The Great Man Theory Essay

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The Great Man Theory is associated most often with 19th-century commentator and historian Thomas Carlyle. The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of “great men”, or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact(Princeton).

The theory was popularized in the 1840s by Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle, and in 1860 Herbert Spencer formulated a counter-argument that has remained influential throughout the 20th century to the present; Spencer said that such great men are the products of their societies, and that their actions would be impossible without the social conditions built before their lifetimes. One of the most forceful critics of Carlyle’s formulation of the Great Man theory was Herbert Spencer, who believed that attributing historical events to the decisions of individuals was a hopelessly primitive, childish, and unscientific position.

(Princeton) To me leadership is more than just the ability to have people follow you and do as you say. Being a great leader is not just something that you can be born with. It has to be learned and attained from those around you or your own inner drive to be a great leader. Being a leader and a good leader means that there are others who are also learning and listening to you when you direct or guide them. Almost like being a great manager being a great leader is crucial to your work environment or organization.

The core and common goal in this environment is that we are all a group working towards the same goal. So in conclusion whether you can be born or made a great leader; and whether leadership is an art or science. These questions or statements cannot be mutually similar alternatives. Leadership can be more of an art; it requires a lot of the everyday application of special skills and techniques learned. Even with the statement of being born with great leadership skills, even then these natural talents need daily encouragement and consistent development. A person is not born with a natural way of being confident.

Confidence is attained and developed with the way you are raised or if it is an inner drive to be like that. Same goes with integrity and being honest because these are matters of personal choice. Then you have to motivate to lead and it comes from within your own self being; then the want and need for the knowledge of the trade can be attained. Even though cognitive abilities have their own origin partly in genes, it still needs to be developed and made aware of the trait given. None of these traits are given they are made with how their environment was growing up or what was seen in the workforce.

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