Political Behaviour Impact to Leadership Excellence

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POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR

LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS
NO HARD AND FAST DISTINCTIONS Separate political behavior, studied in this volume, from governmental organization, studied in the volume to follow. Generally speaking, however, political behavior consists of (1) a particular area of political activity and (2) kinds of political actions that are common to all politics. Political behavior is an area of political activity - the activity that occurs outside the formal and legal organizations of government. The chapters of this volume discuss a progression of concerns: first comes the political activity of large and vague groupings like the community and public; then comes that of tighter groups-the electorate, election constituencies, political parties, pressure groups, and conflict groups. Political behavior in this sense is the behavior of individuals and groups outside the government who are striving to influence or take possession of the government. The volume ends as we reach the special organized activities of the state, as exemplified by legislative and administrative institutions. Political behavior is political activity common to all politics. Certain principles of political science apply both to political behavior and governmental organizations. We find, for instance, that lawyers, soldiers, and professors maintain characteristic habits both in the contest for power and later in the offices of government; or that a person's attitudes will remain in many respects the same be he a voter or a congressman; or that leadership in the Department of Agriculture has a number of qualities in common with leadership in a club or political party. Principles such as these, which are common to politics as a whole, are traditionally and conveniently treated as part of the study of political behavior. Leadership is a fitting topic with which to begin the study of political behavior. It is a relationship that pervades every association among men. Even Robinson Crusoe became a leader when he took into his life his good man Friday. In the most simple associations and in the most complex ones, leaders exert some directing influence, the nature and extent of which must be known if we are to understand how men get along together. To explain why people choose or follow one kind of behavior rather than another-why they go to war or remain at peace, vote Democratic or Republican, or do a job poorly or well-introduces a search for guiding influences. The study of leadership is therefore most important to political science. A political leader may be identified as any occupant of an established political position or as any person, in or out of such a position, whose political activity has more influence upon a group's behavior than has the activity of the average member. How are leaders created? In studying this problem, the political scientist must ask a series of further questions. Are leaders heroes of exceptional powers or pawns of social forces? Have they physical or mental traits in common? Do they develop like abilities through their experience in such typical political activities as organizing, bargaining, or fighting? Does membership in certain social classes increase or decrease a man's chances of becoming a leader? Is it the nature of all great organizations to be led by an active group that tends to monopolize leadership? In raising these questions we must remember that there are many roles for leaders to play-leaders may be party organizers, legislators, judges, executives, diplomats, or soldiersand we must ask how leadership is molded by the functional demands of each situation. Finally, in order to explain the inadequacies of our answers to all of the foregoing questions, we advance the theory that leadership cannot be fully understood before we examine the reciprocal relationships between the leader and his followers and the relationships of his group with the other groups that operate in the same environment and context. The...
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