From the times of Plato and Aristotle, leadership has been studied to enhance the personal and leadership development of those who choose to lead.

Traditional Leadership theories include Trait Theory, Skills Approach, Style Approach, Situational Approach, Contingency Theory, and Path-Goal Theory. Leaders must glean from these theories and then incorporate these traditional skills into the positive leadership theory that most closely supports their personality, philosophy, and life’s mission.

Positive Leadership theories include Transformational Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, Servant Leadership, Spiritual Leadership, and Authentic Leadership, as well as my model of Distinguished Leadership.


LIBOR. Diamond. Madoff. Enron. Tyco. HealthSouth. Leadership today has become significantly more complex than for past generations. Capitalism without an ethical foundation has negatively impacted society. Leaders set the tone for any institution or group they lead. Several positive forms of leadership have been developed: from James McGregor Burns’ seminal work on Transformational Leadership in 1978 to PhDs Bruce Avolio, Wm. Gardner, and Fred Luthans’ new research on Authentic Leadership in 2003 to my own positive leadership model developed in 2005 known as Distinguished Leadership.

Leaders need to understand past and present leadership theories to incorporate into their leadership skill sets. Then, they need to focus on their own personal and professional development by studying positive psychology, ethical philosophies, moral courage, and courageous principled-action. Without striving toward an ethical, long-term, other-directed, morally courageous psyche, no leader will be able to take ethical and/or courageous principled-action when the situation requires such leadership. Knowing what to do does not translate into taking action when the situation requires it. Leadership without action is not leadership.

Leaders can develop themselves by studying new leadership models, focusing on their professional and personal development while enhancing their understanding of themselves and others through survey instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).


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