Leadership is a relationship between a leader and a follower. The characteristics of leadership are power, influence,
obligation, and responsibility. The actions of a leader usually have an impact on a great number of people.
Review the existing theories on leadership. Select one theory that you feel has the most relevance to the modern
workplace. Explain why you chose this theory, and provide a detailed discussion on how it relates to the modern
workplace. Integrate at least one resource from the Walden Library, and include its citation in the APA format at the
end of your document.
Great Man Theory
Leaders are born and not made.
Great leaders will arise when there is a great need.
Early research on leadership was based on the the study of people who were already great leaders. These people
were often from the aristocracy, as few from lower classes had the opportunity to lead. This contributed to the
notion that leadership had something to do with breeding.
The idea of the Great Man also strayed into the mythic domain, with notions that in times of need, a Great Man
would arise, almost by magic. This was easy to verify, by pointing to people such as Eisenhower and Churchill, let
alone those further back along the timeline, even to Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and the Buddah.
Gender issues were not on the table when the 'Great Man' theory was proposed. Most leaders were male and the
thought of a Great Woman was generally in areas other than leadership. Most researchers were also male, and
concerns about andocentric bias were a long way from being realized.
The Great Man Theory of Leadership
A Brief Overview of the Great Man Theory of Leadership
, About.com Guide
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Have you ever heard the phrase, "Great leaders are born,not made"? This quote sums up the basic tenant of the great
man theory of leadership, which suggest that the capacity for leadership is inborn. According to this theory, you're
either a natural born leader or you're not.
The term "Great Man" was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality,
especially in terms of military leadership.
History of the Great Man Theory of Leadership
The great man theory of leadership became popular during the 19th-century. The mythology behind some of the
world's most famous leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Alexander the Great
helped contribute to the notion that great leaders are born and not made. In many examples, it seems as if the right
man for the job seems to emerge almost magically to take control of a situation and lead a group of people into
safety or success.
Historian Thomas Carlyle also had a major influence on this theory of leadership, at one point stating that, "The