The Social Psychology of Leadership Development
By Dr. Linda Ginzel
What does leadership mean to you? How do you develop more capacity in yourself and those within your organization to both manage and lead? How can you better understand the interpersonal dynamics of social interaction and gain greater self understanding to allow for better decision making and improved outcomes in your organization?
Leadership development requires experimenting with your own behaviors in order to foster flexibility, build resilience, and engender trust. Dr. Ginzel’s work enables executives to develop a sense-making mindset similar to how design thinkers explore problem and solution spaces with ethnography and rapid prototyping.
Thinking more like a social psychologist is the key to leading through dynamic uncertainty and market complexities. People generally act as though the causes of action emanate from inside the person. However, in strong situations (contexts modulated by time and actors), behavior is more likely due to factors external to the person. As an executive, it is important to recognize the important role you play as a part of someone else’s environment and use your new understanding of contingencies to design and lead better systems.
Dr. Ginzel helps executives to make better choices by understanding that they have more control over the various factors in people’s context and situations – such as the work environment, rewards, structures, peers, physical space, nature of the work itself, than they do over people’s internal dispositions or personality. Rather than try to change people, executives can improve outcomes by building stronger situations that yield high performance.
About Dr. Ginzel
Dr. Linda E. Ginzel has been on the University of Chicago Booth School of Management faculty since 1992. She specializes in negotiation skills, managerial psychology and executive development. Recent interest is focused on what she terms Leadership Capital: the courage, wisdom and capacity to decide when to manage and when to lead. In 2000 President Clinton awarded her a President’s Service Award, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service directed at solving critical social problems. She is also the two-time recipient of the James S. Kemper Jr. Grant in Business Ethics.
In addition to her responsibilities at Chicago Booth, Ginzel is the president of Kids In Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety. She also served as director of the Consumer’s Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. She is a charter member of the Association for Psychological Science, as well as a member of the Academy of Management.
Ginzel received her bachelor’s degree with distinction and Summa Cum Laude in psychology from the University of Colorado in 1984. She studied experimental social psychology at Princeton University where she earned a Master’s degree in 1986 and a PhD in 1989. While working on her PhD, she also worked as senior consultant in training and development for Mutual of New York’s Group Pensions and Operations Center. Ginzel has taught at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. She received the 2011 Faculty Excellence Award, the Inaugural Global Hillel Einhorn Teaching Award in 2013 and was named an Impact Professor by the class of 2014.
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