Leadership is essential to collective human endeavor, from
setting and accomplishing goals for a neighborhood block
association, to running a Fortune 500 company, to mobilizing the
energies of a nation. Political philosophers have focused largely
on how to prevent leaders from abusing their power, yet little
attention has been paid to what it actually feels like to hold
power, how leaders go about their work, and how they relate to the
people they lead. In "Thinking about Leadership," Nannerl Keohane
draws on her experience as the first woman president of Duke
University and former president of Wellesley College, as well as
her expertise as a leading political theorist, to deepen our
understanding of what leaders do, how and why they do it, and the
pitfalls and challenges they face.
Keohane engages readers in a series of questions that shed
light on every facet of leadership. She considers the traits that
make a good leader, including sound judgment, decisiveness,
integrity, social skill, and intelligence; the role that gender
plays in one's ability to attain and wield power; ethics and
morality; the complex relationship between leaders and their
followers; and the unique challenges of democratic leadership. Rich
with lessons and insights from leaders and political thinkers down
through the ages, including Aristotle, Queen Elizabeth I, Franklin
D. Roosevelt, and Nelson Mandela, "Thinking about Leadership" is a
must-read for current and future leaders, and for anyone concerned
about our prospects for good governance.
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