The Great Man Theory

Topics: Leadership, Management, Positive psychology Pages: 1 (312 words) Published: May 4, 2013
The Great Man Research
The Great Man Theory suggests that leaders were born with leadership qualities. The term "Great Man" was given at the time when leadership was thought of mainly as a male quality. It was researched in the “19th century and is often linked to the work of the historian Thomas Carlyle who commented on the great men or heroes of the history saying that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”. Since times have changed and some women have also been considered leaders it has also been called “the Great Person” theory. A good leader is trustworthy and confident. It is of the utmost importance that a good leader be someone others can trust and feel confident about the direction they are being lead. Other characteristics of a good leader include inspirational and motivational. A good leader must be a source of inspiration because others will strive to follow the leader’s lead. Good leaders must be able to motivate others to do things they may otherwise not wish to do. Good leaders are tolerant of uncertainty and remain calm under pressure. It is essential that a good leader be a person who accomplishes goals despite the obstacles for the people they are responsible for. These people are born with personal characteristics that make them successful leaders. “Leadership looks different—and is different—depending on whether it is experienced in a legislature, on a battlefield, at a rally, on a factory floor, or in a school district” (1996, 14). Good leaders possess a special attribute that sets them apart from ordinary people. The great man theory assumes their characteristics are inherited or arise when there is a need. “Leaders know and focus on what is important, care deeply about their work, learn from their successes and failures, take calculated risks, and are trustworthy people.
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