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Monday, August 13, 2012

End of Leadership: Post #3--History

Historical Trajectory: For years, power has ebbed slowly from leaders to followers. From hero worship to praise of the common man. Philosopher Joseph Campbell and famed psychologist Carl Jung write about our thirst for leaders. Historically, we have focused on the hero-leader. Plato, Confucius, and others propagated the great man theory—find an outstanding man (or woman) and educate him (or her). In the Middle Ages, Machiavelli in The Prince upheld the theory of authoritarian rule. Moreover, Thomas Hobbs, who like Machiavelli did not trust the common man, did however suggest a new relationship between leaders and followers. He believed in a “social contract” between the leader and followers in which followers granted absolute authority to leaders for protection from all sorts of enemies—human, economic, et al. Later, Martin Luther’s challenge of the church’s authority created a Great Revolution against the divine right of kings.

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