In this chapter, we explore some dimensions of ‘good’ adaptive and innovative global political leadership. Leadership studies – whether in the context of small groups, nations, or the international and global system as a whole – are either descriptive-explanatory, normative-prescriptive, or both. These studies use a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Some studies are primarily descriptive-explanatory studies, for example, and analyse performance and leadership (Bass 1985), women and leadership (Rosner 1990) and regimes, crises and leadership (Hermann and Kegley 1995; Keller 2005). Other studies are primarily normative-prescriptive, on the other hand, and examine theories such as Burns’s theory of transformational leadership (1978; 2003), and Sheffer’s theory of innovative leadership in international politics (1993). In fact, in most of the cases, investigators engage in both descriptive-explanatory and normative-prescriptive analysis, though there is a clear emphasis in one direction or the other (gergen 2000; Kellerman and Rhode 2007; Nye 2008). despite bureaucrats, technocrats, theocrats, and economic and other structuralist determinists – all of whom reject the centrality of human social leadership – leadership is a significant research programme in international relations, global politics, business, the military, religious and educational institutions, and in society in general. Leadership studies are valuable because leadership is a universal phenomenon (trans-historical and trans-cultural – Rejai and Phillips 2002): all humans are engaged at different times and in diverse manners in a variety of roles characteristic of either leadership or
followership, whether in politics or in other social spheres at the local and/or global level (Bass 1990).