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Amy M Hewett-Olatunde
TRSL D Leadership Platform
GED 8505 Leadership
Spring 2013
Hamline University


Leadership as a Multi-Dimensional Structure

Leadership is multi-dimensional, not one-dimensional. Leadership sometimes
infers one person is at the top of a hierarchical-vertical system. However, leadership
should not be seen as just a linear structure, which in many cases is ineffective; it can be
horizontal where the leader and the followers all play an important role in the creation
and shaping of the organization. True leaders recognize the gifts of their subordinates,
leadership comes in degrees of good and bad but they are not mutually exclusive, and my
increasing understanding of leadership helps me to clarify how transformational
leadership is the most effective in an organization. These three concepts all contribute to
this multi-dimensional prism of what I consider leadership.
A true leader recognizes the gifts his employees bring to the organization (Block,
2009). He seeks opportunities for his subordinates that will help them build their potential
and enrich the organization with the skills they possess. I have found that when I have
been given the opportunity to present a skill set I exceed at, not only do I have increased
self-confidence, but those around me feel the effects, too. In my LEAP Drama Club, I
shine. Because my gifts are put on the table, my students feel the energy I bring and it
motivates them to want to show me their gifts. Their gifts may be hidden or they may
take time to develop, but a true leader shows the patience, the interest, and the supportive
environment for them to emerge.
Leadership comes in degrees of good and bad, but they are not mutually
exclusive. Bad Leadership (Kellerman, 2004) helped to clarify what the leadership in my
organization really is. Kellerman put a name to the types of bad leadership, definitions,
and examples of people in history who have exhibited these types of leadership. In my

organization, the leadership is intemperate, callous, and insular; however, it is seldom
sprinkled with generosity and acknowledgement. When you work in a toxic environment,
there is validation after reading a book like Bad Leadership. If you are a passionate
member of the organization, this speaks volumes to how you want to lead or be lead.
Although there may be levels of poor leadership in your organization, it does not mean
you cannot find ways to keep mind and your heart invested.
My increasing understanding of leadership helps me to clarify how
transformational leadership is the most effective in an organization. I see myself as a
transformative leader in the classroom. I will stand by my convictions when it comes to
how and what I need to teach my high school ESL students. I know what moves them, I
know what inspires them, and I know what will help push them intrinsically to their
goals. Once my door is closed, there is a reciprocal process of teaching and learning that
occurs between all of us. In Teaching to Trangress: Education as the practice to freedom
(1994), bell hooks speaks to the values of being engaged and invested in the classroom. I
take these words to heart, because if your heart is not invested, what are you doing there?
And more importantly, who are you hurting? In any organization, there are those who
taint, those who are complacent, and those who want change and innovation; if you and
your leader are not in tune, there are ways you can create great leadership for yourself or
for those who look to you for guidance and alliance.
I will stand by my principles, not my principal, because my students deserve an
authentic, passionate, and transformative leader. In the 21
century, we need to be in a
place where we can co-create our future and take ownership of it. Leadership is in all of
us; if the opportunity presents itself, I hope each individual recognizes it and flies with it.

Block, P. (2008). Community the structure of belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom. New
York: Routledge.
Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters.
Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Part 2: Scholarly Characteristics
Criteria Scoring
The platform bridges or connects
your understanding and experience of
leadership and the course materials
and content.
5 4 3 2 1

The platform includes insight(s)
about yourself as a leader, based on
brief but concrete examples and
descriptions from the present, and
your hopes or intentions or both.
5 4 3 2 1

Criterion Scoring
Ideas and Content:
-Writer grounds espoused
theory(ies) about leadership by
citing specific authors/ theorists and
includes details (paraphrased or
verbatim) from their works or ideas.
-Writer provides brief concrete
examples and details from current
practice or what hopes to do or both.

5 4 3 2 1

5 4 3 2 1

Organization: Writer composes a
platform that is well organized so
that the readers may move through
text easily.
5 4 3 2 1

Voice: Writer is engaged, imparts
personal tone, individuality
5 4 3 2 1

Conventions: Writer demonstrates
standard spelling, punctuation,
grammar and attribution of sources,
if necessary.
5 4 3 2 1