Posted on:Oct 292010
The Great Man Theory of leadership may well have its origins with Aristotle. The famous philosopher is quoted as saying, “Men are marked out from the moment of birth to rule or be ruled.” (Levin & Turner, 2009). Heavily influenced by Galton’s study of the hereditary background of great men, the theory supports the notion that humans cannot develop talents that they do not have. It further suggests that no matter how much effort individuals exert in learning, they will not be successful, in their efforts to lead if they were not born with certain talents that could be nurtured and developed (Watson & Rosser, n.d.). Essays by Carlyle reinforced this belief that a leader was an individual who was born with certain unique qualities that allowed him to capture the imagination of the masses. This philosophy automatically excluded women and African Americans from leadership contention (Watson & Rosser, n.d.).