Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Leadership is exemplified by growth. It is not enough to be a strong leader; in order to develop that leadership, one must continue to grow. In order to grow, one must be in the company of likeminded people. Hence, the power of networking to increase and enhance one's leadership development is great. When I look at my leadership development over the past four years, I am able to identify definite growth. This growth was facilitated by the networking situations in which I placed myself or created.
Previous research in this area reveals that women in general, and black women in particular, have a unique style of leadership which is displayed in different ways from the "typical, male model of leadership. The theoretical framework I will use for this investigation will present these differences in a positive light and show how a Black woman's perspective is invaluable in formal and informal leadership positions.
Currently, different definitions of "management" and "leadership" are being recognized. Leadership is visionary, initiatory, charismatic. innovative, and strategic. In contrast, management means maintaining momentum, balancing interests, stabilizing forces, and implementing tactical plans (Russell Reynolds Associates 4). Black women are both leaders and managers in the corporate world. Herein lies a potential for dynamism which many exemplify. I would submit that Black women must do both extremely well to attain and retain their executive positions.
Many organizations have internal forn1al networking and mentor programs in place, which is very positive; these should definitely continue. I recommend that Black women executives become even more willing to network with and mentor young Black women who aspire to attain similar leadership positions. This contribute to their leadership development in the organizational context by helping them establish relationships and giving them access information useful to career development.
Shoffner, Kayren J., "Making the Net work : the influence of networking on black women executives' leadership in the telecommunications industry" (1997). Honors Theses. 1177.