Leadership has been present since the beginning of time. Whether in the home, social groups or in the workplace leadership plays a key role in our daily lives. But before a clear discussion of leadership can effectively be done, a reasonable understanding of leadership must be presented. William Cohen (1990) defines leadership as "the art of influencing others to their maximum performance to accomplish any task, objective, or project” (Weiskittel, 1999). This comparison will illustrate to the reader the striking similarities in various forms of leadership throughout history as well as clear points of convergence and divergence within the various forms. Leadership is a dynamic enterprise that will continue to evolve over time; as it has thus far.
Often when leadership is studied in the Pre-classical era, ideas such as heroism and yes or no logic are often assumed and discussed. Heroism is the concept of a virtuous and ethical person who is able to effectively lead people to a desired goal or objective. Often, as portrayed in historical literature, these heroes are fallible. The yes or no logic is based upon the Greek philosophers of the time. This ideal suggests that truth is fixed and unchanging; this type of reasoning did not take into consideration the dynamic nature of a group or subordinates or their leader and the intrinsic ability to make changes in order to
improve the situation at hand. Moreover, the Pre-Classical era held much more in terms of leadership then the two types of leadership often associated with that time period. This period of time was a type of growth spurt for leadership. Around the world various forms of leadership were being utilized; although most had yet to be studied. For example, things such as regulated wages, merit exams and division of labor all took place during the Pre-Classical era (Wren, 2005). This does not negate, however the autocratic systems of the times as well as