In many modern definitions, other terms supplant the term leadership. Some writers have used the words leader and leadership interchangeably with words like manager and management, lord and lordship, and ruler and ruler-ship. Some others have gone on to attach leadership only to hierarchical positions and to imply that only those "above" possess the wherewithal to apply leadership in any given situation and that one can identify anyone in the hierarchy below that level as a follower, de facto. Conversely, Mescon (1958) suggested that leadership serves as a somewhat situational construct in which a group of people or an enterprise grants authority to an individual, proportional to the ability that he or she provides to satisfy the group or enterprise's needs. He further added that the individual the group or enterprise grants leadership to cannot authentically claim leadership as a permanent possession, but only until the point at which the group or enterprise withdraws and transfers the associated authority to other individuals, usually based on the first leader's inability or unwillingness to provide observable progress toward the attainment of the organization's desired outcomes. This corresponds closely with other researchers' noted observations that there exists no permanency in leadership. Rather, opportunities for leadership emerge when crises or other ethical dilemmas present opportunities for the creation of leadership roles based on group needs and other variables. When needs no longer present, there remains no requirement for continued leadership (Barker, 2001; Malina, 1996).
Barker, R. A. (2001). The nature of leadership. Human Relations, 54(4), 469-494.
Malina, B. J. (1996). The social world of Jesus and the Gospels. London: Routledge.
Mescon. M. H. (1958). The dynamics of industrial leadership. The Journal of the Academy of Management, 1(2), 13-20.