What Makes A Great Leader?

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What exactly makes a great leader? Do certain personality traits make people better-suited to leadership roles, or do characteristics of the situation make it more likely that certain people will take charge? When we look at the leaders around us, be it our current boss or the President, we might find ourselves wondering exactly why these individuals excel in such positions. People have long been interested in leadership throughout human history, but it has only been relatively recent that a number of formal leadership theories have emerged. Interest in leadership increased during the early part of the twentieth century. Early leadership theories focused on what qualities distinguished between leaders and followers, while subsequent…show more content…
Have you ever heard a leader described as “born to lead?” According to this point of view (Great Man Theory), great leaders are “simply born with the necessary internal characteristics such as charisma, confidence, intelligence, and social skills that make them natural born leaders.” Have you ever heard that leaders are made, not born? Consider this the flip side of the Great Man Theory (Behavioral Theory). This leadership theory focuses on “the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.” We have learned that the brain 's neo-cortex, which governs analytical and technical ability, grasps concepts quickly, while utilizing an expanding network of association and comprehension. It operates with magnificent efficiency and supports the Great Man Theory. We have learned that the brain 's limbic system manages our feelings, impulses, and drives. The limbic system is a much slower learner and is accomplished through lots of repetition and practice, motivation, and feedback. It operates at a slower, more cautious pace and supports the Behaviorial Theory. The Great Man Theory of leadership states that some people are born with the necessary attributes that set them apart from others and that these traits are responsible for their assuming positions of power and authority. A leader is a hero who accomplishes goals against all odds for his followers. The theory implies that
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