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Leadership is any process of leaders influencing followers. A leader, sometimes likened to a magnet, is one to whom others look for guidance. Influence is the ability or capacity to get another person to do or believe X rather than Y. One vital source of influence is formal authority to command, held for example by business executives. An individual not possessing any formal authority may acquire moral influence equivalent to informal authority through persuasion, example, or ideas. Varying sources and means of influence, together with the morality of ends and means of influence, are key dimensions of leadership. Where control of important resources overlaps with formal or informal authority, it is an aspect of leadership.

This entry will first explain the prevailing prescriptive theory of leadership. ...

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