Romance of Leadership – 6106-T5

As elusive and yet desirable as an adequate understanding of leadership may be, there is no denying the fact that we have a tendency to overestimate its importance. James Meindl and his collaborators refer to this phenomenon as the romance of leadership. These researchers discovered that when there was no direct or unambiguous evidence to indicate otherwise people attributed organizational outcomes to leaders. This was especially the case in extreme situations where either great success or utter failure occurred. As Jackson and Parry point out, in these instances: “leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance.” Meindl further suggests that opinions about leaders are socially constructed by followers. Part of the explanation for this behavior can be attributed to social contagion, the way in which ideas and opinions spread like a virus among interpersonal networks and groups. Similarly, the amplifying effect of media coverage can both shape and influence public opinion about leaders, as both heroes and demons make for valuable news content.

Evidence of this process can be found in the ‘celebrity CEO’ phenomenon. It is difficult to think about Richard Branson, for example, without at the same time thinking about the Virgin brand, and all of the positive and negative connotations associated with it, and therefore with him. Similarly, think of the once revered domestic icon Martha Stewart who fell from grace when she was found guilty and jailed for insider trading, and then remarkably had her image and her empire redeemed and reconstructed after her release. Bill Gates of Microsoft, who was often demonized for the stranglehold that the MS-DOS and then Windows operating systems had over the personal computer industry, was transformed into an icon of social consciousness thanks largely to the influence of his wife Melinda, who got him engaged in a number of philanthropic projects. The social cachet of the Gates family and its charitable foundation rose even higher when they recruited Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, widely acknowledged as the world’s most successful investor, to their cause.

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About Robert A. Campbell, PhD

Robert A. Campbell, PhD, teaches courses in change management, leadership, and organizational behavior, as part of the MBA program in community economic development, for the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University.
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103 Responses to Romance of Leadership – 6106-T5

  1. Bai Luyao(Ellen) 20130750 says:

    From this passage, I know the information on romance on leadership, especially in media terms. In this case above, it states that Bill Gates wins more fame than Warren Buffett as he engages more in philanthropic projects. It is interesting to see that once someone can get higher position and cachet, peoples’ attention can no more narrowed on his enterprise or leadership but the personality or the other surroundings around celebrities. It is not only because the behavior that celebrities do, but also the impact of social media. Social media is quite a strong platform to give people certain idea or tendency.

    When leaders organize their group, the commendation or rules are always followed. Followers are used to listen to their leaders, and finally, when all the habits come to their mind, followers do these habits as their own. Therefore, the romance of leadership is Imperceptibly affecting people’s life and give people the idea that this is the right thing to do. It is a phenomenon exist in largely scale of office hours. Take me as an example, once in college of my third year, I was an intern in a Japanese joint company in China. I was in the department of marketing and my responsibility is to record the in and out bill and every day choir. However, at the beginning, I was confused that why in the company every employee was so modest and they followed boss’s demands absolutely. And moreover, the process of the whole company seems like a set rule without change. Even if there is no instruction from the leaders, employees still knew what to do next. With the time went in the company, I felt that it was not only the leadership spirit in this company, but also the company culture–do as leaders instruction as a nature habit, and follow them until the end of this project finishes.

    • shejiang1019 says:

      Your idea inspired me a lot, initially, you mentioned a lot about social media. This reminds me some companies, such as Li yang Crazy English, Xiao Mi mobile company and new east orientation. The leaders in these organizations are really good to promote and improve their personality through advertisements, delivering speech, inspiring others. If you went to the ceremony that they deliver speech, it seems like you entered into some rock festivals and the audiences in there are really crazy. You can find that they love and admire these guys standing on the stage deeply and fully. In terms of the CEO of Xiao mi, he always likes to imitate Steve Jobs when he delivered his speech on the stage, because they are both innovative leaders in the mobile business. And the CEO of Xiao mi, named Lei Jun is really good at decorating himself or applying social media, such as Weibo and BBS. Nowadays, it is amazing that this guy can create a whole group of followers and make them talk and discuss or even suggest around Xiao mi mobile as an employee for Xiaomi on the company’s own BBS. In terms of this area, there are different ways for them to perform their charm, because the former could use media to create a group of followers and then these followers could protect the common brand. While Steve Jobs could enable his product to win the admire from a group of followers and then his product will be purchased by his followers.

      • Zhenzhen Xie(Zero) says:

        Thanks for sharing the story of Xiao Mi Mobile. With the progress of information technologies, there are a variety of digital methods for managers to select for the sake of improving the company`s operation. As you mentioned, Leijun, the CEO of Xiaomi can make a group of followers to pay attention to and support the development of Xiao mi through BBS. This turns out to be a successful leadership example of actively using public media. However, sometimes there would be an adverse effect if the using of media is not appropriate. For example, if the public activities of the CEO make people feel it`s a commercial speculation, that will bring adverse influences towards the branding. That`s because Media coverage is both hero and demon.

      • Hanqi Zhou says:

        Your comment is focusing on the leadership use social media to achieve the purpose. However, the leader want to change his role as a celebrity, he needs to have some necessary conditions. Firstly, a leader should have a hard business process. The social media spread the leader’s amazing experience and make people to admire them. Not only Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, they both have the full story about their life. Secondly, through social media, the majority of people will acknowledge them. So, leaders should have ability to keep it and let people to believe, then to create the celebrity effect. In totally, these activities have the relationship to the romance of leadership. In my opinion, the romance of leadership can reflect in different ways. For example, employees are willing to follow the rules which are made by leaders because rules can limit the employees’ behavior, if they are very happy to do it, which means the romance of leadership attract people’s heart.

    • Uttam Kumar Roy says:

      I also agree about your opinion, especially media concerns. Yes, Bill Gates earns more fame, when he engages some philanthropic activities; I think this is encouraging Warren Buffet to involve. And as also people want to see it. People want to follow their successful leader; he wants to act like him. These not only glorify their leader, as also themselves; because everyone wants to see himself in a winning side.

  2. Louise Wang says:

    Besides, all the examples above, Steven Jobs of Apple Company is another example that I can think of. Apple innovation has changed the life style of generations in today’s society. Mr. Jobs is the leader is this respect. People give the credit of Apple’s success to Jobs. On the other hand, some people blamed the less welcomed products of Apple to the departing of Mr. Jobs. I think this is a case of “leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organisational performance.”

    Michael Porter is the leader of economist, marketing specialist. In the past decade, any student who have studied economic or related courses know that maximise profit is the goal of a corporation or any types of business because Mr. Porter has repeatedly speak of this theory. Therefore, people have lived with this theory. However, with the change of our society, social element has become one of the most important factors that guides today’s business. Porter then came up with another theory that maximise profit is not the only goal for business, community and social service is also important to businesses. Consequently, “according to Porter, community and social service is important and so on” has become the new guide line for businesses today. I could have gone a little extreme about my examples. However, I believe these examples have explained “the amplifying effect of media coverage can both shape and influence public opinion about leaders, as both heroes and demons make for valuable new content.”

    • Xuan He says:

      I do agree with the example about Steve Jobs and Apple. As you mentioned in the comment, Apple innovation has changed the life style of generations in today’s society, and Jobs is the leader for that. People give the trust of Apple’s success to Jobs. However, after his leaving, people think Apple’s innovation is gone. They believe that if Jobs is still alive, the new Apple products would still be top 1. I still believe that there are many leaders who cannot be replaced such as Bill Gates.
      In my personal perspective, this example would be a kind of “celebrity CEO phenomenon”. This term explains the reason to us. Therefore, companies really should figure out a way of using this term in the public in order to attract more people to buy their products or services.

    • Uttam Kumar Roy says:

      Well, being from the front line, it is true to describe, “leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance.” Though, people want to see their leader as a ‘Successor’. But, may be it is not a rational way to project the leadership. Because, sometimes it is not as simplified as the people’s choice.

  3. Tomi Ji says:

    Some researchers from Durham University have recently given opinions that leadership is a complex matter that can be seen from several different perspectives and the Romance of Leadership approach predicts that in times of good or poor company performance, people will attribute high levels responsibility to leaders thereby ignoring other possible influencing factors.

    Originally, Meindl et al (1985) conceptualized Romance of Leadership as the general tendency to have a romantic view of leaders in so far as all responsibility for company performance is attributed to its leaders. This process of attribution is due to sense-making in organizations, in other words the schemas we have to help us to simplify information processing with respect to what happens in organizations: as company performance is complex to explain, leadership can serve as a means of simplifying the cognitive processes involved in explaining performance.

    Except those well-known leaders mentioned above, one of the most successful Chinese entrepreneurs Jack Ma, as the CEO of an e-commerce company called Alibaba Group, he presents a glamours Romance of Leadership, which has made him become the most influential business leaders in China. In 2001, he was chosen by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader” and in 2004 he was selected by China Central Television (CCTV) and its viewers as one of the “Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year.”

    • Wang Yun says:

      Tomi, I completely agree with your point that Jack Ma presents a glamour romance of leadership.
      As I know, Jack Ma is the one of few who cares about his employees’ situation. He pointed that if you want to build a strong leadership, you must let your employees work with happiness. The cause of job-hopping can be split into 3 aspects including dissatisfying the salary, dissatisfying the working condition, and dissatisfying the opportunities they got. Jack Ma cares about those things and becomes one of the most influence entrepreneurs in China. This would be a romance of leadership. I prefer to call this efficiency of leadership. It makes the leadership more effective and efficient.
      In addition, I also have some ideas to share with you. Leaders should think about how to utilize the term “Celebrity Charm”. This is because leaders may not be a celebrity, but they should think about how to utilize this method. For example, the Olympic game always asks some well-known people to do some special activities such as singing or holding the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony in order to attract people to watch. This is a successful example of using celebrity charm. In my opinion, celebrity charm would be the top 1 priority for the strategy choosing in an organization. This is beyond the leadership.

      • Wei Bin Du says:

        I think most of people know about Shi Yuzhu in China, he is a good example of romance leadership.From nothing to a billionaire, he was a famous winners;From the billionaire to nothing at all, he is a famous failure;From nothing to a billionaire, he is a famous comeback;He created a unique Chinese and global economic history of the legend
        For the first time, he staged a successful version, the second time, he acted in the case of a failure;This time, he start to climb from fall from where, and completed the definition of entrepreneurship.Persistent.Integrity, responsibility.The ups and downs of business, in the world are talking about, only dare to companions of the suffering people, to get up out of the shadows that falls from success.
        therefore, sometimes loser doesnot means you lose everthing, you also get many valuable things from your fail. All of the romance leaders has the experience of lose.

      • Uttam Kumar Roy says:

        Well, thanks to give a reference from Durham University. I also think like that, ‘people will attribute high levels responsibility to leaders thereby ignoring other possible influencing factors.’

    • Donna says:

      Tomi you make some great points in your post here. We often attribute the success or failure of an organization’s performance based on the leaders of the company. We tend to neglect some other important factors that may be attributing to that success or failure. Your example of the Alibaba group which is very successful was particularly interesting. I was exploring that website not long ago for a project in another class and was fascinated with the lines of products available. I was interested to learn about Jack Ma who is considered a very successful Chinese entrepreneur and has in turn won several accolades based on the success he has derived from leading Alibaba. I would agree with your assessment that leadership is a complex matter that can be seen from many perspectives. What one may consider “leadership”, another may not and vise versa.

    • Mingfen Wang( Vicky) says:

      I do agree with what you said that as company performance is complex to explain, leadership can serve as a means of simplifying the cognitive processes involved in explaining performance. Dose this mean people always contribute the success or failure of the organization to the leaders? in my mind it is. but, for a leader, it is really hard to take the biggest responsibilities for the success or failure of the organization. it needs the leader has all aspects capacity, such as good personality, a wide range of knowledge, ability to analyse the national and international situation, good followers and so on. At the same time, the “celebrity CEO” is need for the development of organization. since the leaders have great influence on the performance of organizations, the “celebrity CEO” will has more impact on the performance of organizations.

    • XITONG YU (Cherie) says:

      You have very good understanding about the Romance of Leadership. There is no doubt that leadership is one of the important things of the business success. However, the success of leadership just likes the shape of iceberg. Above the water line, it is the appearance of how successful the business is. People can see how the iceberg looks easily. Below the waterline, there are so many items to make the iceberg float on the water such as management, HR, finance, Entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, and so on. Leadership is only one of the factors to make the company success. In the leadership class, we concentrated on how important of leadership, how to use leadership in our lives. However, every coin has two signs. Romance of leadership seems that it overstates the importance of the leadership. All in all, leadership is still a good subject to learn.

      • Yang Yu (Elliott) says:

        Cherie’s metaphor is very appropriate. However, I have little different thinking from her. Below the waterline, for leadership, there should be more enormous and complex interpersonal relationships and benefits quarrels. HR, finance and management and so on are all the stuffs on the surface.However, the leadership refers deeper stuff which is inside persons’ heart. The stuff on the surface usually give ideology to employees. But the leadership are helping employees create ideology.If we think leadership from this point, Romance of Leadership should be very important. It can directly influence the inside heart of employees if the charm of leaders really works.

    • Invoking “sense-making” as you do, Tomi, suggests to me that part of the romance of leadership is the often-futile effort to understand the “art” of an organization’s performance, not only as an internal stakeholder, but from far outside of it as a shareholder. “Dumb money” (i.e; supposedly unintelligent investors) may reward companies based on aspects of leaders’ personality or private conduct, even when irrelevant to the operation of the company.

      As with much (or all) sense-making, though, it’s often based on a severe overestimation of our own predictive powers. Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman has laid this out as “pervasive optimistic bias”; this is one example of the failings of what he attributes to most humans’ preferences for ways of thinking that are “fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, [and] subconscious.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking_fast_and_slow#Optimism_and_loss_aversion).

      I think the truth is scarier but also liberating: we can’t really know what makes successful organizations fully. We *can* know is that our natural instinct is to over-value a “friendly face.”

      • Le Wang(Rocky) says:

        I agree with you. the author explains the romance of leadership as people try to simplify the complicated cognitive process by attributing all duties to the leaders. This explanation reveals the psychology of a large number of people. A wide range of factors that can affect organizational performance and leadership is only one of it. But as it usually takes a lot of efforts to examine the factors accounting for either good or poor performance, people try to save efforts by attributing all the responsibilities to the leaders. This type of behavior and thinking style fits perfectly into the ways of many people. It is widely known that it is human nature to avoid the complex matters and take on the simple matters, owing to which people romanticize or overestimate the importance of leadership. This finding provides valuable information for people, namely, to evaluate organizational performance by considering all the related factors in addition to leadership.

    • Jiuyan Gong says:

      Personally speaking, though I admit that leadership is not the only criterion to decide organizational performance, I am fully convinced that the leaders should shoulder most of the responsibilities for organizational performance. If leadership only has little effect on organizations, then how comes all the successful companies have successful leaders. A case in point, Jack Ma is one of the most successful leaders in China and develops his company from a small local one to the current multinational one that operates in a large number of countries and regions. The huge success of his company is closely linked to the personal qualification, the ability to grasp market opportunity and the power to make the right decisions at the right moments. Without the timely and right decisions made by Ma, it is not possible for his company to attain the current scale and influence no matter how hard the members work.

  4. Siwen Ren(ELena) says:

    In the 21st century, fortunately, more and more enterprises begin to pay attention to leaderships,however, the misunderstanding of leadership in the enterprises is becoming worring. No matter the personal charisma or the publicity of media on individuals, they all have some unrealistic romantic mood. Lots of entrepreneurs complained about the management in enterprise could not fit right in the place. Modern romantic ,represented by Warren Bennis, commanded that leader should present transformational leadership rather than position power. They are just focusing on personal charisma and refill the knowledge in worker’s brain. In that way, enterprises are ignoring the basic conflict of profit among employees and shareholders instead of the unrealistic assumption of human nature. So we should avoiding some misundestanding of leadership.
    Firstly, the need of different leadership on different level, industry, and enterprise. The leadership is a kind of inside quality, it will not change due to the different jobs. Secondly, the leadership is equal to influence. Influence is not only the nature of leadership but also the standard of success. There are so many leaders like using the power of influence but failed at last. For instance, Hilter is a famaous influenced people ,however , he is not a good leader. Thirdly,leadeship is equal to good habits. Leadership is not the sum of all good words. No one is perfect, he or she must has some demerits although they might be a good leader.
    We should give up the romance of leadership and focusing on the mental quality of leaders.

    • Jianyu Qu says:

      I think I completely agree you because you said people should avoid the misunderstanding of leadership. Just as you said, “more and more enterprises begin to pay attention to leaderships. However, the misunderstanding of leadership in the enterprises is becoming worrying.” Today, people need to concentrate on the leadership, but we can not put all of our attention on the leadership, in other words, the leadership is not significant to this extent yet. Also, the personal charisma is very important, too, but this is one component in it. On the other hand, your three perspectives are also very reasonable and precise. I think a leader has a mighty influence and force to the different field, but we can not rely on this power to everything.

      • Bader Albalawi says:

        I would add to avoiding misunderstanding of leadership leaders also should avoid excessive use or misuse of their authority at the workplace. Leaders should have the competencies and skills to deal with others on professional and human manner. I agree that companies these days invest in leaders, attending training programs to fill in one of the gaps is a good option for leaders to improve their skills.

  5. Wang Yun says:

    Yes, I deeply agree with the point “we have a tendency to overestimate the importance of leadership”. I also have another example which is not in the business field. Kobe Brant and Los Angel Lakers is another example that I can think about. Kobe Brant is the leader in the Lakers (A team in National Basketball Association). People love Lakers because of him and think about Kobe is the reason of Lakers’ success. On the other hand, some people still think the reason why Lakers failed in last season because of Kobe’s injury. However, No evidence exactly says that Kobe contributes the most to the success of Lakers. In my personal perspectives, we can figure out that “leaders acted as simplified and biased way to make sense of organizational performance”. This happened not only in the business area, but also in sports area.
    I also agree with the celebrity charm. Celebrities have their fans; their fans love to follow their idols as much as they can. In business field, this situation happened too. For example, people love Steve Jobs and Apple’s products. However, after Steve Jobs pass away, many Apple’s fans are becoming dislike Apple’s products and think of Samsung would be another best choice for them. This would be truly celebrity charm. It is beyond leadership for a company. This is the reason why so many companies employ movie stars or sport stars to advertise their products.

    • Mark LeCouter says:

      I do agree with some of your statements about Kobe Bryant but disagree with the Steve Jobs example. I think that Steve Jobs was one of those special leaders that was a visionary and passionate about what he did. He was not afraid to fail, many leaders lack this component. There are some leaders that can never be replaced , and he is one of them. He was a brilliant risk taker with vision. Very rare in our capitalistic system where creativity is not a priority. Thanks for your comment.

    • Yu Ma (Mark) says:

      I have to say you gave an interesting example. In a team, the leader has to undertake more pressure than others, leader has the responsibility to make the right decision and lead the team to victory. I used to be a basketball player, I understand this sport. Basketball is a sport of a team, even Michael Jordan also need Pippen and Rodman to achieve 6 NBA titles. Same in the business area, every element in the organization has its function, the success or failure should not only on the leader.

    • Huilin Zeng says:

      I enjoy the example of Kobe Bryant you gave. The media and the public nowadays give too much credit to one individual in terms of the contribution to a team or an organization. However, the success of failure is definitely not just because of one person’s or a leader’s contribution. Actually, a lot of elements can affect the outcomes. One of the reason why there is a tendency to overestimate the importance of leaders is the effect of media. It always amplifies the information or an event of the leader, and the public make judgements based on the information of the media.

  6. Mark LeCouter says:

    It is hard to argue the point that popular media and many people see leadership as ‘sexy’. We try to emulate these leaders by reading their books and taking courses to be like them. They have money, power, respect, and lifestyle that many of us seek. These images are great marketing tools for companies and we sometimes become too involved in their lives (ie reality shows). I think that being a true leader is more that meets the eye. Take away the fancy suits and big offices and I think the picture may be different. These individuals have huge priorities and responsibilities. Leadership should not be something that is give to you; it should be earned as a reward for exemplary work. It is more than talking; they need to ‘talk the walk’. Being innovative, creative, and keeping true your values are key elements of being a leader. Maybe some leaders make it look easy but I am sure they work very hard. They faker’s will quickly fail; the genuine leaders may also fail but they will learn from their mistakes and move on.

    The celebrity CEO phenomenon is definitely true. It only makes sense that we follow these individuals because we want to emulate their success. What makes them different from us???? Why aren’t we the ones that are being emulated? We must remember that good leaders make mistakes and in adverse times can transform and rise out of despair. Mediocre leaders fail!

    • Louise Wang says:

      I truly admire the power of media. It changes our lives. We easily can take a furtive glance on our celebrity CEOs. We want to do what they do, say what they say, be as success as they are. Ask myself the question you raised in your post, “what makes them different from us?” They are different because they have more money than us. They are different because they attract more media attention. They are different because they have something that we want to have. However, if I ask myself the question, “what do I really know about them?” The answer is no. I don’t know anything about them besides what being posted through media. When we look up to the celebrity CEOs, we need to know what we are really following. It is just as important of being a good follower as being a leader. Remember we discussed in the class, a good follower has all the good quality of a good leader. We could be a leader today, then a follower tomorrow. As long as we understand the relationship between a follower and leader, we are all successful people.

    • Sajidul Haque says:

      Well when an organization is outranking competition and being appreciated by the society, then its considered as not only a successful organization but also a benchmark in the industry. The point I want to bring here is the life span of an organization; we take examples of many successful organizations and their founders, and we strive to transform to be like one of them.

      However, have we ever tried to separate the Romance of Leadership from the having fame or being a wealthy person? What happens when a giant organization that we have been following as a point of reference fails or goes bankrupt? Then the same media pined down all the flaws and do not hesitate from questioning the very leadership once promoted as a successful one. Therefore the understanding of leadership or the concept of followership should be inspired from an admirable vision, rather then from an attraction created by media.

  7. Bader Albalawi says:

    I believe that the leader is the integral and most important part of every organization, having very qualified and hard working employees is not enough if there is no effective leader. A leader who has a vision that he/she imposes it on the organization and implementing strategies and plans for the short and long run. An example that i always have on my mind is the current CEO of Saudi Arabian Airline ( Khalid Almulhim) he used to be the chairmen of Saudi telecommunication Company (STC) he was successful as a leader in STC when the company was on the edge of bankruptcy . So he played a big role on its revival , the same thing happened in (SAUDIA) Saudi Arabian Airlines where he restored its position as one of the most important airlines in the middle east. Thus, having a good leader doesn’t mean that employees have no effect but no more than the leaders impact .

    • Wei Shen says:

      Bader, I cannot agree with your idea that employees or followers have no more than the impact of leaders. In my angle, I strongly assert that both of followers and leaders play same pivotal role in a company or an organization. Undoubtedly, rational and good leadership can drive the business to the path of success. More specifically, leaders can present a future vision or direction, and then their follower will be guided by it to work in their certain positions. Furthermore, leaders will aim to align staff, build strong working relationships, and provide highest-quality works. What’s worth mentioning, leaders act as the core roles in making decisions and adapting to changes. To visualize this, a leader looks like the driver in a car. However, if the quality of this car is so bad, no matter how prominent the leader is, he or she cannot drive it regularly and safely. Apparently, followers look like the parts of this car, which ensuring the normal operation of the car. In most case, leaders are those people who only provide a clear future developing direction, but no concrete actions. By contrast, the followers are those people who really take concrete actions complied with the vision, thus pushing the company moving forward. Therefore, at the meantime of emphasizing the importance of celebrity CEO phenomenon, the importance of followers cannot be ignored either. Moreover, the influence size or extension of leaders and followers are equal.

    • Bai Luyao(Ellen) 20130750 says:

      I am quite agreeing with your idea that leader is the integral and most important part of every organization. Although the core strength of a company is the innovation, good leadership can never be regarded as sub-important. With a good and sound leadership cannot only increase of the work effectiveness and efficiency, but also can inspire employee’s moral, to encourage them to be better and more motivated. Bad leadership may not exert bad influence on a company in the short term, however, in the long term, it must be an important factor for company’s bankrupt and collapse. Sometimes, in the short term, leadership cannot show its function or have obvious help for the company, at least, it can keep the company in a stable condition and run the company normally.

  8. Wei Shen says:

    Indeed, Bill Gates of Microsoft is a very persuasive example to express the idea that leadership is a simplified, biased, and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance. Undoubtedly, Bill Gates creates successful business and is a successful business man. However, if without the release of social-purpose events provided by his wife and the market influence of recruitment of Warren Buggett, obviously, he cannot achieve so great success nowadays. The public and his followers would consider him as a simple businessman, who only concentrates on how to make profits and expand business. By contrast, his wife and Warren Buggett attribute the positive organizational outcome to the leader, Bill Gates. In this case, with the participation or suggestion from them, the image of leader, even of the organization or business will be transformed. In addition, the media can also express a pivotal influence, which can present a positive or negative picture of organizations lively. Followers may get a relatively evaluation about their leader and his performances. Apparently, this media impact will lead to the changes of initiatives of followers, thereby influencing the efficiency and productivity of the organization.

    • Siwen Ren(Elena) says:

      I agree with your option about “the media can also express a pivotal influence,which can present a positive or negative picture of organizations lively.” The influence of leader is not only inside emotions but also sometimes is the publicity of affections of media. We can not deny that some affection is due to the media. There are lots of examples that in the reality life. For instance, “celebrity CEO” are like using media to establish their aspect of positive appearance. This is a description of their ” leading” among public. Anyway, we could not forced our followers,it is not a bad measure to make a influence on followers through the impact of media.

    • Xiaofang Long says:

      I really appreciate your point of view that without the release of social-purpose events, Bill Gate maybe cannot achieve so great successs nowadays. This let me associate with the corporate social responsibility which was proposed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that CSR is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life. A strategic approach to CSR is increasingly important to a company’s competitiveness. It can bring benefits in terms of risk management, cost savings, access to capital, customer relationships, human resource management, and innovation capacity. It also encourages more social and environmental responsibility from the corporate sector at a time when the crisis has damaged consumer confidence and the levels of trust in business.Through CSR, enterprises can significantly contribute to the European Union’s treaty objectives of sustainable development and a highly competitive social market economy. CSR underpins the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, including the 75% employment target. Responsible business conduct is especially important when private sector operators provide public services.
      In here, I want to emphasize that even though leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance, the expectation of the stakeholeders will affect the bias of the leadership.

      • Chang Cheng says:

        The main functions of leadership decision-making, which means to have technical expertise, should be able to predict the future direction and technology development trends. I believe that a leader must have extensive knowledge of many outside the Bank, and according to their own knowledge and experience, develop their own special feeling kind of beyond our facts and figures place the special feeling. Decision-making is the leader to do the main work, decision-making once the mistakes, it means the loss of the unit. Means for their dereliction of duty. This requires leaders to strengthen the awareness of decision-making, and to improve decision-making, decision-making as to minimize waste.

  9. Donna says:

    Using the term “leadership” can mean many things to many people. It seems that “leadership” is taking on a coined phrase much like empowerment did many years ago. There are so many leaders that people have discussed within this post. Some of whom have fallen off the leadership pedestal once, only to come back to reach astronomical success. Steve Jobs is a good example; he was viewed as a visionary, in the past being compared to Thomas Edison. However, he was also known for his ruthlessness with competitors and would often berate the employees that held him in such high esteem. At one point in his career, he was ousted from the CEO position when the cost of product development, research and development became more of a burden and those that admired him began to question his leadership and competence. After returning to the company, Jobs went about proving his abilities, resurrecting Apple Inc. to the most valued company in the world. Not an easy thing to accomplish.
    Oprah Winfrey is another example of iconic leadership. Even though her network and business stumbles resulted in an $88 million earnings drop since last year, Oprah returns to the top of Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 ranking as number one.
    There are many aspects of “romancing leadership” including biases in attributing characteristics of leadership and their effects on organizational success and failure; understanding how followers perceive leaders and are motivated to follow some leaders but not others. Who defines a charismatic leader? How does a leader fall from grace only to rise again? What qualities do the leaders possess? What are followers looking for in leaders? We often attribute the “halo effect” to leaders seeing only their good traits and minimizing their faults.

    • Tomi Ji says:

      Donna, I like these examples you gave us. I think the Romance of Leadership is not only influencing the company’s performance, but also others’ attitudes. Great leaders will never force people to follow them, but people just want to work with them. I believe those people who are influential leaders, they have something in common, which is they can always find reasons to move on, but not excuse to give up.

      • Zhuohua Yao says:

        Tomi, I agree with that “ great leaders will never force people to follow them, but people just want to work with them.” I think this is the charm of leadership. Therefore, the charm of leadership is so important to leaders. There are several core features in the charm of leadership. First of all, they have complete confidence in their own judgment and ability. Second, they have great vision, which makes followers to have the same goal. Third, they have the ability to articulate that vision. Forth, they will have no doubt about their ideals. However, beliefs and attitudes decide the formation and play of leaderships. There are five aspects of Beliefs and attitudes such as passion, commitment, responsibility, appreciation, and trust.

      • Catherine says:

        I also agree that “great leaders will never force people to follow them”. In my opinion , the real leader is the one who can handle his/her work first. And during that process, his/her traits, his/her personality, his/her ability, and his/her ways treating others get noticed by the colleagues. Then, colleagues are willing to work with him/her, thinking like what he/she thinks, and doing what he/she will do. Colleagues become followers, and create the leader at the same time. The process is more like a social interaction. The best way is not to force people, but influence them in a way gently and gradually. And in a short period of time, the followers will spread this affection to someone else. More followers come in, and more influential the leader will be.

  10. Zhuohua Yao says:

    I agree with the point that “leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance.” If a company gets a great success, people always attributed organizational outcomes to leaders. Now, I will use an example to explain. As we know, Apple is a very successful company. However, people always think Apple can get such a great success because of Steven Jobs. I agree that if it doesn’t have Steven Jobs, it will not have Apple. Apple is created by Steven Jobs, but I don’t agree that without Steven Jobs, Apple will disappear. Now, Steven Jobs passed away, Apple also does very well. I also like to use Apple. We can think that leaders decide whether the company succeeds or fails. In past few years, Nokia was so popular in China. You can see Nokia brand everywhere, but now Nokia was replaced by Apple because of bad decision of leaders in 2008. Therefore, leaders were so important to the company or country. In China, people always think the People’s Republic of China can be established because of Mao Zedong, and China can become rich because of Deng Xiaoping. People will attribute all achievement into these leaders. However, we often forget some people, who also do a lot of contribution in these achievements because these leaders also need somebody to help them. Therefore, I want to say that group is also very important to the company or country.

    • Sana Alzahrani says:

      I like the examples you used in your comment. In addition, Steven Jobs was the revolution of leadership that made people believe again about leadership and he is one of the huge reasons that expand ROL (romance of leadership) beside some names in US such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Ronald Trump. Leaders for some organizations are the brand that keeps people interested more than the product they serve. Their presents is essentially needed, even though they do almost nothing.

      • Jianmin Chen (Minna) says:

        Sana Alzahrani, I do agree with your opinion that sometime leaders for some organizations are the brand that keeps people interested more than the product they serve. As what Zhuohua Yao said, Apple is a very good example. People always like to attribute organization outcomes to leaders. I agree with Zhuohua Yao said one company succeed or failure, not only count on its CEO (leader), but also people who work for leaders do a lot of contribution. I remembered once I read an article, 80% of company fail because of poor management. Leadership is important, but leadership cannot succeed without effective management. Also, it is very interesting to think about why people like to attribute organization outcomes to leaders? Let us think who is the invisible hand to drive this happen? I think it is media. People listen video, watch news, and receive information from internet every day. Even though they won’t believe 100% what they read and listen from media, about 60% they maybe think it is true. Therefore, sometimes media builds up a very good image for leaders even over what we know and think.

  11. Sana Alzahrani says:

    The idea of the romance of leadership (ROL) is almost every where in the planet. It does not affect the followers behaviors, but also the people believes about the organizations and impacts how people react toward them. Meindl, Ehrilch and Dukerich conclude that people are obsessed about the idea of leadership and it is not easy to truncate. It is phycological need that people have about the hero who save the organization and change the worlds around it. It is the need to have a leader hero who can be trusted to grantee the safety of life style they have and improve it.

    Al-Waleed bin Talal is the one example of the ROL in Saudi Arabia. He is a well-known entrepreneur and the CEO of Kingdom Holding Company. He is the kind of leader who really knows about the effect of ROL and work so hard to advertise himself. He even sews the newspapers who underestimates his fortune such as Forbes. He owns an empire he built himself and people between an admirer or “like me” kind of overwhelmed. His charity work in Saudi Arabia is so vast and cover many aspects from supporting youth projects to fight poverty in the country. However, Sulaiman Al Rajhi, the multibillionaire the founded of Al Rajhi bank the most popular bamk in Saudi Arabia, spends almost all his money in charity, but he does not get the same credit as Al-Waleed does.

  12. shejiang1019 says:

    Demonizing is an interesting phenomena and I also found that the phenomena of demonizing is based on the transparency of the culture of the organization. There are some examples, which could be given. The initial leader is from the political and his name is Kim Jong-un, who is the supreme leader of North Korea. Actually, he is the star of the whole country but he is a dictator actually. Everyone will cry and be excited when they see their leader which makes the viewer’s feel sorry for these crying guys. Why do they cry for their leaders? There are mainly two things, named as culture and schedule. In terms of culture, it is built by promotion and non-transparency. The latter one makes the North Korean people non-sensible and foolish to the changing of the world and the former one is really practical tool, which can change people’s mindset that make people believe that Kim Jong-un is the hero of the country and he is the only one who can change North Korean’s bad phenomena and press the nuclear button. In terms of the regulation, in a non-transparency place, this thing is not generated from the leader, while it is generated from the followers. Sometimes, in a crazy time, the degree of admiration to their leader could be used to attack others or even obtain something. And after that, the regulation, which is not written on the paper could be transmitted everywhere inside the organization.

    There is another example from the business that I want to share is Steve jobs, it cannot be denied that a Steve job is the gunnies of inventing and changing the mobile phone and every time people and media will wait for his company’s product even though this genius has passed away. This reminds me one song, named sprit carries on. What contributes to these phenomena? Whether you believe or not, when you talked about Steve jobs, there is always one phenomena occurring in my mind that a simple guy, with beard, eye-glass and white T-shirt stands in front of a bright and lighted white screen promoted his products. And after that, there are some product promotion meeting imitating the Steve jobs’ style. This is mysterious for a leader, because the only thing that I remember is from the speech from Steve jobs, but everyone follow this guy and his product. And after Steve jobs passing away, one book related to him, including his disadvantages has been published and transmitted globally and then a real leader, within disadvantages could be accepted by followers. There are two main things for this, one is that he created and changed the world and the second thing is that he moved to another world.

  13. Jianyu Qu says:

    In fact, I think some perspectives of the author are very reasonable. Sometimes, people usually overestimate the importance of leadership, and people can not give a precise orientation or definition for the understanding of leadership. Like James and his collaborators said that this phenomenon can be known as the romance of leadership. However, it is not real romantic, it is just a kind of specific evaluate according to the people’s view. Also, it is a condition of idealization. In addition, for the vast majority of famous CEO, their success is not separate to their firms’ success. Nonetheless, a company’s success is not always relevant to a leader. Even though this leader is so successful, many workers and manages also need to be very successful. For instance, people have five fingers (not for the disabled), you can not play basketball or piano only by one finger. Each finger is very important, but you should put them together, and they will become strongest. Consequently, a CEO’s success will influence this company’s development, and perhaps will let this company more and more famous. Nevertheless, a leader also can bring the firm go to the low ebb. So, a firm’s success depends on every people no matter who you are.

    • Xiaolan Cao (Cheryl) says:

      Totally agree! Everyone matters in an organization, but sometimes people attribute no matter success or failure to the leaders, as they are the ones who were seen to make the decision. People tends to do this just because of human nature. What people neglect to see is the implementation process and other factors, which can also affect the final result. Leadership seems to become the only one that determines a company’s success. I think that’s part of the reason why leadership is overestimated. And I like the metaphor that you describe the parts of organization as fingers. It’s true that work together and support each other are crucial in any organizations.

    • Lindsey says:

      Hey Jianyu, I enjoyed reading your reply, I do agree that everyone in an organization has a very important role and that by working together they will become stronger. I did find it interesting the example you provided for not being able to do something however. I would disagree with that. I have attached a video for you to see. I think a leader can have short falls (disabilities) whatever you want to call them and still produce great results and true ideals of leadership. Watch this video and let me know what you think! In this case of course he will have his team mates, but he may never step a second on the court to play in an actual game. But I believe he will end of being a very profound leader on this Florida Gators Division I basketball squad! http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9859973

  14. Catherine says:

    we have to admit that we always attribute organizational outcomes to leaders, no matter it’s a good outcomes or bad outcomes. Someone call this the romance of leadership. I would say that it’s no more than a kind of group psychology. When we are faced with an authority figure, we usually respond as the others do, which is, in most case, obedience, And the social media just increase this tendency. Taking the example of Jobs, most people think that he is the absolute leader, the soul of Apple, even he’s been passed away for 2 years. So, we give all the credit to Jobs for what have been done in Apple company. However, the success of Apple is not one man’s effort. There are thousands thousands invisible engineers, workers, and administrators behind the scene. The day when Jobs died, almost every media in the world reported this event, even in the front page. That is a psychological hint which implies no one else matters in Apple, but Jobs. “He is the guy made to be a God”. And who made it? Us, the followers, of course. So,whatever the goals are, remember that the conformity affects everyone. Romance may make people being obsessed with someone, but it could also end up with disgusting or hatred, just like most of the dictators in the world. And that will be a really bad romance. LOL

    • Yes, the romance of leadership is like a psychological trick by the followers. Just like Jobs, people give all the credit to him about the success of Apple, while at the same time, even though he has been passed away for 2 years, people still blame him about the unsatisfied situation of Apple products or technologies at present. There is no denying the fact that this kind of phenomenon really matters in current society. Romance is a kind of subjective impression in people’s mind. Explained from the perspective of psychology, it is just like the halo effects that is a type of cognitive bias where our perception of one personality trait influences how we view a person’s entire personality. In other words, sometimes we should be cautious about the subjective concept because it is not always right and may mislead people to some extent.

  15. Jianmin Chen (Minna) says:

    Thanks to Professor Campbell open my horizon. I learned a new theory today: Romance of Leadership. The romance of leadership (ROL) refers to an attribution approach which attempts to understand when and why we recognize and give credit to leaders for influencing and changing our institutions and societies. (Bligh, Michelle C., and Jeffrey C. Kohles.) It is true that nowadays, in our society, people are like to praise highly activities performance when those are attributed to leadership. It other words, people sometimes will over-emphasize the role of leader and leadership; however, it will result in ignoring other possible influencing conditions. In society, people like to picture leadership according to what do they read on the books, what do they listen through media. Sometime, people even not care about leader’s personal shortcoming or poor management. Therefore, ROL inspires people need to question and explore the value and significance of leadership.

    Also no matter positive or negative outcome from the organization, people and media will be first attributed it to its leaders. For example, one of the successful Chinese Internet entrepreneurs Ma Huateng, who is the CEO of Tencent Holidings, creates a super social media platform and his company most famous product is an instant messaging service called QQ. In 2005, Tencent has gone through a legal battle called “3Q War”. Because of this event, people like to attribute this outcome to him and his effective leader capability was called in question.

  16. Mingfen Wang( Vicky) says:

    Actually, at first I felt a little confused about the romance of leadership. After I saw the quoted definition in Mina’s comment, The romance of leadership (ROL) refers to an attribution approach which attempts to understand when and why we recognize and give credit to leaders for influencing and changing our institutions and societies. (Bligh, Michelle C., and Jeffrey C. Kohles.). Now I can understand what is the romance of leadership. The romance of leadership is a trend phenomenon in the world. Media is a tool of influence the public opinion about leaders. With the development of internet, people are free to talk about what happened in their life and work on the internet and also they are free to gain information about the world. Therefore, the information which has been published by the media influences the thoughts of the public. Nowadays, media is a powerful tool for leadership.

    • Yuxin Yang(Sam) says:

      I agree with your point media is a powerful tool for leadership. More and more leadrs realized this ponit, they began to go out to the stage and became more and more “cool”. As leaders receiving more and more attention, they also increased the investment in commercial media. Their photo appeared on a magazine cover, their names are circulated on talk shows. However, drawbacks of close and frequent contacts with the media were already apparent. The reason is simple. If the CEO needs to concentrate on relentless media campaign, it will definitely affect their understanding of company operations and the correctness of the decision.

      • Lici Zhang says:

        The media is a medium to exchange ideas and give comment. This is an important approach for leadership. We can consider that the public supervise is effectively to impact the behaviors. Moreover, the platform of social network and website is useful to share the knowledge and experience especially for leadership which focus on actual operation. Media especially internet is more widely platform which can provide more resources and experience. Nowadays, media is the main method for leaders to spread their news to share with followers to enhance their common view. As you mentioned public opinion of leader, media is also a monitoring tool for leadership.

  17. Yuxin Yang(Sam) says:

    Leader is the most important carrier of company’s image. Their management skills and personal styles of leadership affected the public recognitions of the corporation. It is not hard to imagine people would identify leaders with their business. In recent years, more and more leaders realized the significance of leader’s image to the development of their enterprise. They are trying to build their personal brand in a variety of ways. In China, many TV stations launched TV recruitment programs. During the show, leaders, who now have the luxury of being picky with candidates, chat animatedly amongst themselves and try to show their personal charm and self-cultivation. But unfortunately, leader’s personal popularity has improved; the enterprise’s performance may not have a strong performance. As an leader, their promises and expectations expressed through their personal branding, whether for employees, customers and investors, should be closely related to their business development and profitability. The foundations of leader’s image marketing are business development, corporate management and profitability. If it is just for show, there are no benefits to the development of their corporation.

    • Yang Liu (Yasin) says:

      Perfect! I totally agree with your point.

      First, leader, as a most important role in the corporation who provides development vision for the whole company. Their management skills and personalities are very necessary for the employees. They influence the people and set up climate in the company directly.

      Second, i have seen that so-called TV recruitment programs. In the show, the leaders try their best to build their personal brand, but they focus more on show, which is no benefit
      of their company. These kinds of behaviors prove that it is unrelated between leader’s performance and corporation’s performance.

  18. Xiaofang Long says:

    Through your strong evidence, it is obviously to point out that leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance. Under the influence of his wife, Bill Gates began to engage in the charity work. He is famous for asking other billionaires to commit to giving away half their fortunes, reportedly inspired by Melinda’s reading The Power of Half by Kevin Salwen and his 14-year old daughter Hannah in 2010, about selling their home, giving half the proceeds to charity, and buying one half the size for their family. Bill and Melinda have committed to giving 95% of their fortune to charity over time; that is an astounding measure of generosity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through which their philanthropy flows is, according to Wikipedia, the largest “transparently operated private foundation in the world.” Since inception, the Foundation has made grants of over $26 billion, including $15 billion in global health alone. A significant contribution to the Foundation was made by Warren Buffet in 2006, but most of the money in the Foundation has been provided by the Gateses, which is a persuasive example to powerful prove that leadership acted as a simplified, biased and attractive way to make sense of organizational performance.

    • Shuai Shao (Shawn) says:

      I agree with your comments and your argument is really impressive. Bill Gates is really a great example for that. In his early career, he acted as a giant and wise leader for his Microsoft company which made great creative technology innovation for human beings; when he retired, he still performs as a great leader for his philanthropic foundation which has helped millions of people get rid of hunger, disease, poverty and all kinds of troubles. leader does not represent a person or two, instead, he represents much more than that: the reputation of a whole organization, the hope and light of hundreds or thousands of employees… it is apparently not easy to be a good leader, but once you become a leader, you should never say it’s difficult to be, because you are what you think. With great power comes great responsibility.

  19. Lindsey says:

    The leader of a company, team or country are the face of respective agent they are leading. The romance of leadership theory is proven in many instances like the ones described in your blog post. I think the celebrity aspect of leadership plays a vital role in the success of various companies success. I guess I will relate this to sports again, when you look at a company like NIKE, they take the best athletes in the world and hire them to endorse their product. These athletes are the best at what they do in their sport around the world, they are leaders on their teams, in their communities and across the globe. Their performance image alone is enough to drive the success of an organization. These celebrities are made to be invincible, we allow the perceived image to grow and grow and with that, so does the success of a company. Tiger Woods, arguably the best golfer to ever play the game has been the spokesperson for Nike for years, NIKE even built a brand around him, just as they did Michael Jordan, again arguably the best athlete to have ever played his sport. Tiger Woods created his own foundation, gives enormous amounts of money to charity, and was thought of as the “perfect roll model” Even when such an athlete grew too big for himself and let the pressures of being “the best” slip, Nike didn’t ditch Tiger Woods like some other sponsors. Nike kept with Tiger Woods because people still believed he was the best golfer to play the game, they still felt that by wearing Nike, it would help their game, that by playing Nike clubs and balls, they had a shot of being an ounce of the greatness that is Tiger Woods. Nike head office knew, Tiger Woods sells, and will continue to sell. He is a celebrity, we love celebrities, we have reality TV shows and magazines that cover what celebrities are doing at every minute. With the internet and social media being at our finger tips we can talk about celebrities, find out what they are doing, follow them on twitter any time we want. Tiger Woods has 3, 659,916 million followers on Twitter. Nike would be crazy not have him endorse their product and be the face of their brand. Media and celebrities drive success whether it be positive or negative. If people are talking about your brand that’s a good thing, no matter what the connection. I think this is also why we see so many actors and performers move into politics once they feel they have reached it on screen and on stage. Celebrity status sometimes gives these people the means to pursue political and volunteer work they may not have been able to achieve successfully as a general individual like ourselves.

  20. Chang Cheng says:

    Leadership is leading the way in the method demonstrated creativity and effectiveness. On the one hand is to create the most sublime freedom in creative leadership activities. “True” is to grasp the law. In the law to create sublimation realm of art; “good” is to meet the political philosophy; “beauty” refers to leadership pleasing, comfortable. The other hand, the effectiveness of leadership practice is the sole criterion for testing the art of leadership. Gorbachev led the Soviet Union cannot be said to be a successful leader. Farewell My Concubine cannot be said to be successful leadership. Leadership is the leader of a comprehensive reflection of personal qualities, is unique and individual. Hegel said: “The world is not exactly the same two leaf”, also no two people are identical, there is no identical leader and leadership models. How many there are that many kinds of leaders leadership model.

  21. Shuai Shao (Shawn) says:

    It is true that people always see so much bright shining image of a leader that they easily forget the other side of the medal. It could be full of sweat, but it could be full of darkness,either. For example, people remember Cesar’s glory of ruling a great empire but easily forget the cruelty of war or the blood and lives paid by millions of innocent people. Also, Chinese seem to easilly admire and idolize their great leader China Mao for liberating the country but forget the huge disaster caused by the Cultrural Revolution during 1970s. As for celebrity charm, someone may use it for good, while some speculators may use it for bad. For example, Lin Wang, a so-called “qigong master” who was quite popular in China because of his mysterious interpersonal relationship with a lot of Chinese famous celebrities including Jack Ma, Jet Li, Wei Zhao and so on. He attracted many visitors who came for his popularity and celebrity charm and swindled them out of millions of money by using his deceitful tricks. Now he has absconded to Hong Kong and the government has not yet adopted any measurements to stop and arrest him. From this short case we can see that celebrity charm could be a double-edge sword. The point is that who use it and use for what.

  22. Zhenzhen Xie(Zero) says:

    Couldn`t agree more on the point that “the amplifying effect of media coverage can both shape and influence public opinion about leaders, as both heroes and demons make for valuable news content.” This gives a valuable inspiration to leaders in the contemporary era. Since social media can both make or break the image of a leader, it has become a new vital tool for leadership in these days. A research released by the world`s largest PR Agency, Weber Shandwick, indicates that 76% Executives all across the world believe and encourage CEOs to actively use social media. As a matter of fact, the participation of CEOs in a public activity can greatly raise the popularity of the corporation, improve the operation results and improve employee`s involvement. Today`s technologies have provided leaders a wide range of channels to enhance communications with both internal employees and external media.It`s important for leaders to select an appropriate digital platform for the building of images.

  23. XITONG YU (Cherie) says:

    This article “Romance of Leadership” refreshes my understanding of leadership. When everybody focuses on how important the leadership is, at the same time, maybe we exaggerate its importance. In my opinion, I consider that the idea of James Meindl and his collaborators “Romance of leadership” is a good way to explain this phenomenon. In the leadership class, we concentrated on how important of leadership, how to use leadership in our lives. However, every coin has two signs. I am agree to the example of “celebrity CEO” in this article. The successful of CEO make those people become famous all over the world. For sure, Bill Gates’ Microsoft is still the leader of the computer market. Bill Gates is also the images of Microsoft brand. This “celebrity CEO” attracts customers’ eye as the psychological phenomenon. The greatest benefit of this phenomenon is money, which means millions and millions people will choose this brand because of the celebrity effect. However, leadership becomes more and more commercial. Businesslike leadership changes the basic implication. I am not saying “Romance of leadership” is a bad thing. What I am trying to say is that everything has two aspects. We should stay positive and think thing in the positive way, leadership as well.

  24. It is not entirely new to say leaders are socially constructed by followers. The romance of leadership emphases the importance of leadership factors to the functioning and dysfunctioning of organized systems. In other words, people take romance of leadership as a way to understand the causes of important organizational events and outcomes.

    However, although leadership is important and needs supports from people, that does not mean it is a good way to treat the relationship between leaders and followers. In contrast, leader-follower relationship should be a mutual communication instead of one-way direction. Both leaders and followers have powers and responsibilities to contribute to their communities or organizations. In particular, leaders are not always make the right decision. Besides, they may be the persons who provide toxic leadership that followers cannot just keep silence about it. Within the organizations. the healthy relationship has nothing to do with the exaggerated leader romance or individual safety considerations. If followers always want to stay in their comfort and belonging space, not only they waste their talents and influences, but also they give up the rights and chances to represent themselves and make things right.

    In fact, followers need leaders to guide them to better conditions and progress, while leaders need followers to help achieve their purpose. The significant element in leader-follower relationship is accountability, not safety, belonging, and comfort. Therefore, the romance of leadership may be good for cohesion and harmonious working environment, but it is not beneficial for the sustainability of the organizations’ or communities’ development.

  25. Pan Jiaolong says:

    “The romance of leadership” is an interesting topic. It is an alternative way of looking at leadership. As we known, it is common that people are more likely to attribute organizational outcomes to leaders in terms of good or bad company performance. Therefore, they will easy to ignore other possible factors of the outcomes. Indeed, leadership plays an independent role in an organization. However, this idea sound partial and not comprehensive. As Meindl (1998) mentioned, the constuction and representation of followers’ thought system impact the followers’ reactions to leadership rather than the leader’s traits and behaviours. When we evaluate the company‘s performance, we also should conccern about internal and external factors. In other words, the company’s suceess is accosiated with the performance of the comapany and emplyees.

    • Ximin Liu says:

      I partly agree with your opinion. We need to think the leadership in a correct way. The leaders are not the only factors that attribute organizational outcomes, good products, good employees and good advertisement also can be factors. However,in my point of view, I have a different idea on leadership plays an independent role in an organization. I suppose that leaders make decisions should connect to his followers and divisions. For example, if a leader want to expand the market, he can not think by himself. He should consider the production division’s productivity capacity, research and development division’s innovation and the advertisement division’s budget. A leader should make decisions on a lot of things. It is not an independent role.

  26. Ximin Liu says:

    It is the first time that I know “the romance of leadership”. It seems that every effect that a company does is made by leaders. In my point of view, I suppose that it is overestimate the leaders’ capacity or we ignore other people’s effects. A leader can not do everything by himself, like Bill Gates can not make a whole computer by himself. A leader needs good employees to help him. However, when we talk about Microsoft success, I guess most of us will say its Bill Gates’s achievement. How about others? The employees in research and development division, promotion division, advertisement division and so on. Everyone tries their best to make Microsoft better, it is not just a leader’s effect. Therefore, we should have a correct sight to see the leadership. The leaders make decisions and give directions to his followers. The followers do what leaders say. Everything works together well can have a success. In a word, it is not just a leader’s effect that leads to success, we need to find more factors under the success.

    • Pan jiaolong says:

      I partly agree with you. The romance of leadership sounds partial. We should consider it comprehensively. The success of an organization should be attributed to both internal and external factors of the company such as people, management and culture and so on.
      Nevertheless, leader’s name are easy to remember due to their talent and personality. They may the people who made a change or who was the founder of an organization. The company would not exist or successful without them. As far as I concerned, leader should be a first key element of an excellent group. Then, the interaction between leader and followers could be another main factor which we need pay more attention.

  27. Sajidul Haque says:

    We have long held trend of taking the successful organizations and their founders as most successful leaders and role models to be followed. We change our prospective, thought process, rationalities and to an extent make it a lot similar to theirs, as it’s like a celestial blueprint of success. And of course, media plays a significant role in marketing these ideas. It is ironic that many of the books are written on these people and promoted as recipes to obtain organizational and personal success.
    The “Celebrity CEO” phenomenon, we take their aspects and root them in our beliefs and start seeing the success and failure through their eyes. In my opinion, it is just an abstraction that blinds us to see the leadership in materialistic dimension.

    Leadership is a much broader sight and should not only be perceived with the materialistic success. I believe a successful businessman, investor or innovator will not necessarily make a good leader.

    • Katelyn MacLeod says:

      I enjoyed your comment and agree that we often take the founders or CEOs of successful organizations and look to them role models to follow. People tend to study and try to duplicate the actions of those who are successful. Although that may be a good starting point for learning, it cannot be taken as a sort of ‘blueprint’ to ensure success in other business ventures. All organizations are different from their employees to their business structure, so management or leadership tactics that may work well in one organization may fail terribly in another. Leadership is much broader than just success, as you mentioned, and it is often difficult not to attribute the aspects of leadership to successful CEOs. This could have something to do with the way the media portrays it and also how different content we learn about in business courses seem to also highlight the link between success and leadership.

  28. Hanqi Zhou says:

    Actually, it’s hard to say what qualities are important to a leader. As a successful leader who needs own every abilities and know everything about the organization. Maybe the abilities and knowledges are not more profession than the manager, but they should know the general situation and have the basic abilities. When we analyse why the leader to be successful, we need to decribe it in many aspects because different people have different situations. In terms of the romance of leadership, some people will ignore it. In many opinion, this aspect is a catalyst in the effective leadership. Looking at this cerebrities like Steven Jobs who is very charm when he in the speech. His employmees, customers and audiences are all admire him. The result is workers are working hard for him, customers are rushing to buy his new product. Comparing with Blackberry, Nokia, Samsung, their products are also have the high quality as Apple, however, their leaders are not romantic like Steven Jobs, so, their social influence can not compare with Apple. In other words, the romance of leadership looks simple and basic, but have a potential power to motivate employees and customers.

  29. Yang Yu (Elliott) says:

    I like the Romance of Leadership. I accept that it has its unique point which can sometimes help leadership. The effect of it really is determined by two sides of leadership activity. Some of leaders willfully do some behaviors to leave some space for the employees who may be attracted in leaders’ thinking to imagine. Some of leaders will not do that. And at the same time, some of employees would like to appreciate their leaders’ behaviors etc, both intended and unmeant behaviors. The romance of leadership only can be discussed in individual cases because there is no regularity. But sometimes it effect may be decisive for the leadership result.

  30. Yang Liu (Yasin) says:

    I want to say that this is a really existed phenomenon around us. The romance of Leadership , firstly introduced in 1985 by Meindl, it indicates that the tendency people have attribute responsibilities to leaders for company performance, thereby disregarding other factors that might be of influence. In other words, if an individual was perceived to be an effective leader, his or her personal shortcomings and poor organizational performance may be overlooked.

    In my opinion, i do not very agree with that. It is easier to attribute company performance to the influence of the leader than to considerate other possible factors. That is to say, romance of leadership is a kind of follower-centred form as well it does not aim to explain actual leader behavior.

    The romance of leadership is not a objective attitude for leadership. The goals of researching leadership aim to dig internal or hidden things to enhance management and make good performance not just focus on surface.

    • Yaqi DING (Arami) says:

      This is right, ‘the goals of researching leadership aim to dig internal or hidden things to enhance management and make good performance not just focus on the surface’. As the leader of a company, his image often represents the company’s image, which is a really existed phenomenon around us. For example, we only see that Foxconn which is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer use child labor in some developing country; however, we directly put the blame on Terry Gou which is the leader of Foxconn. In fact, it is not his fault. Therefore, I totally do not agree with that attributing company performance to leaders. Additionally, I want to add something about it, some leader also use media as a way to build their images in public by creating positive news. In my opinion, that is also unethical.

  31. I think the inverse of the romance of leadership, bitter disillusionment, also helps to describe oddities like the lop-sided public allocation of responsibility for the US’ health care website failure. While Obama is certainly responsible in many respects, his involvement had him engage his personality in highly public ways; his poll numbers are suffering with the current website failure. By contrast, CGI, the main contractor for the website, has stock values at an all-time high, despite having obviously screwed up pretty badly themselves on the most visible project they will probably ever do. Their saving grace is that no one knows their managers’ names, so we are less likely to attribute the failure to them.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/11/cgi_group_stock_price_theontractor_behind_obamacare_s_bum_website_is_doing.html

    • Andrew Boogaards says:

      WOW, this is an example the complete failure of our social, legal and economic systems. The original idea of capitalism was supposed to function on perfect knowledge of the consumer. In this example, there seems to be a shroud pulled over the corporate body, thus giving it impunity from its debacles. This has been an increasing problem over the past few decades. As the power and influence of corporations increase, accountability is replaced by corruption. The age of technology should be increasing the awareness of the general population, but instead technology is simply making people complacent. As a result, the managers of these mismanaged companies are aloud to continue unravelling our social fabric. A true leader should take responsibility for the action of their company. This is happening less and less.

  32. Bingting Huang says:

    I deeply agree with the point ” the celebrity charm”. Charismatic leaders think their influence from personal charm, wisdom, competence, credibility, characteristics, experience and personal qualities of excellence. Due to influence from personal charm, the leaders pay attention to safeguarding the personal charm. They often mingle with staff to establish a trusting relationship. They are not afraid to expose their weaknesses, because the charismatic leaders think that their charm has enough to make employees’ admiration. They believe that the relationship between leaders and subordinates is the interaction of personal relationship, so that the close relationship can help the fulfillment of leadership. The leaders do not concentrate on the influence bought by positions. They do not like bureaucratic jargon and pomp. Even if leaving companies, employees still can maintain personal relations with the leaders, who still be respected.

    • Ying Jiang(Alicia) says:

      Yeah. A trusting relationship is quite essential within an organization, but I don’t think leaders are not afraid to expose their weakness. The human instinct is to admire stronger and more powerful individuals, and that is how we learn things. Relationships between leaders and followers doesn’t have to be personal, since the farther you are, the more you can imagine.. For the most of time, the perfect leader in our mind is actually just a norman person. Making people Believe the leader is unique is the most important part of leadership.

      • Duan Yu(Phil) says:

        I can not agree much with you. Although as you pointed the human instinct is to admire stronger and more powerful individuals, leaders can influence followers to be what they are supposed to be by personal impact. In my opinion, I think personal is an important part between leaders and followers as well as the impression of a perfect leader. Making people believe the leader is unique might be an important part of leadership, but I really think building a trustworthy relationship is more prior

      • Bingting Huang says:

        If leaders expose their weakness, they may lose trust from employees. It is because that the staff do not believe the decisions leaders make are right. In general, managers require employees who can fully obey indicators. In other words, perfect image is on the basis of success as for leaders.

  33. Xiaolan Cao (Cheryl) says:

    People believe that the importance of leadership is overestimated. I don’t want to make an evaluation about if it’s true or not. Instead, I am trying to figure out why it happened. I think, first, as quoted “opinions about leaders are socially constructed by followers”. People are likely to project their own idea over others. Especailly when the leader-follower relationship has been constructed, it’s even harder to make a fair judgement. Second, I believe, sometimes , it’s quite easy to turn learship into idol worship. The one in the spotlight usually takes all the credit and blame. Third, when facing things we cannot explain or hard to explain. It’s more convincing to come up with an unambiguous word as solution.
    In my opinion, a company’s sucess depends mostly on management. However, if it wants to be the No.1 in that area, I think that’s when leadership makes the difference. In reality, since not everybody can be No.1, I think it’s no harm to hold the romance of leadership.

    • Qingyuan Hu (Cecilia) says:

      I quite agree with you on the first two reasons for overstated leadership. The famous Chinese writer Ailing, Zhang said, “If you knew me from the old time, you may forgive me now.” Unfortunately, people tend to express their opinions based on their own experience instead of thinking on other’s position, and some self-centered people become judgemental starting with a sentence like “A real leader should——should not——“, sounds like they are real leaders. What more pathetic is most people buy into those judgements, which could be an interesting topic of conversation, or an effective way to let off their jealous. When more and more people start to talk about it, there is “the public”, which is a powerful group that nobody could say “no” to it. What the public believes has to be true, which is one of the social norms. No wonder there is a saying like “It’s lonely at the top.”

  34. Yu Ma (Mark) says:

    In my point of view, I will definitely make the agreement with the point of this article”we have a tendency to overestimate the importance of leadership.” I think every member in the team or organization is necessary and important, it means the reason of every success or failure of this team or organization maybe variable. Sometimes it caused by the leader or sometimes because of the mistakes made by the other members. However, most of these situations, we will make the conclusion that the most important reason is on the leader of this team. I think it is not fair, both to leaders and members. For example, if the company got a huge success and people recognize this all because of the leader, the members of this company will feel disappointed, and if this often happen, the efficiency will be decreased. Therefore, we should analyze the real situation and consider the leadership fairly.

    • Joanna says:

      The over emphasis on the importance of leadership is a social construction that has become an acceptable part of society. In the context of the leader receiving the recognition of organizational performance only without the variable of the team contribution in making key decisions is not fair. I agree Yu Ma that leadership should be fairly evaluated.

    • Jia Li (Andy) says:

      I do agree that it is unfair to leader and follower that people attribute all success or fail to leaders. When leader and his followers make a project, all members have their own function. If someone leaves, the rest of them cannot finish the project. At the same time, maybe a follower make a mistake in the project, which cause that project cannot work anymore, but this is not leader’s fault. Therefore, this is not fair to both of them. However, media just amplify this unfair and this phenomenon is accepted by more and more people. Therefore, it becomes romance of leadership.

  35. Ying Jiang(Alicia) says:

    I do agree that the best way to influence people is to make they believe, or make they think they believe in things that don’t have to be necessarily true. The trend does spread like a virus. The romance of leadership is a kind of referent power which gives faith to followers.. No one can be always true and always right, but the thing matters is that other people think you are the best and are willing to follow your ideas. Then leaders can bring great changes to the world.. Sometimes, it can even be done without a actual leader. If everyone believes there is one, and they act the way being wanted, then the leadership still works perfectly..

    • Ying Jiang(Alicia) says:

      Moreover, the importance of leadership is that it has to be overestimated.Most of people will only be guided by someone stronger and with more power. That is the charm of leadership. If people think leaders are as normal as them, they would rather be leaders themselves than follower a leader.

  36. Joanna says:

    I agree with Meindl and his collaborators the romance of leadership is a social construction; furthermore, the social construction has become an acceptable norm in society. As mentioned in the post there are examples of this happening in society. Meindl uses the word, follower, in this context “opinions about leaders are socially constructed by followers.” The way that the word, follower, is used in this context cautions me because it implies that followers are the only ones who involved in the romance of leadership. The word and meaning of followers is too vague.

  37. Duan Yu(Phil) says:

    The “romance of leadership” refers to the fact that company performance is largely seen as a result of personal characteristics of the manager rather than situational factors such as the general economic situation. Thus, managers get rewarded for company success and punished for failure. However, this phenomenon does not apply to women to the degree that it applies to men, presumably because, according to gender stereotypes, men are seen as more agentic than women.

    • Xiao Ma(Michelle) says:

      Your comment reminds think about a phenomenon that Dr.Campbell talked about on the class, When a country’s economic decline or have bad things happen and caused great influence, they will usually elects a female leader, on the one hand the reason for this is because women can the mood in the comfort of a certain level, on the other hand is can be use as the cause of national economic retrogression due to the stereotypes of women. People tend to take credit for the work of their team, as if he/she did it themselves, or as if their input was the decisive factor, or as if they now inherit the right to be called the expert through the team’s achievements. The irony occurs when people take credit for successes (make no reference to other factors), but blame these same other factors for failures (and make no reference to their own leadership failures).

  38. Katelyn MacLeod says:

    The Romance of Leadership as expressed by Meindl is an interesting topic that is visible in many different situations. The statement that people tend to attribute organizational outcomes to leaders especially in circumstances of great success or failure is one aspect that happens quite often especially within the media. Although you do see successes being celebrated, I find that especially when looking at the media, failures tend to be reported overwhelmingly more than successes. This seems obvious since it’s true that people are drawn to scandals and from the media’s perspective, reporting negative activity especially when looking at companies or people in the spotlight, it is this type of content that people will tune and pay attention to. For example, with the recent scandal with Rob Ford. Media outlets around the world were reporting on his daily activity. I’m sure with his career he has made some positive impacts, but it is this kind of negative activity that obviously attracts the attention of the public and the media.

    In terms of the celebrity CEO context, the same idea plays true that often it is the CEOs who get criticized for company failures. The blame needs to land somewhere and whether or not the failure was directly connected to CEO or executive activity, being held responsible for these sort of activities is part of the job. Sometimes, although negative publicity is quite visible within the media, people seem to bounce back completely and are ‘forgiven’ by the public, as with Martha Stewart, as mentioned above and also with Tiger Woods. Both of them seem to have fully recovered from all their negative publicity. Others have not been as successful with their recovery, like BP for example. Sometimes the saying ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ is true, while in other circumstances that is definitely not the case.

  39. Andrew Boogaards says:

    I wonder how genuine the actions are for these CEOs. Although I do believe that Richard Branson is unconventional and I believe that Bill Gates is concerned for the wellbeing of the world, I also believe that these stunts are orchestrated in a marketing boardroom. They are spokespeople for companies, not leaders. These characters are on par with Tony the Tiger, Count Chocula or Toucan Sam. They are simply a persona to sell product and whitewash corporate image. Perhaps this is more the case for Richard Branson than is the case for Bill Gates.

  40. Qingyuan Hu (Cecilia) says:

    There is an old saying in Chinese goes like, “People are afraid to be famous, as pigs are afraid to be strong”. A great reputation can give a person glory and applause, as well as slander and hurt. In the case of Enron, when it was the largest seller of natural gas in North America, the Fortune Magazine rated it as “The Most Innovative Large Company in America”, and several leaders enjoyed huge fame until bankruptcy, then the former Enron vice chairman John C. Baxter, facing with heavy pressure from the public, even suicide in his own car. Although guilty was the main murderer of Baxter, the burden as a leader also accelerated his death. Leaders tend to attract more attention from the public, especially from the exaggeration of social media. Hence when the organization is successful, they will be admired by the whole world and will be blamed most severely when it comes to failure. We all know that this is unfair in some cases, but it is also an inevitable phenomenon, which works like the stock market: high profitability equals high risk. In this case, it is “high position equals high risk”.

  41. Jiuyan Gong says:

    This article discusses “the romance of leadership” and argues that people usually overestimate the role of leaders, but leaders actually do not affect organizational outcomes too much. I agree with this argument. Modern organizations have complex organizational structure and operate with the help of many departments and individuals. The leaders are merely the ones who stand for the opinions of the majority and serve as the symbol of the organizations, but they do not have direct influence on the organizational performance. Or more exactly, the performance of all the individual members and separate branches is the decisive factor contributing to organizational performance. The reason why the romance of leadership comes into being is that most people have little idea of the duties, works and roles of the leaders, thus attributing excessive importance to them. Whether an organization succeeds or not is affected by the quality, skills and abilities of the individuals.

  42. Xiao Ma(Michelle) says:

    Previous research by Meindl (e.g. 1993) on the ‘romance of leadership’ suggests that individuals in leadership roles are perceived to be more charismatic to the extent that the organization they lead undergoes a crisis turnaround. Also, independent of organizational performance, a (male) leader was seen as more charismatic in an intergroup context when his previous behavior had been identity-affirming or even-handed rather than identity-negating. Even-handed leaders also tended to be seen as particularly charismatic when they were associated with crisis turnaround, while identity-affirming leaders were protected from negative attributions in the context of crisis decline. These results suggest that social identity and self-categorization processes have a complex role to play in the emergence and perception of charismatic leadership. Success to leaders’ efforts when there may be other factors that contribute to any success. For example, for any company to succeed they need good products, good procedures, loyal clients, good employees, and on and on.

  43. Le Wang(Rocky) says:

    As to the so-called “romance of leadership”, I believe it downplays the importance of leaders who indeed deeply affect organizational performance.It is true that the efforts, hard work and cooperation of the organizational staff and departments finish the tasks and increase the organizational competence, but without the right guidance of the leaders, no organizations or organizational members can achieve success. In the organizations, there should be some people that decide the vital decisions, choices and manage the available organizational resources. The leaders with their skills and good knowledge of business are the ones who play these roles. If the leaders make the right decisions, the organizations will step into the right track and have more chances of success, while quite on the contrary the wrong decisions may lead t heavy losses for the organizations. Therefore, the leaders’ roles in organizations are really extremely important and people should not doubt it.

  44. Jia Li (Andy) says:

    Why does people always attribute success and fail to leader? In my opinion, it stems from human’s instinct. For example, if someone is smart or foolish, people will think that depend on someone’s brain, but not the rest of body. Consequently, leader looks like the brain. They provide vision to people and command them, so people think everything they do is attributed to leaders. I have to admit that with rapid development of social media, the degree of leadership was amplified. In my opinion, this phenomenon is stem from public opinion. Like current social networking service, such as Faccbook and Twitter, the speed of people getting news is higher than newspaper and television. At the same time, people not only see the news on it, they all see the comments after the news post on it, and then put their own thoughts on it. Therefore, the public opinions are more and more and majority of people’s thoughts are accepted by the public. Then, the phenomenon was amplified more and more. Therefore, leaders’ success or fail being attributed to t leaders themselves is amplified.

  45. Huilin Zeng says:

    The topic of the romance of leadership is impressive to me. It is no doubt that leader plays an important role in an organization since they guide and give direction to their followers. However, too much emphasis on the important role of leaders in success and failure will result in negative influences on followers. Followers may think no matter the success or failure of the organization, it is attributed to the leaders, and they don’t think it is their responsibility. As a result, followers do not have motivation in making good outcomes for the organizations. Thus, overestimating the importance of leadership and ignoring the contribution of followers to organizations’ outcome can result in failures of the organizations.

    I totally agree that media can influence the public opinions on leaders. In the current society, the power of media and social media is so strong. I think one of the reasons is that it is hard for people to get information about an individual or an organization, so they rely on the information about an organization from the media to make judgments. It is kind of a reason that how ‘celebrity CEO’ phenomenon comes. I have an example in the sports business industry. Li Ning, the founder of a Chinese sporting goods company—Li-Ning Company, was a champion in the Olympic Games. The public think the success of Li Ning is due to the good image of Li Ning for bringing glory to China.

  46. Yaqi DING (Arami) says:

    I agree with the idea that ‘opinions about leaders are socially constructed by followers’. They built the image of a leader by mix the information they learn from media, then this image spread from one to another and finally form a public opinion about this leader. Therefore, this final opinion is not necessarily the initial image of any individual or the truth; it is all about the way which the media try to make you think. Through this we can tell that, media have the power to influence the public opinion. This is the reason why people, from stars to CEOs, are feared of negative news. Although we all know the success of a company is because of the joint efforts of every individual in the organization, but we also believe that most of contributes are from the hero who created by media. Nowadays, more and more people chose get information from TV, website, magazines, and other media. Yes, they are telling the truth sometime, but what very common in the media are also include exaggeration, distortion, and garble. This is because media need big titles to attract audiences. On one hand, this phenomenon is affect leaders by exaggerate their shortcomings; while on the other hand, some leaders use media as a trick to build their images in the public. Just like Bill Gates or other top leaders all over the world, they successfully create positive news by social consciousness or other activities. Although I admit that their behavior benefit the society, but I also believe that sometimes they were not the initial purpose of these activities.

  47. Xuan He says:

    Yes, I really agree with the term “celebrity CEO phenomenon”. In my personal perspective, the term “celebrity CEO phenomenon” is quite popular in the modern world. For example, G-dragon is the main singer in a band called “BIG BANG” in Korea. He is well-known and has a lot of fans. Most of people love BIG BANG because of G-dragon. Those people think of why BIG BANG is so successful? The answer is him. Therefore, celebrity phenomenon is quite common in the modern world. Organization should use this kind of phenomenon as a strategy in order to attract more customers. This is what the romance of leadership is.

  48. Uttam Kumar Roy says:

    Most important thing is, Romance of Leadership is a biased thing. However, media fan the flame to the people. Originally it is created when a leader become a celebrity, most of the time media make him/her celebrity (positive or negative way), but it is also well hidden in a followers heart. Because, from anyone’s perspective, a man wants to flourish his leader as a hero; or despise anyone, whom he dislikes.
    We must admit it as a possible condition. When a leader reaches the ‘goal’, he becomes a hero. On the other hand, if he fails, his follower’s are feeling depressed as despise him. Though, responsibility belongs to the leader. I think, 21st century’s media are making trades with those feelings. It is not universal; sometimes media create a hero and glut to the people.

  49. Hua Bin (Benwal) says:

    Today, the field of leadership focuses not only on the leader, but also on followers, peers, supervisors, work setting/context, and culture, including a much broader array of individuals representing the entire spectrum of diversity, public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, and increasingly over the past 20 years, samples of populations from nations around the globe. Leadership is no longer simply describe as an individual characteristic or difference, but rather is depicted in various models as dyadic, shared, relational, strategic, global, and a complex social dynamic (Avolio 2007, Yukl 2006) Therefore, the romance of leadership is ensured the effectiveness in the team and the core force of the leader. In addition, in the 20th the world had changed by many famous CEO which brings an exceptional change in the world. These celebrities have great charm; however, their success comes from the entire team support. Their charm makes them have unity strength which draw many creative people join their team.

  50. Lici Zhang says:

    From the study of leadership, I learned the leadership is not an individual character but a model which include followers. In another word, leadership is a structure of relationship in a group. The romance of leadership is the centripetal force which makes a leader be crowed and trust. This is an am bilateral force which conditioned the people in the relationship. Therefore, leader is not absolute power but a reasonable empowerment. Leader is a bridge which I mention many times it helps the team unite as one. However, leadership is the network of the whole bridges lines which labeled the relationship between one another. Besides, leadership is reflect in different facets influence the society. Leaders are more widely incarnate in the society because of the developing in technology which is easier to attract useful human resource to be the followers.

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