The Development of Bad and Good Leadership

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Throughout the leadership readings so far, I concluded that to be a leader you must be a good leader. In my mind, there was no such thing as bad leaders because if you were “bad” you would not be able to become a leader in the first place. However, Kellerman brings up the fact that to be a considered a leader the only two things you need is a purpose and following. She also sheds light on the fact that you can be a bad leader and a successful leader at the same time. (Kellerman, 2004). We have seen many examples of bad leaders throughout history such as Hitler, Stalin, wrongdoers in the Catholic Church, and Kenneth Lay from Enron. The study of how one becomes a bad leader and the commonalities of good and bad leaders is vital to the development of good leaders in society.
Good and bad leaders share numerous traits such as the ability to delegate, good communications, confidence, passion, creativity, and the ability to inspire. Some of the characteristics found in the bad leaders might comprise of coercion, dishonesty, and lack of ethical intelligence and understanding. (Kellerman, 2004) (Crosby, 2005) (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 2001). The main difference in good and bad leaders is the latter lacks ethical intelligence and efficiency across leaders and followers. As a society studying bad leaders, how and why they come to power, will not make the problem go away; it will only limit our ability to learn from and prevent it. Kellerman (2004) states that the three major problems that arise with limiting leadership to only good leadership is: it is confusing, misleading, and it does disservice. “…Those of us who desire to make the world a better place…must come to grips with leadership as two contradictory thing: good and bad.” (Kelle...

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...turns a blind eye to what is going on is just as enabling to a bad leader as a devout follower.
As a society it is our responsibility to study and develop good leaders but to also study bad leadership so we can identify and prevent it before it starts changes lives for the worse. Weather the bad leader is on Wall Street, a local community member, or politician the effect they have on the people around them can be devastating.

Works Cited

Crosby, B. B. (2005). Leadership for the Common Good. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad Leadership: What it is, How it Happens, Why it Matters. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.
Kirkpatrick, S. A., & Locke, E. A. (2001). Leadership: Do traits Matter? Academy of Management Executive,5,, 48-60.
Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). The Allure of Toxic Leaders. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.
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