Leadership 21st century Essay

5218 Words Oct 14th, 2013 21 Pages
Leadership for the Twenty First Century

Writing Paper #2

Leadership for the Twenty First Century

University of Charleston Graduate School


Leadership for the Twenty First Century


As we enter the 21st Century there is a serious question arising concerning our capacity

to deal with the challenges. Based on a review and synthesis across a range of literatures

covering management, organization, leadership, and learning and development, this paper

identifies some of the issues, challenges, and opportunities likely to characterize the leadership

of the 21st century. This new age will be increasingly
…show more content…
They acquire power,

Leadership for the Twenty First Century

wisdom, and courage naturally (Yukl, 2002). The Great Man theory was prevalent amongst

scholars dur-ing the 19th Century and into the 20th, and may have influenced the “inherent view

of leader-ship” that embodied much of early 20th Century thought on leadership (Kirkpatrick

and Locke, 1991) and was largely manifest in the trait theories that gained ground in the early

decades of last century.

Trait theorists also assumed that leaders were born; they possessed personal

characteristics differing from the masses who, generally, were keen or needed to be led

(Hollander, 1986). Traits included appearance, intelligence, strength, bearing, and even station

or position in society. Trait theories dominated leadership research until the 1940s, but were

eventually overcome by the fact that it was impossible to identify traits that explained and

predicted leadership under all conditions (Nye, 2008). The assumption that Great Men and those

with leadership potential are born kept attention away from developmental aspects of leadership

(Hollander, 1986). What experiences and education contribute to a leader’s development? There

was also an aspect of elitism in these views, as leaders are born privileged; only the privileged

could become leaders. We don’t know if
Open Document