Galton's Hereditary Genius (1869) examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men.
After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when his focus moved from first-degree to second-degree relatives, Galton concluded that leadership was inherited. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that leadership is rooted in characteristics of a leader.
In response to the early criticisms of the trait approach, theorists began to research leadership as a set of behaviors, evaluating the behavior of successful leaders, determining a behavior taxonomy, and identifying broad leadership styles.
Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lipitt, and Ralph White developed in 1939 the seminal work on the influence of leadership styles and performance.
In 1945, Ohio State University conducted a study which investigated observable behaviors portrayed by effective leaders, They would then identify if these particular behaviors reflective in leadership effectiveness.
They were able to narrow their findings to two identifiable distinctions The first dimension was identified as "Initiating Structure", which described how a leader clearly and accurately communicates with their followers, defines goals, and determine how tasks are performed.
Specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) US vs. US academic environments define leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".
Aristocratic thinkers have postulated that leadership depends on one's "blue blood" or genes.
Philosophical writings from Plato's Republic and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess.
This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the "trait theory of leadership".
Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty.