Inspiring Leadership: Learning from Great Leaders

By John Adair | Go to book overview

ONE

Leadership Through Knowledge

'Authority flows from
the one who knows'

A MODERN PROVERB

'It is a fact that some men possess an inbred superiority which gives them a dominating influence over their contemporaries, and marks them out unmistakably for leadership.' So an eminent churchman Dr Hensley Henson, Lord Bishop of Durham, told his audience at the University of St Andrews. 'This phenomenon is as certain as it is mysterious,' he continued. 'It is apparent in every association of human beings, in every variety of circumstances and on every plane of culture. In a school among boys, in a college among students, in a factory, shipyard, or a mine among the workmen, as certainly as in the Church and in the Nation, there are those who, with an assured and unquestioned title, take the leading place, and shape the general conduct.'

These words were spoken in 1934, the year, incidentally, that Adolf Hitler became Head of State in Germany with the title of Führer. The Bishop believed, as most people thought then, that leadership was a form of 'inbred superiority' — in other words, you are either born with it or not. The born leader will emerge naturally as the leader because he (note the assumption that leaders are men) has innate qualities which give him that 'assured and unquestioned title.' Such a leader could presumably lead in any circumstance or situation.

It may come as a surprise that Scotland's oldest university, St Andrews, instituted lectures in leadership in 1930. Sponsored by a local Scottish family, the Walker Trust series of leadership lectures was inaugurated by John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, with a lecture on 'Montrose and Leadership'.

-4-

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Inspiring Leadership: Learning from Great Leaders
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Inspiring Leadership - Learning from Great Leaders *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 3
  • One - Leadership through Knowledge 4
  • Two - Leadership Skills 24
  • Three - The Servant-Leader 37
  • Four - The Ability to Give Direction 58
  • Five - Making the Right Decisions 77
  • Six - The Art of Inspiring While Informing 108
  • Part 2 *
  • Seven - The Roots of British Tradition 138
  • Eight - The Gentleman Leader 156
  • Nine - Nelson 187
  • Ten - Polar Explorers 207
  • Eleven - Leadership in a Changing World 220
  • Part 3 *
  • Twelve - Charisma 254
  • Thirteen - Women as Leaders 276
  • Fourteen - Styles of Leadership 303
  • Fifteen - Leaders for Tomorrow 335
  • Picture Acknowledgements 346
  • Select Bibliography 347
  • Index 349
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