A "Theory" of Good Leadership Resting on Three Pillars

"I love South Africa. To ensure a prosperous and peaceful future for all its citizens, the countries in Africa, as all nations worldwide, need excellent leaders. With good leadership, the dream of prosperity and peace for everyone will be realised." Professor Klaus-Jürgen Bathe - Founder of the Programme

Numerous books and articles have been written on effective leadership, Google lists a very large number of contributions and when using the ISI Web, over 60,000 entries are obtained on the topic "leadership". These books and articles focus on practically all aspects of good leadership, hence there must be the question "How can this short note still add anything to the available literature?"

Not having surveyed the voluminous data available on leadership, the objective of this note is to simply give the idea of a "theory" of good leadership and an abstract picture thereof. Perhaps this idea has already been published in the literature.

Good leadership is seen when an organization is successfully managed, when people are well led. Such leadership requires skills in various areas, including good oral and written communication, planning, team building, motivation, decision making, taking advantage of change, to name a few, and strong ethical values.

With many desirable qualities to be present, it is of interest to establish some structure to the required quality ingredients of good leadership. This structure would ideally be based on only a few concepts and a "picture" that includes an understanding of the interplay and the synergy of the qualities of good leadership.

In the following, we present such a structure in a "theory" of good leadership. We use the word "theory" here rather loosely when compared, for example, to a theory in fluid mechanics, but wish to emphasize the underlying simple abstract concepts.

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