Presidential Leadership




This chapter reviews psychological theories of leadership and selected literature on the American presidency to highlight key psychological principles of presidential leadership. Psychological theories, framed by the principles of leadership outlined by Freud (1921), include those of Burns (1978, 2003) on transformational leadership, Bass (1997) and House & Shamir (1993) on charismatic and transformational leadership, Gardner (1995) on stories of identity, Hogg (2001, 2003) on social identity, and Tyler & Lind (1992) on procedural justice. The discussion of presidential scholarship considers work by Barber (1992) on presidential character, Simonton (1986, 1987) on presidential personality and success, Skowronek (1997) on reconstructive politics, and Winter (1987) on presidential motive profiles. These studies suggest that followers have high expectations for presidents and that successful presidential leadership depends on opportunity, high levels of activity, intelligence, optimistic resilience, and flexibility.

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Copyright © 2005 Annual Reviews, Inc. This article first appeared in The Annual Review of Psychology 56 (2005), 545-570.

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