A topic should be thoughtful, not overly general. Here are some thoughts. Remember that the paper must be in full APA format, clearly applying at least three theories from the Trait approach, skill approach, behavioral approach, situational approach, path-goal theory, leader-member exchange theory, attribution theory, transformational leadership, authentic leadership, servant leadership, adaptive leadership, followership, and leadership ethics and contain good references. Again the requirements are discussed in a document under Helpful Resources. It is a good idea to anchor the discussion by using a specific leader or leaders for exemplification. Some have asked about focusing in depth on a particular leader. This is fine. However, do NOT use a US President, general, or admiral for this purpose. Again and again, the overwhelming tendency is to over idolize them. Leaders have warts too. Then, when these become visible, people may imagine that there must be no good in them at all. (As an example of this, you might look at recent articles on the BBC website on the career and decisions of Winston Churchill, whose life was a strange amalgam of the desirable and otherwise.) A business leader is the best choice, but be sure you can get enough information (even anecdotal) to discuss and evaluate her/his style. Historical figures are often well recorded and discussed, but you must be careful in interpreting observations from another culture and time. Literary people often say that bad guys are more fun than good guys. This may be so in leadership also. Non-Western leadership also remains a good area to look at. Further, leaders out of the mainstream – e.g., Indian chiefs, mob bosses – may also make good focal subjects. For example, Sequoia and Red Cloud, although thoroughly different in style and personality, were two of history’s most fascinating leaders.
Failures of leadership also make good topics. E.g., the world is now celebrating the centennial of the greatest failure of leadership in history – The First World War. The major leaders – although apparently having very centralized control over foreign policies – were overwhelmed by activities in their own military, diplomatic, and business bureaucracies. April 6, 2017 indeed marked the Centennial of US entry into that war. There have been hundreds of reenactments and events in Europe already. Study of this colossal and unnecessary war, and the leadership failures behind it, continue to fascinate researchers to this day. The events and leaders could be the focus of any number of fine papers. Incidentally, these failures were not just political and military. The era was ripe with practical and moral failures in business. Studied closely there were few truly “good guys.” There are any number of good topics for a paper dealing with leadership relating to the war or its aftermaths. Also, it is a particularly fertile ground to study a very important but unstudied topic: the proper removal of leaders.
the outline and format requirements in the word document.
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