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Contemporary Issues in Leadership

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Contemporary Issues in Leadership

Westview Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Before you can learn leadership traits, you have to identify them: how to become someone that everyone wants to follow.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This collection of essays from 21 contributors is inspiring reading for those who want to build their leadership talents or improve their companies. It is designed for good leaders, or for people who aspire to that rank and are open to being taught. Interestingly, the book also addresses how people can become better followers. Unlike many other books within this topic range, this anthology makes a distinction between leadership, which it sees as direction setting, and management, which it sees as somewhat more procedural. The essays are interesting, wide-ranging and practical. getAbstract finds that the 21 voices here have a unified mission: to explain why some people are better than others at getting attention, accomplishing specific tasks and providing their followers with a sense of meaning.


The Leadership Puzzle

"Leadership is all about getting people to work together to make things happen that might not otherwise occur or to prevent things from happening that would ordinarily take place." Students of leadership initially tended to concentrate on the leader as a "Great Person." However, subsequent scientific studies find that leaders are not exceptionally brilliant, splendid speakers or highly energetic. Instead, leaders know how to forge relationships and accomplish tasks. In fact, analysts find that leaders’ ability to accomplish tasks is even more important than their interpersonal skills.

Transformational and Transactional Leadership

Experts focus on two types of leadership: "transactional" and "transformational." Transactional leaders forge a trade-off with their followers. Transactional leaders enable their followers to act in their own self-interest, as long as the leaders achieve their goals. Transactional leadership is commonly associated with effective management.

Followers closely identify with a transformational leader’s beliefs. That shared sense of purpose motivates followers to act and to achieve the leader’s mission. Transformational...

About the Authors

William E. Rosenbach is a professor in the Eisenhower Leadership Studies program and teaches management at Gettysburg College. Robert L. Taylor is a professor of management and dean emeritus of the College of Business at the University of Louisville.

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