Defining Leadership

This paper is about leadership. Along with a few others, one leader has led to me having a flood of thoughts, which may lead to more papers on the subject. Your comments will dictate to what extent I carry this theme forward.

It begins with a 71-year-old anthropologist who came to Camp Shasta as a very young boy. During the ensuing years, he has helped shape the world with his work and continues to be an extraordinary influence. 

His name is Daniel (Danny) Perlman, Ph.D. You can learn more about him and his works by reading his book: “The Practice of International Health.”

Danny lives in Berkely but visits us frequently when he is not in Africa. This Saturday, we were lucky to have him with us, during which our conversation drifted to the topic of leadership. Danny was adamant about not being a leader or having ever been one. I had to disagree. While in our memories, we saw no leadership behavior from him as a child and young adult, this is a role he has unquestionably assumed over the years. Beginning with his choice to further his education and earn his doctorate, he has since become a leader in every sense of the word. When I told him this, he insisted he had never thought of himself as a leader. I told him that someone who gave all he could to others and enabled them to grow as individuals surely had attained the highest form of leadership I could imagine. When I pointed this out to him, he became silent and realized I WAS talking about him. He has become a leader, not by design, but by authentically growing into that role over time. More to follow.   Sy

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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