Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
What Have We Learned That Is Critical in Understanding Leadership Perceptions and Leader-Performance Relations?
by Robert G. Lord and Jessica E. Dinh
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu
Leadership is as much of an art as it is a role that has significant impact on individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Over the last century, scores of theories and thousands of studies (Gardner, Lowe, Moss, Mahoney, & Cogliser, 2010) have been focused on understanding the nature of leadership. As the quote illustrates, we have learned a great deal about what leadership is and what it takes for leaders to be perceived as effective (Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008). However, we do not yet understand precisely how leaders become effective as they influence individuals, groups, and organizations (Kaiser et al., 2008).
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