Nine

Leading Others

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Leadership may be the most frequently researched topic in all the social sciences—but there is still much to learn. In this chapter, we begin by briefly describing different ways to think about leadership in comparison to management. We then consider how studies of leadership have explored leaders' traits, their behaviors, and the influence of situations. We will examine these issues from both a conventional and a sustainable point of view.

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AES is one of the largest energy companies in the world, but few people know about the powerful leadership vision that has guided it from its start-up. Former CEO Dennis Bakke is a driven, self-confident leader who doesn't play by the rules. That isn't to say that he lacks honesty and integrity; rather, it means he marches to the beat of a different drum. He and co-founder Roger Sant started AES with a simple leadership philosophy: (1) People should be trusted and (2) businesses exist to serve, not to make money. Do not call employees “human resources” in front of Bakke: He values the dignity and uniqueness of people far too much to lump them in with other resources such as fuel or capital, or to consider them as mere means ...

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