chapter  1
24 Pages

An introduction to leadership

Ancient Rome and Greece, through to the study of leadership in modern politics,

economics and warfare, one is able to traverse the landscape of heroes, myths,

legends – in other words, those great leaders – that have ruled earth, sea and the

human spirit – in a thousand different ways. From the time-honoured storytelling

of great tales such as Beowulf and Homer’s Iliad, to the study of religious texts, and the philosophical leadership of Epictetus, Plato and Aristotle, one is

able to observe the motivation of society for leadership at every turn. Leaders

come in every form: from the inspirational (Nelson Mandela) to the charismatic

(Bill Clinton), from the indicted (Silvio Berlusconi) and unethical (Allen

Stanford), to the utterly destructive (Adolf Hitler). The purpose of Leadership: A Critical Introduction is to instil a passion for leadership in the reader by combining abstract theory with the views of real-world leaders, to develop the

self-leadership of the reader, and to encourage the critical deconstruction of key

theories that together provide a comprehensive introduction to what is at once a

seductive, complex, transformative and alluring topic.