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The great man theory - Assignment Example

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This essay discusses that the concept of leadership has had massive debates over the years. Various analysts and researchers have given varying views on their perception of a good leader and who is not. In order to come up with the best definitions, various theories were put in place. …
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Download file to see previous pages The article takes a deeper look at the great man theory that puts it clear that a great leader is God given not man-made. It only provides two options; either one is born as leader or one is not born a leader. The history of the great man theory dates back to the 19th century, when great leaders seen at that time were in born heroes, for instance Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander the Great. The theory had also focused on the highly quested positions in the army which were hereditary from father to son. This also led to the name, great man theory since no women were holding commanding positions. In the 1800s, military authoritative positions would paint the leadership skills of a man. With the assumption that the skills are inborn, the son of the leader was to take over since it was believed they had the same skills as their fathers. Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish writer, is credited for his move to popularize the theory in the 1840s. According to Thomas Carlyle, the history of the world is nothing, but a bibliography of great men. He also believed that great leaders are those born with divine inspiration and proper characteristics to lead a group of people. The theory simply tends to separate leaders and followers. It gives the assumption that leaders differed from their followers. The theory portrays the fact that, in society different people posses different levels of intelligence, energy and moral strength, and in whatever way people are influenced to go, they are always led by the superior minded few. (Miller, Vandome & McBrewster, 2010). Back in the days, many leaders had the opportunity of having a chance of leadership through the birthright. This hindered the lesser in society in having the opportunity to be leaders. This brought up the assumption that leadership abilities are inherent. Proponents of this theory comprise of the world great leaders who came into power due to situational causes, for instance, John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Lee Lacocca. In another concept, a great leader always steps up regardless of their social status or location. A person with inborn leadership qualities will effect positive change in every place he or she goes. A person may not be a holder of an authoritative post but influences great masses to any direction he or she wishes. In deed, this is a description of a born leader according to the great man theory. Applications of this theory are visible in modern day management. Apart from government organizations, private company owners prefer to hand over their businesses to their sons after their retirement. They believe the leadership skills in them have been passed on to their sons. With this, one is able to see the long life of an organization, which has been led by one family for over 40 years. In some cases, the application of the inherent leadership posts may be difficult for offsprings but situational purposes make the shoes fit for them. Another application may be evident in contesting of parliamentary or presidential posts. In many instances, it has been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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