Who Can Lead a Change?

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Literature Reviews
Who Can Lead a Change?

Yi Guo

Reading and Writing, ALS 162
Instructor: Celeste King
12/3/2012

Literature Reviews
Who Can Lead a Change?
Many people have the same childhood dream of being a outstanding personage who can lead a historic change and even the event was named in their honor. As time goes by, most of them have been content with the plain life, they have gotten used to relying on others to tackle the social problems. However, some of them still stick to their perspectives that they could not wait for heaven, they should make changes by themselves. So, what kind of person can lead a change? In the articles “Eve’s Daughters,” “Extreme Do-Gooders– What Makes Them Tick?” and “Agents of Change and Nonviolent Action,” the authors have given some different views, and they have also shared some common threads. The answer they give is the leaders of changes are not charismatic or omnipotent person, they are just ordinary people but with broad views, courage and faith. Firstly, according to “Eve’s Daughter,” and “Agents of Change and Nonviolent Action,” one characteristic that a leader should obtain is the broad views. These two articles hold the same opinion but argue from different angles. In the article “Eve’s Daughters,” Miriam Polster believes the change leader should have a far sight, they should not be satisfied with the status quo, they are always capable to find the insufficient aspects and flaws in the society form a long-term vision (Polster, 2001). She writes “The hero has an original perspective that distinguishes her from others who settle for agreement and conformity are too beaten down to ask necessary questions” (Polster, 2001, p.162). In the long run, many policies or developmental direction are faulty with hidden risks. Far sight could help a leader build a sense of unsatisfied and enforce them to detect the invisible problems which may break out years later. Besides, far sight would also provide leaders a clear path though which they can find a advancing and specific way to solve these problems. However, in the article “Agents of Change and Nonviolent Action,” Hardy Merriman insists a thorough view of the current situation is the necessary prerequisite to the leadership. He writes, to lead a change, the leader need to precisely analysis the current situation and make strategic plans. Also like coordinate the subordinators, communicate with the public or related organizations and so on so forth, all these aspects of a successful change need a accurate analysis and an appropriate decision which based on a thorough view of the current situation (Merriman, 2008). The thorough view of the current situation could help the leader easily catch the problem, produce a specific plan and also change their strategies as the situation evolves. So, the two articles both insist the broad view is the necessary prerequisite of a change leader despite focusing on different details. The change leaders first should have the ability to find problems around them, and then correctly analyze both the current and prospective situations. Secondly, in the articles “Agents of Change and Nonviolent Action,” and “Extreme Do-Gooders– What Makes Them Tick?” the authors both point out the leader of a change does not need to be a omnipotent person. Merriman (2008) writes in the article “Agents of Change and Nonviolent Action,” a successful change does not rely on a charismatic leader or some kind of magical power. The leader does not need to be able to rally multitudes at one call, or to have a profound background. Making a change is a very laborious process and no one can complete it directly. According to Bill Drayton, a founder of the Ashoka, “The core defining element is that they simply cannot come to rest...until their...
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