The Character of Leadership: Political Realism and Public Virtue in Nonprofit Organizations

Overview

"We are beholden to Machivel, and writers of that kind, who openly and unmasked declare what [people] do in fact, and not what they ought to do; for it is impossible to join the wisdom of the serpent and the innocence of the dove, without a previous knowledge of the nature of evil; as without this, virtue lies exposed and unguarded." Sir Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)What does political savvy have to do with running a nonprofit organization? According to the authors of this practical and empowering guide, it's essential to

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Overview

"We are beholden to Machivel, and writers of that kind, who openly and unmasked declare what [people] do in fact, and not what they ought to do; for it is impossible to join the wisdom of the serpent and the innocence of the dove, without a previous knowledge of the nature of evil; as without this, virtue lies exposed and unguarded." Sir Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)What does political savvy have to do with running a nonprofit organization? According to the authors of this practical and empowering guide, it's essential to success. But can political know-how and altruistic values comfortably coexist in a nonprofit leader? According to Michael and Deborah Bradshaw Jinkins, the most effective leaders are those who combine the expertise of their discipline and their deeply held values with political skills, enabling their expertise and values to flourish in real-world conditions. The Character of Leadership is a compelling tutorial in the use of pragmatic and principled politics that will help individuals become better leaders.Drawing from the experiences of leaders in a variety of nonprofit organizations, this book gives readers a viable approach to rethinking the practice of leadership. This book helps them examine their current practice and the organizations they serve, reflect on their character as leaders, and gain political skills for value-rich leadership.While most nonprofit leaders have a clear sense of their ultimate goals, they tAnd to be idealistic about their Andeavors, viewing politics skeptically-even disdainfully. Much of what they learn in professional schools and their own highest ideals may actually work against their effective leadership. This much-needed guide offers a practical, principled approach to the politics of leadership.As their model, the authors use one of the smartest political observers of all time-Niccolo Machiavelli. While the dictionary uses his name to define cutthroat politics, many contemporary

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every leader will find this book a richly rewarding read. Itlegitimizes power and challenges leaders to embrace it and use itin their service to society." —Paul Hersey, president, Center forLeadership Studies and author of The Situational Leader

"A fresh and systematic look at the writings of Machiavelli enablesthe reader to see beyond the opportunism that is so oftenassociated with Machiavelli's name to a realistic and principledset of strategies for achieving public virtue." —David A.Erlandson, professor of educational administration, Texas A&MUniversity

"The Jinkinses have cut through much of the wishful thinking thatfloods our leadership discussions these days. In this remarkableexample of practical humanities scholarship, they have dusted off agreat political thinker and put him to work to illumine ourrealities. Those who lead all sorts of nonprofit organizations canbenefit from this bracing encounter with political realism."—James Wind, president, The Alban Institute and author of Placesof Worship

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787941208
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/27/1998
  • Series: J-B US non-Franchise Leadership Series , #163
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 753,831
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL JINKINS is associate professor of pastoral theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he served for thirteen years as a pastor in the United States and Britain. DEBORAH BRADSHAW JINKINS has served more than twenty years in public education as teacher, principal, grant writer, and accountability and compliance monitor of school district effectiveness. Currently she is founding principal for NYOS (Not Your Ordinary School), a charter school in Austin, Texas.

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Table of Contents

The Machiavelli Principle.

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE.

We're Not Past the Past.

Exercising a Hermeneutic of Suspicion: Or, Whose History Do We PayAttention To?

The Perils of an Unarmed Prophet.

The Trouble with Mercenaries.

Foreseeing the Unforeseeable.

MAKING CHANGE IMAGINABLE WHERE YOU ARE.

Developing the Sense of Smell.

Are You in a Principality or a Republic?

Understanding the Ecology of Leadership and Power.

Authenticity and Duplicity.

NURTURING CHARACTER FOR REALISTIC LEADERSHIP.

Virtue Redefined: Becoming a Leader of Consequence.

Integrity.

Courage.

Flexibility.

Talent.

Prudence.

DEVELOPING POLITICAL SKILLS.

What Competence Looks Like.

Making Political Connections Without Toadying.

Builing Leadership Teams.

Planning Strategy with the Whole System in Mind.

Attracting Money Through Accountability and Good Will.

Dealing with Sabotage and Opposition.

Conclusion: Passion Is Not Enough.

References.

Index.

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