Psychology of Leadership - Summary and Key Ideas

"Psychology of Leadership" is a comprehensive guide to leadership from a psychological perspective, exploring the phenomena of leadership, the development of leadership abilities, and the ethical implications of wielding power. It is intended for leaders and aspiring leaders who wish to deepen their understanding of these topics beyond surface-level advice, offering insights into charisma, the cultural impact of great leaders, and the psychological benefits of following a leader.

The target group of the book "Psychology of Leadership" are leaders or aspiring leaders in business companies or other organizations who want to broaden their conceptual and psychological understanding of leadership. It also targets leaders who want to critically reflect on their own development and gain clarity about aspects of their personality where opportunities for further growth lie.

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Psychology of Leadership

Key ideas


Leadership is a fundamental mechanism for guiding groups, achieving goals, and shaping culture.


Charisma, a blend of rational and irrational elements, is a key leadership quality that can be developed over time.

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Leadership is a strategic blend of rational and emotional tactics, requiring a deep understanding of psychology and interpersonal skills.

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Effective leadership hinges on the ability to identify and frame crises and inspire change through shared understanding.

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Leadership is built on setting visionary, promising, and understandable goals that resonate emotionally, reflect personal desires, and offer hope for improvement.

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Leadership is the art of creating sustainable cultures through the implementation of structures that guide behavior and stabilize performance.

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Effective leadership hinges on adept conflict management, transforming inevitable clashes into unity through strategic empathy, smart authority, and adaptability.

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Leadership communication is a mindful, directive, and adaptable tool that harnesses power by sensitively translating ambitions.

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Power, a tool for achievement, requires a balance of personal authority and role-based influence.

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Leadership often amplifies certain personality quirks, which, while not pathological, can hinder effective leadership and require tailored coaching approaches.

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Ethical leadership involves consciously weighing decisions' costs and benefits, acting with accountability and avoiding self-serving power abuses.

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Summary & Review

"Psychology of Leadership" by Michael Paschen and Erich Dihsmaier is a comprehensive guide to leadership from a psychological perspective. The authors delve into the fundamental aspects of leadership, focusing on the psychological phenomena involved in leading others. They explore the concept of leadership from various angles, including personality traits, instruments and methods, and the ethical dilemmas that leaders often face. The book is not just theoretical but also provides practical answers to common leadership challenges.

Michael Paschen & Erich Dihsmaier

Michael Paschen and Erich Dihsmaier are renowned German psychologists. They are known for their significant contributions to the field of business psychology, particularly in the areas of communication, leadership, and team development.

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