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Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice: RCLA Event

Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice: RCLA Event

NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action will host a book celebration and discussion on "Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice" on Monday, February 25, from 12:00 – 1:30 pm.

The event will be a conversation with Mary Uhl-Bien, PhD, Howard Hawks Chair in Business Ethics and Leadership Management, University of Nebraska, and Sonia M. Ospina, PhD, Faculty Director of the Research Center for Leadership in Action, NYU Wagner.

The complex webs of relationships and interconnectivity in today’s work environment open up new worlds of possibility for organizational performance and leadership. At the same time, making decisions and taking action are more challenging and outcomes are less predictable.

For organizations to capitalize on these relationships and networks to achieve their missions requires challenging outdated leadership models that focus solely on individual leaders and assume top-down, linear causality, often ignoring context. Advancing theories of leadership that are more relevant to practice requires understanding how people connect and the implications of relational dynamics for leadership research and development. This, in turn, requires a dialogue among scholars and practitioners about the very meaning of relational leadership.

The new book, Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Conversation across Perspectives, edited by Mary Uhl-Bien and Sonia M. Ospina, documents the beginning of such a conversation among renowned leadership scholars. Incorporating a wide range of disciplines and perspectives (e.g., organizational behavior, communications, sociology, public policy, critical theory, feminist theory, relational theory), the authors address the theoretical, research and practical questions of attempting to develop a relational view of leadership.

At the book celebration, the editors will discuss what they have learned from working with the scholars and participants can continue a lively conversation about the questions, obstacles and the key next steps to advance work on relational leadership. The ultimate goal is to integrate multiple perspectives in developing actionable knowledge on relational leadership that can help address the challenges in today’s work environment.

The event will be held in the Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue at NYU Wagner.

RSVPs are required. RSVP now.



All kidding aside, Newark's Mayor Booker relates his policy challenges and success

All kidding aside, Newark's Mayor Booker relates his policy challenges and success

Dean Ellen Schall and Mayor Cory Booker.

     In a public conversation at NYU Wagner before more than 125 students, Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker offered hard-won insight, progress reports and humor in describing how his administration's strategies to reduce recidivism are contributing to broad civic improvement.

     Mayor Booker fielded questions October 8, 2009, about his pattern-breaking efforts from Ellen Schall, Dean of Wagner, and the audience on a day when, as it happened, he was attracting national attention for countering quips delivered by TV talk-show host Conan O'Brien at Newark's expense. The mayor told students that New Jersey's largest city is simply "not the butt of jokes," but conceded that matching O'Brien laugh-for-laugh is no easy challenge.

     But Booker had the audience chuckling at several points, even as he described serious and substantial efforts since his election in July, 2006, to set a national standard for urban transformation. He noted he has created several public/private partnerships and brought together civic group to rehabilitate and green the city's parks and playgrounds, doubled affordable housing construction, and set up model programs to assist at-risk youth and empower ex-offenders to thrive in meeting their family obligations.

     Booker said with evident pride that only 3 percent of the ex-offenders who participated in an innovative fraternity on fatherhood begun by the city two years ago have been re-arrested, showing that carefully tailored programs can end a publicly and personally tragic cycle of recidivism. He said he calls the fatherhood program DADS, or Delta Alpha Delta Sigma, he joked. He hopes that by working to bring proven business analytical measurements and operational management techniques to the city administration, such efforts will be scaled up and replicated elsewhere. "Most cities," he said, "don't have a mature prisoner-reentry system."

     The 39-year-old Mayor Booker said he's working to turn the city's well-regarded charter schools -- currently overseen by Wagner alumnus De'Shawn Wright -- "from "islands of excellence to hemispheres of hope." With the help of philanthropic organizations and researchers, transferring the Newark charters' formula for high achievement to the rest of the 45,000-student school system is achievable, he said.

     "Hopelessness is probably one of the worst toxins in any city, it's a cancer, and it really undermines what you're trying to do," said the mayor. But in referring to his deepening involvement in public service, he then added, "It hasn't been easy, but it's been so rewarding."

     The evening event was sponsored by The NYU Wagner Students for Criminal Justice Reform and The Black Allied Law Students Association.




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