The notion of the "everyday problematic" (Smith 1987) is used to examine the experiences of three doctoral students engaged in research about leadership for women, with a focus on leadership discourse, feminist perspectives, and organizational change. "Everyday problematic" refers to the discrepancy between what is defined as leadership and what women "know" about leadership from personal experiences. The purpose of the paper is to initiate a dialog that critically examines the underlying assumptions about power and knowledge in leadership discourse. An argument is that traditional leadership models and assigned roles create an "everyday problematic" for the "knowers" of leadership. A feminist critique of traditional leadership models is provided, with attention given to the ways in which leadership is socially constructed and how traditional models fail to consider the different perspectives of race and gender. A feminist approach urges the use of a democratic lens that allows multiple perspectives to emerge. Teachers of leaders are challenged to model openmindedness, to behave as learners, and to value communication. The appendix outlines parallels in the works of Mary Parker Follett and James MacGregor Burns. (42 references) (LMI)
Paper presented at the Annual Conference on Research on Women and Education (San Jose, CA, November 7-10, 1991).