CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action

CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action

CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action

CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action

Excerpt

"LEADERSHIP," writes the historian James MacGregor Burns, "is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth." Indeed, there are untold volumes on leadership. Why, then, bother to write still another book about it? Because, although ours is a businessdominated society, we have so little detailed discussion of business leadership. There are business chronicles, stories of great corporations and their achievements, some exposés, and other vehicles of self-justification. There are descriptions of ends attained, of outcomes. There are news reports of spectacular executive success. But nowhere is there specific documentation of the characteristic behavior of business leaders. Nor is it easy to define what a business leader is. The business world is an arena for achievers. Some are great financial manipulators. Some are spectacular marketeers. Some are technical innovators. Some build and rebuild communities. Are they leaders? They are executives, perhaps, but not always leaders.

We cannot always learn, and certainly not fully, about leadership from theorists or from contemporary "leaders." Nor can we learn fully from great political leaders. Gandhi was charismatic and revolutionary. His leadership made the British yield India, but until the recent popularity of the movie Gandhi , there was little evidence in contemporary India that he even existed. De Gaulle was similarly charismatic. He . . .

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