Dynamic Power Relationship In Leadership

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Public leadership does not function properly without a solid relationship between the leader and those who are led. Leadership is conventionally attributed as a skill or quality pertaining to the individual, however, leadership contains complex layers that transcend the common individual and gives rise to a dynamic power relationship. Personal and contextual aspects contribute to the definition and understanding of what makes a successful leader. Joseph S. Nye, George C. Edwards III, and Graham T. Allison are some of the academics that have contributed to this school of thought. Their works focus on several aspects of the dynamic power relationship between leaders and followers, like: personal traits of the leader, charisma, contextual intelligence, and decision making. This school of thought uncovers the public conception of how leadership is judged. Leadership is not primarily judged on the individual, but on context in which leaders find themselves. The success of these leaders is based on their ability to balance soft and hard power in regard to the context of their environment, as politics and the environment could constrain or influence their decision making. In order to discuss the judgment of leadership based on contextual aspects, there needs to be an understanding of which traits are relative to the leader and which are relative to the environment. One trait that is commonly attributed to a leader is charisma, however, George Edwards writes, “Charisma cannot be

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