Leaders who Transform Society: What Drives Them and why We are Attracted

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - History - 149 pages
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In this wide-ranging historical exploration of transformational leadership, Popper examines why followers are influenced by leaders and what psychological dynamics exist between leaders and their subordinates, and, in the process, redefines the phenomenon of leadership. Exploring the emotional connections that bind charismatic leaders and those who support them, he contends that this multifaceted relationship is based on reciprocal need. By focusing on prominent figures throughout history who have altered the lives of their followers in profound ways, Popper shows how these leaders reinvented and disseminated value systems, for good (e.g., Nelson Mandela), but often for ill (e.g., Hitler). Whether the influence of a charismatic leader is destructive and negative or constructive and positively transformative, this intriguing work argues that the reciprocal process that takes place between leader and follower, as well as key formative events in the lives of leaders, are surprisingly similar.

Using such famous and infamous leaders as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Madela, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, Charles Manson, and Jim Jones, Popper defines and explores three types of leader-follower relationships: Regressive relationships, which are characterized by mutual dependence; Symbolic relationships, which are rooted in symbolic meaning; Developmental-transformational relationships, which permit positive moral and emotional development.


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Chanced upon this book in the library and Popper's style of writing really got me onto this book even though its initial purpose was nothing more than just a reference book for my graded paper. Succinct, clear and straightforward. Many examples to substantiate his point of views which provide for greater understanding is what you can look forward to in this book:D 

Selected pages


Introduction What is Leadership?
A Birdseye View of Leadership
The Leader
Leadership as an Expression of the Circumstances
Leadership as a Subjective Creation of the Followers
Analysis of the Main Perspectives on Leadership
Leadership as Relationship
Regressive Relationships
Transformational Leadership in Everyday Life
The Development of Transformational Leaders
The Motivation to Lead
Ability to Lead
Basic Components in the Ability to Lead
Developmental Processes of Leadership

Developmental Relationships
Symbolic Relationships
Transformational Leadership

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About the author (2005)

Micha Popper is Co-Director of the Center for Outstanding Leadership and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa. He is also former Commanding Officer of the School for Leadership Development of the Israeli Defense Forces. He is author of Hypnotic Leadership: Leaders, Followers and the Loss of Self (Praeger, 2001).

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