First off, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t quite get Charles Kadushin’s theories and concepts sometimes. Tackling chapter 6 of his book, Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts and Findings, I found myself teetering on the brink of knowing and not knowing. Many of the concepts when put in simplified English are second nature to how we as a humans behave in social situations, but other concepts just go in one ear and out the other.
However, what I did take from his discussion of small groups and leadership in networks is that 1) our MACT classroom is a network in a box because everything that is happening in that box is visible to all of us and we are aware of each other’s existence, and 2) groups have leaders and those leaders are often those who are deemed to be the most “popular” because of what they can offer to those around them. Kadushin also states that leaders are good listeners.
My question then is, in our small group, the MACT 2012 class, can everyone be called a leader? We have a room full of Type-A personalities (in a good way) that not only have so much to give each other in terms of knowledge, skills and friendship, but who are also willing to listen and learn and absorb things from each other, which to me is one of the most important traits of a leader. The ability to give and receive without the notion of superiority. We’re all in the same boat, let’s make our way to shore together. That asymmetry that should be there when a leader is present is absent in our group because we’re all helping to lead one another.
Of course, I just said all this and then it occured to me that maybe we’re not all leaders, but we’re a leaderless group. There is no hierarchy, just horizontal connections.