A Historical Views Of Leadership

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Part III – Historical Views of Leadership
• Modern attempts to understand leadership often ignore the considerable insights provided by great figures of the past.
• Bernard M. Bass demonstrates that leadership was a recognized phenomenon from the emergence of civilization.
• Sampling of thinking about leadership from different perspectives as well as from various time periods and cultures will be given.
• All voices used, highlight the key issues identified by Spitzberg: the importance of the leader, the recruitment of leaders, the process of leadership, and the relationship between leaders and followers.
• J. Thomas Wren incorporates many different philosophers’ views in order to demonstrate that leaders differed greatly in the
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• Greeks admired and wanted heroic leaders that had 1. justice and judgment (Agamemnon), 2. wisdom and counsel (Nestor), 3. shrewdness and cunning (Odysseus), and 4. valor and activism (Achilles).
• Machiavelli believed that ‘there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to lead in the introduction of a new order of things.’ o He believes that leaders needed steadiness, firmness, and concern for the maintenance of authority, power, and order in government.
• Hegel’s (1830) Philosophy of Mind argues that by first serving as a follower, a leader subsequently can best understand his followers, which people still believe today.
10 – The Hero As King – Thomas Carlyle
• Kingship is a form of heroism.
• A King is the commander over Men – subordinates must loyally surrender themselves to their King.
• A King commands over its people to furnish them with constant practical teaching, and to tell them what they are to do.
• Carlyle believes that putting the Ablest Man in each country in a supreme place and loyally respect him will lead to a perfect government.
• People will believe that what the Ablest Man tells them to do will be the wisest and the fittest. o However, most people cannot do this. They cannot entrust everything to one person, they need evidence and structure.
11 – Rulers and Generals
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