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Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee: moments of trust, power and heautogogic leadership in post-compulsory education

Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee: moments of trust, power and heautogogic leadership in post-compulsory education

Jameson, Jill ORCID: 0000-0002-9545-8078 (2011) Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee: moments of trust, power and heautogogic leadership in post-compulsory education. In: Satterthwaite, Jerome, Piper, Heather, Sikes, Pat and Webster, Simon, (eds.) Trust in Education: Truth and Values. Discourse, Power and Resistance Series (8). Trentham Books Ltd, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, pp. 69-84. ISBN 9781858564883

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The boxing similes ‘dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee’, applied to educational situations, refer to informal, authentic ‘breakthrough’ moments of trustworthy leadership that occur every day in organisations at all hierarchical levels, taking people forward to achieve beneficial outcomes, despite barriers and tensions. Such moments of dazzling virtuoso leadership, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always authentic, ‘dance’ to inspire others. They can also ‘sting’, speaking truth to power with harshly accurate critique at times when others are too frightened to speak. They occur spontaneously and the leaders enacting them may be anyone, though some hardy individuals tend be the authors of such moments more than others. This chapter analyses selected moments of authentic values-based leadership that emerged from data collected in 28 interviews, five surveys and five focus groups carried out with educational staff in a series of research studies in 2006-10 on trust and leadership in post-compulsory education. Rather than focus on individual ‘leaders’ or ‘followers’, on formal leadership development, organisational systems or management hierarchies, this chapter analyses selected instances of heutagogic leadership that emerged from the complex interplay of variant discourses interwoven during the research studies. An interpretative phenomenological research paradigm was followed, in which the researcher was curious about discovering what leadership meant to the participants, facilitating a debate regarding how leadership interacted (or not) with trust in the experiential world of educational staff, and what the problems were in organisational settings described by participants as ‘low trust’. The concept of ‘heutagogic’ leadership was developed to describe self-directed moments of authentic leadership that came to light spontaneously during the course of the research, when participants demonstrated that ‘everyone in the workplace should be their own leader’. The chapter recommends that the ‘heutagogic leadership’ model may prove useful in improving understandings about the development of trust in post-compulsory educational leadership.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: trust, education, leadership, heutagogic leadership, critical discourse analysis
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Centre for Leadership & Enterprise
Faculty of Education & Health > Education Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Secondary, LLTE & PE & Sport
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:19
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
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