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Disrupting binary conceptions of gender could be one of the most needed paradigmatic shifts in leadership studies. Nonbinary leadership paradigms can liberate people of all genders from a framework that forces them to describe their leader behaviors as aligned with or transgressive of a binary gender. Academic leadership studies has generally focused on differences between men and women and discrimination against women, with trans and nonbinary gender identities notably absent. Traditional models of leadership need to be interrogated to see if they hold up under a nonbinary lens. In this presentation, we will examine two dimensions of the iconic model of transformational leadership (Bass & Riggio, 2006). How does the dimension of idealized influence hold up against a wide variety of gendered embodiments? How have the experiences of nonbinary leaders prepared them to exercise individual consideration of people of all genders? This presentation will begin with foundational information about terminology, theories, workplace policing, and emerging research in leadership outside gender binaries. Informed by the authors’ research with 25 nonbinary lesbians; findings from the scattered but mighty literature exploring the experiences of nonbinary people in leadership dynamics; and our own experience as nonbinary leaders, the authors will then interrogate these two dimensions of the transformational leadership model. We will also explore how barriers to nonbinary leaders seem to transcend traditional models, meaning that nonbinary leaders will encounter them in their practice of transformational leadership. The presentation will conclude with a call to action and suggestions for future research.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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