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Introduction – Looking Back and Looking Forward

Advances in Global Leadership

ISBN: 978-1-78052-002-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-003-2

ISSN: 1535-1203

Publication date: 18 April 2012


Our query into “what is leadership” can be traced back to Galton (1869) in his book, Hereditary Genius. Leadership, as a unique characteristic of extraordinary individual leaders, has dominated leadership research up until the early 1950s and was then followed by the rise of behavioral views of leadership such as situational leadership, transformational leadership, among others. These earlier views of leadership have been developed mainly among psychologists. We have not done sufficient work to view leadership from a business values perspective. Filling in this important gap, Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood answer the question “what is leadership” by focusing on an outside/in view of leadership that draws on business values beyond psychological principles. They ask four important questions that shape the definition of effective leadership: What are the outcomes of good leadership? What must every leader know, do, and be? How do we develop leadership (not just leaders) from the outside/in? And how do leaders make long-term change really happen? Answers to these four questions can lead us to clarify why leadership matters, nail the basics of leadership, create a leadership brand, and ensure leadership sustainability.


Li, M., Wang, Y. and Mobley, W.H. (2012), "Introduction – Looking Back and Looking Forward", Mobley, W.H., Wang, Y. and Li, M. (Ed.) Advances in Global Leadership (Advances in Global Leadership, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-6.



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