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On Leadership

Gardner, John W. On Leadership. First Free Press Paperback Edition. New York: The Free Press, 1993.

Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers.

In any established group, individuals fill different roles, and one of the roles is that of leader.

Leaders are almost never as much in charge as they are pictured to be, followers almost never as submissive as one might imagine.

The ablest and most effective leaders do not hold to a single style; they may be highly supportive in personal relations when that is needed, yet capable of a quick, authoritative decision when the situation requires it.

Among other things, a leader must recognize the needs of followers or constituents, help them see how those needs can be met, and give them confidence that they can accomplish that result through their own efforts. Sometimes the leader helps to remove constraints or inhibitions that had been impeding the full play of motivation. …