The first individual was a telecommunications worker turned leadership theorist who resisted the commonly held beliefs of leadership during his life. His name was Robert Greenleaf (1904-1990) and he was a pioneer of what has become a commonly known and widely used strategy among some of the most influential leaders. This theory has come to be known as Servant Leadership. A broad description of servant leadership in Greenleaf’s own words is a follows: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 6). Obviously, this theory places a high level of importance...
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...e behind common goals, motivate them to achieve those goals, and give them the tools to successfully obtain the goals. All four of the principles need to be present if an individual wishes to become a successful “Principle-Centered” leader.
Leadership, as one who studies it would know, is as unknown a science as could be. There are common themes leadership studies have uncovered, but an exact knowledge of what makes a successful leader successful remains a mystery. As demonstrated by the different theories of Robert Greenleaf and Steven Covey, most theories emphasize very different aspects of leadership. Each theorist places a certain level of importance on an aspect and develops their theory around that aspect. One day, there may be a consensus on what makes a great leader great, but for now, it is up to each individual to decide what makes people great leaders.
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