Leadership is a term that means many different things to many different
people.   In Chapter 1 of our text we learn that, for the purpose of this course,
the following definition will be used:   “Leadership is a process whereby an
individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal”
(Northouse, 2010).  
Our text makes it clear, by defining leadership as a process, that the
author chooses to exclude the trait perspective of leadership that many hold.  
The trait perspective holds that some people are natural-born leaders who have
certain, specific characteristics or qualities that give them a unique edge in
leadership.   Personally, I believe this is the case… that there certainly are
individuals who possess these God-given, natural abilities and talents;
however, I am in complete agreement that leadership can also be learned.
The two common forms of leadership are assigned leadership and
emergent leadership.   Assigned leadership is much as it sounds – leadership
that stems from one’s occupied position within an agency or organization.  
Emergent leadership is leadership that emerges as an individual becomes
recognized within a group to be influential (even without a title)– when he or
she stands out amongst the crowd, so to speak.
As we are aware, power plays an important role in terms of leadership
and has often been misused.   There always have been and always will be
leaders who abuse their power, but this is not the opportunistic mindset a good
leader possesses.   A great leader views the power that he or she has as nothing
more than a tool to be used in an effort to influence others in order to reach a
common goal.
French and Raven’s research “identified five common and important
bases of power:   referent, expert, legitimate, reward, and coercive” (Northouse,
2010).   Referent power results from followers’ identifying with and liking their
leader.   Expert power comes from followers’ perceptions of...