Essay on Leadership Theories: Great Man Theory

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Chapter 1: Leadership theories Leadership theories are attempts to answer some of the question people have about leadership. These theories range from simple “armchair philosophies” about the personal characteristics and effect relationship between leaders and followers and situations. Great man theory Thomas Carleyle, an influential Scottish historian, is given credit for the dictum: “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”. We can easily relate to Carleyle’s view since specific examples of men who seem to have changed the course of history come readily to mind de Gaulle, Hitler, Jesus Christ, Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Lenin, and Martin Luther King. Winston Churchill, a man who for many personifies the…show more content…
Chapter 1: Leadership theories Leadership theories are attempts to answer some of the question people have about leadership. These theories range from simple “armchair philosophies” about the personal characteristics and effect relationship between leaders and followers and situations. Great man theory Thomas Carleyle, an influential Scottish historian, is given credit for the dictum: “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”. We can easily relate to Carleyle’s view since specific examples of men who seem to have changed the course of history come readily to mind de Gaulle, Hitler, Jesus Christ, Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Lenin, and Martin Luther King. Winston Churchill, a man who for many personifies the great man, is the main subject of a recent book, the great man. On a less grand scale, there have been great man leaders in business and industry Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Mellon, Gould, Sloan and Harriman. In great man theory the emphasis is on the person, who he is and what makes him the way he is. Presumably, through studying the personality, behavior and characteristics of these great men, we can acquire greater awareness of leadership. This view implies that we can learn from how to become effective leaders by studying these men and emulating those characteristics that seem to account for their successful leadership. Very often, when people lament the critical shortage of leadership in American society, they are referring to the
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