A Long Standing Fascination With What Makes A Leader?

1201 Words Sep 18th, 2014 5 Pages
There seems to be a long standing fascination with what makes a leader. Studies dating back to 1869 attempt to identify the characteristics these “extraordinary individuals” possess. (McCkleskey, 2014). However, what these studies have found over the years, is that there isn’t one set of common characteristics found when leaders are compared; there isn’t that one “thing” that stands apart. (Great Man article). One of the biggest questions still remaining from all those studies is, “what is leadership?” Rost (1995) states that while there are several problems in studying leadership, the first problem is there is no commonly accepted definition or everyone is expected to use their own. Rost goes on to state that 300 people reading the same article on leadership could likely result in 301 different ideas on what leadership is with the readers and the author defining leadership differently. Keskes, stating that there isn’t a set definition, does offer a very broad definition of leadership, “the relationship between an individual and a group built around some common interest wherein the group behaves in a manner directed or determined by the leader” (2013). While, as mentioned above, studies have not found a common physical or personality characteristics between leaders, there is one thing leaders have in common; leaders have a vision (Bennis 1992).

Leadership Stereotypes One of the biggest stereotypes of leadership, is that leaders are extroverted.


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