Chapter 7

Leadership Industry—leading as mantra

Becoming a leader has become a mantra. The leadership industry has exploded in the last thirty or forty years—in part the result of the following trends: first, the historical trajectory, a shift to weakened leaders, strengthened followers, and more complicated contexts; second, an acceleration of this shift, hard on the heels of the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s and early ’70s; and third, the real or perceived decline of the United States in comparison with other countries, such as Japan (in the 1970s and ’80s) and, more recently, China.

The leadership industry is now global. But originally it was an American phenomenon, in keeping with Americans’ can-do attitude, which, in ...

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