Document Type


Publication Date



Professor Howard Gardner's superb book Leading Minds is a study of leadership that, while prominent in the discipline of education, has received relatively little attention in the legal literature. Leading Minds thoughtfully argues that effective story-telling is critical to effective leadership. In this essay, the author explores in a very preliminary way the relationship between Gardner's thesis and what deans do or should do in order to lead their law schools and, more broadly, the different constituencies they represent.

In his group of 11 leaders, Gardner includes an academic leader--Robert Maynard Hutchins, who was dean of Yale Law School and then president of the University of Chicago. Gardner posits that all leaders share a common trait: the ability to construct and convey a powerful narrative. In setting forth the basic thesis of his book, Gardner writes, "[A] key--perhaps the key--to [successful] leadership ... is the effective communication of a story."

Publication Citation

36 U. Tol. L. Rev. 207-211 (2004)