Great man Theory-Leadership traits - Term Paper Example

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The evolution of this theory was due to the works of Thomas Carlyle who was one of the greatest historians of the 19th century. Carlyle once said, “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” This…
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Great man Theory-Leadership traits
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Download file to see previous pages ording to Carlyle, certain people are born with essential qualities that differentiate them from others allowing them to assume positions of power and authority (Tulsian 94).
In the great man theory, leadership is something intrinsic, which implies that people are born leaders, but not natured to become leaders (Johnson 171). The theory regards a leader as a hero who is there to accomplish anything for his followers against all odds. The theory further postulates that persons in power deserve to be there due to their peculiar endowment. In addition, the theory argues that distinctive characteristics of leaders remain stable in different groups over a prolonged period. Thus, the theory is of the opinion that all outstanding leaders share similar characteristics regardless of where and when they exercised their leadership skills (David & Frank 173).
Fredrick Adams Woods who was an American scholar supported Carlyle’s work further. Wood studied the historical impact of all the great rulers in Western Europe from the 12th century up to the French revolution in the late 18th century (Johnson & Pierce 177). The fact that early influential leaders were all men inspired the use of the term great man. In addition, majority of those who researched on leadership were male researchers, which further influenced the use of the term great man. Therefore, the evolution of the great man theory never took into consideration gender issues, which created a notion that only men had the traits of distinguished leaders. However, due to the continued emergence of many distinguished women leaders, the great man theory assumed a new name of the great person theory (Nance & Timothy 412).
There have been several critics who have come forward to question the applicability of the great man theory in determining who is a great leader and vice Versa (Murugan 337). The main criticism arises as a result of the set traits used to determine a great leader terming them as masculine traits. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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