Reading a draft paper about leadership recently, I was moved to poetry by a remark about “…recent research into leaders by Bryman, Northouse and Daft”. The following can of course be sung to the stirring chorus from The Eton Boating Song:
“Recent research into leaders
by Bryman and Northouse and Daft
implies that heroic figures
owe less to their genes than their craft
And subsequent studies reported
on leaders’ dilemmas and maps
suggest that conventional wisdom
still has a number of gaps
The definitive story of leaders
As masters whose interests we serve
Is being replaced by the concept
Of leaders we really deserve”
Note for students of leadership
Eton School provided the formative education of the current Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is regarded as symbolic of the British class system, where what is learned on “the playing fields of Eton” becomes values imbued in a disproportional number the country’s future political and military leaders. [Harrow School can claim to have produced more Prime Ministers, which is interesting, particularly to Old Harrovians].
For the sociologically-inclined, The Eton Boating Song may be an interesting topic for a Foucauldian analysis of power and privilege, including reflections on and interpretation of the leadership styles of David Cameron and George Osborne.
Such a scholarly initiative would benefit from including the best-known parody of the song [“The sexual life the Camel”], and from my poetic efforts above.
The image of Eton Boys was found on the excellent sporting website Arcadin Cricket Club