Are Leaders Born Or are They Made?: The Case of Alexander the Great

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Karnac, 2004 - Psychology - 114 pages
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What makes a great leader? Can leadership be learned or are great leaders born and not made?

Manfred Kets de Vries answers these questions, and many more, in his innovative and fresh look at the timeless theme of effective leadership. His engaging study of the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader who created an empire that spanned most of the ancient world, provides an in-depth look at the psychodynamics of leadership that will be of use to contemporary leaders in business and politics, and to consulting and training organizations.

In the first part of the book, the author weaves the fascinating tale of Alexander's life, whilst highlighting his considerable leadership skills. He then analyses Alexander's personality and behavior from a clinical perspective to demonstrate the psychological forces that shaped those leadership qualities. He looks at the key facets of Alexander's leadership technique in detail, as a practical demonstration of effective leadership, and concludes by cataloguing Alexander's strengths and, just as importantly, his weaknesses for the vital lessons in leadership. In this way, Manfred Kets de Vries creates a compelling vision of leadership that no one can afford to ignore.

Lavishly illustrated, this exquisite volume is a joy to read, provoking both introspection and inspiration in the minds of its readers. Vital for all managers and management consultants, MBA students, and all concerned with effective leadership.

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About the author (2004)

Manfred Kets De Vries is a clinical professor of leadership development and a consultant on organizational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading worldwide companies. He holds the Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chair of Leadership Development at 'Instead', Fontainebleau, France. He has also held professorships at McGill University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, and the Harvard Business School, and he has lectured at management institutions around the world. He is the author, co-author, or editor of over 20 books. The Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist have judged Manfred Kets de Vries one of Europe's leading management thinkers.

Elisabet Engellau works as an independent consultant focusing on one-on-one executive coaching, leadership development, cross-cultural management and team building. Her professional activities are focused on the dynamics of corporate transformation and change. In her work with individuals and teams in major European and multi-national organizations such as Bain, CIBA, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HypoVereinsbank, Nokia, Vodafone, Standard Bank of South Africa, Unilever and The Cabinet Office, UK, she combines her long-term focus on creativity with a clinical approach to human resource management.

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