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Thinking about Leadership by Nannerl O. Keohane

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FOUR

Does Gender Make a Difference?

MANY PERSONAL QUALITIES and skills often associated with leadership can be learned or developed through experience. But for one very basic and familiar characteristic, this generalization does not apply. Throughout history, leadership has been closely associated with masculinity. The king, the father, the boss, the lord are stereotypical images of leadership. Men and leadership have been Siamese twins, and the idea of a woman leader is still strange to many people.

Notwithstanding this long-standing association, more and more women are providing leadership today in a variety of settings. How does this increasing presence of women in visible positions of power and authority affect our understanding of leadership? ...

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