Penn State

John J. Sosik - Professor of Management and Organization, Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies

Book Title: Leadership

Author: James MacGregor Burns

Book Description:

James MacGregor Burns' 1978 book entitled Leadership is considered the seminal work on transformational leadership. Leaders who practice this form of leadership transform their followers into self-leaders, and in doing so, become moral agents. Burns' work is very important because it provided the original idea that the truly outstanding leaders of history do much more than simply provide direction and consideration to followers. They inspire, challenge, coach, and serve as ethical role models for followers, in addition to providing direction and rewards for their success achievement of performance goals. Such behavior is needed today more than ever and shows that transformational leadership is truly timeless. Leadership provided the impetus for Bernard Bass and his colleagues from SUNY-Binghamton's Center for Leadership Studies to conduct their groundbreaking empirical work on transformational leadership. As a Ph.D. student of Bernard Bass and one who has always enjoyed history, I was very much inspired to continue the empirical examination of transformational leadership in my own research at Penn State after reading Leadership. The book is written in a scholarly, insightful, and detailed manner with its very interesting psycho-historical analyses of many of the great political leaders of the 20th century. May this book also inspire you to think great thoughts of motivating your associates to work together to bring out the best in people by displaying transformational leadership behavior.

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