What is a leader? Someone with followers. But why do people follow, or can we not live without leaders and leadership?
Read here on this fascinating biography site about some of these great world leaders to see where they went in history and what that leadership means today.
- Ghandi was the peaceful liberator of India from British colonial rule.
- Mao Mao Zedong, or Mao Tse Tung, was head of China's Revolution and then lifelong leader of its one-party communist state.
- Caesar Julius Caesar, was the amazing Roman general who expanded the Roman Empire greatly before being murdered by a conspiracy of Roman senators.
- Confucius remains a wise and influential Chinese thinker on government who has been studied and followed for many centuries.
- Toussaint Louverture military and political liberator of Haiti, and first to defeat western armies in battle.
- Karl Marx is the economic and political thinker who shaped the 20th century with his ideas on protecting workers from capitalist exploitation. Marx foresaw and predicted many of the present day problems with capitalist business and its financial crisis creation.
- Margaret Thatcher principled and ruthless British prime minister who argued the benefits of free enterprise for business and said "There is no such thing as society".
Theories of Leadership... A leader governs, guides or inspires others, whereas a boss can have power and authority but still not actually be a leader. Some argue that leaders only take people where they are willing to go, but others believe they take them beyond, or that crowds create leaders. There are different explanations for this phenomenon of following a leader: Personality: attractiveness, or magnetic charisma of an individual, which makes others want to follow. Situation: some people are able to lead in a situation which suits them, but not in others. Power: Some people want power and will do anything to get it; other people follow whoever has the power, or whoever has a Twitter account with a nice name. Morality: leaders may offer a moral vision or lead by virtue of religious authority or office. Great (Wo)Man theory: some are born with a great life force and mission which others follow for better or worse. In the animal kingdom we can observe herd animals such as sheep which stay together and move together, possibly for their own safety from predators.
Money and politics go together like love and marriage, but rarely get divorced even when there is some cheating going on. Many great leaders are, or become, very wealthy. "Follow the money" said the famous but anonymous FBI man who leaked to journalists about the Watergate political bugging scandal in the USA, which led to the resignation of then president Richard Nixon.
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