Essays on The Evolution of Leadership - Past, Present, and Future Literature review

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The paper “ The Evolution of Leadership - Past, Present, and Future” is an affecting example of the literature review on management. Leadership is to an organization what wind is to a waving flag. It determines the direction of the company by spearheading change. The past couple of decades have seen the global community come into a considerable number of changes, like the rise in the use of technology for example. Such changes have meant that leaders must adapt to the changing environment in order for their organizations to survive and thrive.

The gradual adaptation of leadership to the constantly changing world has consequently led to a change in the nature of leadership (Martin et al, 2007; Stephenson, 2011). One thing that has remained constant, however, has been the need for leadership. Although not exhaustively, this paper will discuss the gradual evolution of leadership over time; the past, present, and project what it may look like in the future. It will also discuss and Mahatma Gandhi as a well known global leader (Bolden, 2006). How has leadership changed? Leadership has been changing and continues to change.

In the extremely volatile environment that is today’ s world, organizations must adapt or die. The major changes that have been observed in the evolution of leadership have been the prominent shift from the autocratic and authoritarian type of leadership to the more democratic and participative styles that are today considered contemporary. According to the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), 83% of the leaders in a survey they conducted believe that over the past five years, the definition of effective leadership has changed (Martin et al, 2007).

Since the beginning of time, the need for unfaltering leadership has remained constant. Leadership has changed its focuses, principles, and the ways in which it is conducted (leadership styles) (Wheatley, 2005). When leadership began to be an area of study, there sprouted a number of theories that attempted to characterize leaders. In the early 1900s, the Great Man theory was developed by Galton. This theory suggested that leaders are people who possess inherent leaders which could only be inborn.


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