A Life Full of Meaning. Some Suggestions and Some Material by R. W. J. Keeble

By R. W. J. Keeble

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He is therefore not at all a director and less a stimulator and initiator than a counsellor and communicator, more a morale-raiser and enabler than an organiser and expert. In most cases, of course, the aims of a group are not likely to be expressed in terms of their personal growth but as a concrete and realisable objective, such as preparing their entry for a drama festival or improving their performance at basketball or painting a mural: the leader-counsellor helps them to move in the desired direction and uses his skill and greater maturity to improve interaction between the members so as to contribute to individual growth while they are working for their objective.

In this sense anyone can give a lead and it could well be a great part of our job as adult workers to find or create situations in which anyone can give a lead, indeed in which someone must. Obviously there can be many such situations, many possible stimuli and many different roles a person can play in giving a lead—sometimes as the expert (provided that his knowledge is acceptably offered), sometimes as a scapegoat, sometimes as planner or mediator. Indeed such a realisation leads to the possibility that leadership "resides not primarily and certainly not exclusively in an individual leader" but is potentially a function of the whole group acting as a group.

Emotional stability, too, is an aspect of reliability that one so often hears quoted as a desirable characteristic. A leader who has the serenity to meet difficulties and hostility without panic and without nagging other people and who can help his group to keep steadily on course, is usually considered mature and capable and to have the strength and consistency that groups expect and certainly need. We have, perhaps, overlooked one or two rather obvious factors, such as a willingness to accept responsibility and all the tasks and strains of the leadership position, and to be aware of what it means in regard to such duties as forward planning and personal attention to subordinates.

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