Leaders provide direction and mobilize effort toward a common goal. Leaders have a powerful influence over individual effectiveness and attitudes, as well as group and organizational outcomes. This chapter will outline theories and approaches to understanding leadership. This chapter addresses leadership and explain why it matters to organizations; the characteristics that are related to leader effectiveness; the behaviors that are associated with leader effectiveness; the situational perspective to explaining leadership; contemporary leadership approaches and theories and earlier approaches; key legal and global issues surrounding leadership; and the current issues and research around leadership.