Thinking about leadership, particularly during a crisis, means thinking about what kind of community we are.
The idea for this book came up during the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic during Leadership and Political Theory classes at the University of Trento. At that time, all lessons were online as social distancing did not allow us to be present in a classroom. Nevertheless, we all wanted to leave a physical trace of what we were doing via Zoom: a sort of reification of what was happening online. Collecting various papers written by students in that context and publishing a book seemed the best way. The book idea served to motivate students by giving them a clear purpose. It was also an excellent way to work as a team with a common goal. Thinking about leadership, particularly during a crisis, means thinking about what kind of community we are. Looking at how community members define leadership is like testing the community itself. Participants discussed the importance of supporting each other and recognizing everyone’s leadership potential. Moreover, this test reinforced the importance of always being aware of the context in which we act. The book is also a snapshot of some reflections on leadership made by students at a specific point in their lives. It is a leadership exercise in itself.
Paolo Carta is Professor of Leadership and Governance at the Law School and Professor of Political Theory at the School of International Studies at the University of Trento.