Letters to Integral Leadership Review


Greetings Russ,

…I was a student of Joe Rost (1995-97) at USD. Joe just forwarded to me a link to your interview with him…it was great! Congrats!…

I also note in your journal, you had Denny Roberts write a nice note about Rost’s influence at the University of Miami-Ohio. I wanted you to know that my dissertation research was on Rost’s postindustrial concept (an evaluative study of its currency and praxis) and that I just recently accepted an Assistant Professor position at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Their entire program is based in Rost’s postindustrial concept, and, as far as I have discovered, is the most successful Leadership Studies program in the USA that uses Rost’s work as a cornerstone. Please see “Making the Case for Leadership Studies and check-out our program


> Michael S. Kearns

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Dear Russ,

On the International Leadership Association listserver messages about our failure of leadership in responding to the Katrina disaster have been on target, and the whole episode of Katrina should make the most fervent great-person leadership advocate rethink that whole paradigm. Clearly, Bush has been the United States’ most visible adherent of the great-person leadership model, and I think that there is ample evidence to indicate that it has not worked in his administration. The Katrina episode is only the worst of many other examples that could be given.

Someone wrote that some leadership experts would call what happened in the Katrina disaster or even what should have happened as a result of the Katrina disaster “management.” Since I have been one of the strongest advocates of distinguishing leadership from management, I would like to offer my opinion on that subject.

Succinctly, I think that it is a case where leadership should have happened and didn’t. The response called for leadership defined as “an influence relationship among leaders and collaborators who intend significant changes that reflect their mutual purposes.” This is the only kind of approach to leadership that would have worked in responding to the Katrina disaster. There were (and are) multiple agencies involved (governmental and nongovernmental) with specialized expertise who could have come together and agreed upon significant changes in disaster relief that reflected their mutual purposes quickly and effectively if a collaborative approach had been initiated at the very beginning and even before the catastrophe.

> Joseph Rost