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Romance or realism in leadership? What motivates aspiration to the top jobs?

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.


This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.


Individuals high in Romance of Leadership (RoL) tend to be motivated to lead. Motivation to Lead (MtL) is an important variable in the process of striving for a leadership position and for leadership development. MtL may influence the career planning and specific actions of individuals at different stages of their career, i.e. students starting their careers and employees planning their next career steps.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.


The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.



Retraction notice

The Publisher wishes to retract the precis article “Romance or realism in leadership?: What motivates aspiration to the top jobs?”, published in Strategic Direction, Vol. 30 No. 11, 2014. It has come to the attention of Emerald Publishing that this precis article contains large sections of unattributed text taken from the original research article “Romance of leadership and motivation to lead”, by Jörg Felfe, Birgit Schyns, published in Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 7, 2014.

Precis articles are intended to summarise original academic research articles for a different audience, and should not include verbatim passages from the original articles. This error occurred due to a miscommunication in the commissioning process.

To avoid any repeated incidents of this nature, Emerald has fully revised its guidelines and briefed its Commissioning Editors. Strategic Direction sincerely apologises to the original authors and its readers for this error. The original article can be viewed here:


(2014), "Romance or realism in leadership? What motivates aspiration to the top jobs?", Strategic Direction, Vol. 30 No. 11, pp. 10-12.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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