Philosophy on Leadership

Essay by LILRed617College, Undergraduate October 2004

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What is leadership? There are many definitions from all different perspectives, culturally, religiously, politically, and even in a family. In fact, leadership is many different things to different people in different circumstances. When most people think of leadership, they often think first of famous individuals. They may think of great political leaders: Washington, Churchill, and Roosevelt. They may think of the leaders of social movements: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Harriet Tubman. They may think of spiritual leaders: Jesus, Mohammed, and Mother Theresa. Yet there are infamous leaders such as Hitler and Stalin who are not always referenced, but in fact were influential enough to cause great harm to such a large population of people. Obviously, leadership is not always or automatically good.

Unlike Plato's theory, The Philosopher King, I don't believe that good leadership skills are natural or something one is born with. I believe that a person learns from their environment and has a real motivation to rise up out of the rest and become a true leader.

Just as people do, leaders come in countless varieties. The definitions of the leadership role vary widely. Some definitions of leadership are based on leader characteristics, some on leader behaviors, others on outcomes of their actions. Regardless of these it is a necessity that someone is needed to serve as the medium for guiding and encouraging people to work together. There are so many different types of leaders for all different types of groups, but there are only so many characteristics that I feel a leader must posses in order to be successful. Among those qualities are loyalty, determination, flexibility, persuasion, and above all a good heart. With the right incentive and these qualities I believe a person can become a great leader.

A leader must be loyal...