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Inside View: A Leader's Observations on Leadership by Walter F. Ulmer Jr.

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ASSESSMENT

Efforts to study leadership have always been plagued with the “criterion” problem: What defines leadership? Neither the business nor the academic community has ever been able to agree on a definition. And even if one were agreed upon today, circumstances and social evolution would probably make it less useful tomorrow.

Without a definition, it is very difficult to measure leadership—to objectively evaluate its success or failure. At the Center, most of our discussions of the success and failure of leaders are based on an organizationally derived definition of “success” and “failure,” and these may or may not be a reflection of actual leadership effectiveness, and may or may not be generalizable outside the organizational cultures from ...

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