demonstrating the relationship between identity and self, and insights and Bloom’s theory are applied to illuminate the case study of Maria Callas’ life. A key finding of the analysis is that identity is linked to performance and co-constructed in relation to others.
The paper concludes by discussing two implications for developing school leadership performance: the need for an aesthetic perspective of leadership and the need to provide a range of teaching approaches to teach leadership.
There have been few, if any, significant breakthroughs in understanding more about leadership from the traditional methods of social science. It is argued that until and unless researchers move towards working in aesthetic traditions there is not likely to be new understandings of it.
English, F.W. and Ehrich, L.C. (2019), "Re-examining the philosopher’s stone of leadership", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 653-663. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-08-2019-0306Download as .RIS
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