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Political Science

Series

2008

Martyrs

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Full-Text Articles in Leadership Studies

Deifying The Dead And Downtrodden: Sympathetic Figures As Inspirational Leaders, Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals Jan 2008

Deifying The Dead And Downtrodden: Sympathetic Figures As Inspirational Leaders, Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

This chapter proposes that leaders often derive their most inspirational qualities from events or actions that transpire before and after, rather than during, their tenure as leaders. These events or actions engender sympathy, emotional support, and adoration for the leader. We identify three types of individuals whose effectiveness as leaders stem from actions that elicit sympathetic responses from others: underdog leaders who attract sympathy from their ability to overcome significant obstacles before they assume their leadership; deceased leaders who attract sympathy and whose deaths elicit reverence and inspiration long after they are gone; and martyrs who make the ultimate sacrifice ...