Thinking About Leadership

Keohane, Nannerl O. Thinking about Leadership. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

This is a large part of what leadership is all about: providing solutions to common problems or offering ideas about how to accomplish collective purposes, and mobilizing the energies of others to follow these courses of action.

Putting forward ideas for accomplishing group goals is one aspect of leadership; bringing together members of the group to act on these suggestions is the second.

Leaders determine or clarify goals for a group of individuals and bring together the energies of members of that group to accomplish those goals.

Leaders make decisions. Decisions can involve singling out issues from a relevant set; choosing among potential measures to address those issues; determining who else to enlist in the work; and figuring out how to use resources to implement policy.

For each new decision sets a precedent, begetting new decisions, foreclosing others, and causing reactions which require counteractions. …