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Professionalizing Leadership$
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Barbara Kellerman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190695781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190695781.001.0001

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(p.13) 1 Past
Professionalizing Leadership

Barbara Kellerman

Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on how leadership was taught in the distant and recent past. The first section is on five of the greatest leadership teachers ever—Lao-tzu, Confucius, Plato, Plutarch, and Machiavelli—who shared a deep belief in the idea that leadership could be taught and left legacies that included timeless and transcendent literary masterworks. The second section explores how leadership went from being conceived of as a practice reserved only for a select few to one that could be exercised by the many. The ideas of the Enlightenment changed our conception of leadership. Since then, the leadership literature has urged people without power and authority, that is, followers, to understand that they too could be agents of change. The third section turns to leadership and management in business. It was precisely the twentieth-century failure of business schools to make management a profession that gave rise to the twenty-first-century leadership industry.

Keywords:   leadership, management, followership, leadership in government, leadership in business, business schools, learning to lead, history of leadership, history of management, leadership literature

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