8/15 — James MacGregor Burns

August - November 2014 / Leadership Quote

For students of leadership and even more urgent question arises. Supposing we could find species wide commonalities among hierarchies of wants and needs, could we also find common stages and levels of moral development and reasoning emerging out of those wants and needs? If so, we could assume, and foundations for leadership. If we define leadership as not merely a property or activity leaders but has relationship between leaders and a multitude of followers of many types, if we see leaders as interacting with followers in a great merging of motivations and purposes of both, and if in  turn we find that many of those motivations and purposes are common to vast numbers of humankind in many cultures, then could we expect to identify patterns of leadership behavior permitting plausible generalizations about the ways in which leaders generally behave?

James, MacGregor Burns, Leadership, 1978, page 30

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