The Great Man Theory
1. Describe the attributes and style of the Great Man theory.
It can be easily accepted that the Great Man theory is the most “intrinsic” of all leadership theories. Its critics even described the theory as primitive and childish. It is loaded with assumptions such as the notion that leaders are born not made.
2. Select a leadership theory that matches your personal preferences.
The Participative Leadership theory is undeniably one of the most effective. It is common knowledge that to be a good leader, one should be a great follower. This particular approach to leadership gives leaders the chance to learn more about their group. Moreover, it promotes democratic working environment where people would be empowered by the thought that their efforts and ideas are of importance to the group.
3. Describe what employees who followed the `Great Man` might currently be doing `wrong.
The theory is simply not proactive enough. For example, those who employ the theory have unrealistic expectations towards their leader. They are so fixated to the idea that their leader is such a “great man” that they may overlook that their leader is still just man with limitations.
4. Explain how you will guide them to understand your expectations.
The Great Man theory is simply unscientific, or for a stronger term, it is unreliable. It should be explained to them that the group’s goals should not be dependent on one unreliable theory. And once they realize that the group’s interests (which would include their personal interests) are at stake, they would not think twice to shift to a more efficient leadership theory.
Krygier, C. (2005). Great Men in Theory and Practice: A Biography of Three Great Men. NY:
Harcourt, Brace and Company
Northouse, P. G. (2006). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Chicago: Sage