Classical leadership

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Leadership is a complex reality, hence, it can constitute a shifting enigma. Tolstoy's bow-wave metaphor suggests that the leaders are mere figureheads who are propelled by events beyond their control.


It is composed of four perspectives. The trait approach states that the essence of the individual leader is critical but the context is not. The contingency approach states that the essence and the context are both knowable and critical. The situational approach means that certain contexts demand certain kinds of leadership. This situation requires flexibility from the leaders. The constitutive approach, which stems from the constructivist theories in the social sciences suggests that what the situation and the leader actually are is a consequence of acts and interpretations. In the constitutive approach, the situation and the leader do not have essences.My personal opinion is that leadership is a key task. People demand from their leaders direction or vision, trustworthiness, and optimism. Like effective parents, good leaders make people hopeful. Warren Bennis (2001) emphasized the four competencies of leadership: technical competence, people skills, conceptual skills, judgment, and character. Bennis believes that effective leadership is primarily the function of one's character.I believe that these four leadership perspectives coincide with John Adair's approach on functional leadership. ...
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