Last week's definition: Leaders should posses the right attitude- having the right attitude includes being a visionary leader - which is the ability to lead people towards shared positive dreams - even when things are constantly changing. One of the things constantly changing is group dynamics. Leaders need to be aware of group dynamics. Successful leaders need to, also, avoid thin slicing and racial prejudice.
Thin slicing means making very quick decision with minimal amount of information.
As this week's reading The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall For Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men discusses, looks could be deceiving. Some people could be very attractive but that doesn't mean that they are intelligent or talented. The former president of the United States of America, Warren Hardling is a good example of the impact of looks. The former president looked intelligent, competent, and capable of leading a nation. The truth of the matter is he was none of those things. If leaders were basing their decision on very little information or just on looks they wouldn't have sufficient information about their followers. Proper knowledge of followers enables leaders to be effective because they would know how to communicate with them. By all means, leaders should avoid thin-slicing.
Tatum's article goes along side with the Gladwel's reading. Prejudices and stereotyping encourage hate among people. The one thing I found interesting from Tatum's reading is the definition of racism. I have always thought racism was unkind act of people towards another race. According to Tatum, racism is a system of advantage based on race. When I was in Ethiopia I have almost never heard of racism because everyone looked and acted, more or less, the same. But since I have moved to the U.S. I have noticed that there is a big issue about race and some groups of people benefit from racism than others. I hope people stop judging others based on either thin slicing or racial prejudice.
Gladwell, M. (2005). "The Warren Harding Error: Why we fall for tall, dark, and handsome men." Blink: The power of thinking without thinking (pp. 72 - 98). New York: Pushkin Enterprises.
Tatum, B. D. (1997). "Defining Racism: Can we talk?" Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (pp. 3 - 17). New York: Basic Books.