Leadership Is an Influence Process

A final way of thinking about leadership is as an influence process. This is the perspective that will be emphasized in this book.

Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.

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Defining leadership as an influence process means that it is not a trait or an ability that resides in the leader, but rather an interactive event that occurs between the leader and the followers. Influence is central to the process of leadership because leaders affect followers. Leaders direct their energies toward influencing individuals to achieve something together. Stressing common goals gives leadership an ethical dimension because it lessens the possibility that leaders might act toward followers in ways that use coercion or are unethical.


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