A leadership holy grail, long-sought after in terms of a grand theory by scholars is in press. As observed throughout the world, leadership as it is commonly understood, is degraded, inflicted harm, and failed with increasing risks. The same has contributed to the loss of blood, treasure, and the right living of people globally (e.g., war-related deaths and expenditures, scandals that damage organizations, and too many other harms to people) with increased risk (Nance, 2020). Billions of dollars spent on management and leadership interventions in America, of the tens of billions spent globally; leadership failures are many. Confidence in leadership shows decreases, as spending and development increases. Leadership Holy Grail, the book and leadership’s grand theory premised on time-tested principles, supported by 3,000 years of literature, scientific methods, and empirical evidence, will help make leadership the best that it can be in our lifetime.
The book Leadership Holy Grail which contains leadership’s grand theory, the sustainable-unsustainable leadership theory (SULT) explains how leadership works and does not work in any context (e.g., business, educational, global, governmental, military, medical, and organizational). Leadership Holy Grail and leadership’s grand theory will provide:
- Answers to the remaining critical questions on leadership theory, development, and practice.
- A construct of 15 essential characteristics compared to lists of 101 or more.
- Empirical and scientific evidence that without the construct failure is imminent.
- Three (3) virtues and one (1) prerequisite that will allow a leader to lead anywhere.
- Context for motivation, job involvement, and organizational commitment.
- An environment that promotes organizational citizenship behaviors, and job performance.
- A basis for life satisfaction, mental health, and customer satisfaction.
- A culture for job satisfaction that negatively correlates with withdrawal cognitions, turnover, heart disease, perceived stress, and pro-union voting (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2012).
Leadership’s grand theory emerged from a 3-year exploratory sequential-mixed methods study; the theory offers explanation of empirical evidence cited by the leadership development industry and shown in public surveys (e.g., Pew and Gallup) on leadership over the past decade. Beginning with the Kellogg Leadership Studies Project (KLSP), a 4-year initiative, to meetings with more than 25 scholars over the early stages, sought a general theory that would encompass all of leadership (Goethals Sorenson, 2006; Sorenson et al., 2011). James MacGregor Burns rightly perceived the need for a general theory. The group contributed much, but admittedly did not attain the goal.
When we use the term grand theory, it is in light of theories such as Newton’s laws and Einstein’s theory of general relativity (GR). The field has theories on approaches to leadership and have co-opted social learning theories to help explain the phenomenon. According to Popper (1959), “theories are nets cast to catch what we call ‘the world’: to rationalize, to explain, and to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer” (p. 59). A well constructed theory will meet the following criteria when judging its quality (1) understanding, (2) generality, (3) fit, and (4) control (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Some benefits a good theory are ecological validity, novelty, and parsimony.
The audience for Leadership Holy Grail is wherever leadership exists – home to the throne, from the capitols of the world to the streets. Some publishers may say if you focus on everyone, you reach no one. There is a self-help/personal development focus but has the capacity to crossover to the education and teaching genre. There is the possibility the book paves a new path for itself. “Leadership matters wherever it exists for the good or ill of people.”
LHG’s story chapter conveys relatable stories to individuals, families, citizens, voters, and organizations that are the subject of the degradation, harm, and failure when leadership is not in practice. The story chapter will instill hope for a better future. The theory chapter will satisfy the interests of scholars, academia, leadership innovators, development, and other industries. The research chapter contains the 100-page study associated with leadership’s grand theory; the chapter will also satisfy the interests of academia. Together, they will fuel leadership innovation for human progress.
There will be a dedicated chapter with the questions from scholars, those who influence in the field, and leading practitioners, with answers from the theory made simple to put into action. If you have not submitted a question, do not miss this opportunity to take care of those you influence. Many scholars recognized the need for an integrated or general theory for leadership and were in pursuit. It was Peter Northouse who said, “I wish there was a single theory ” (University of Michigan, 2019); thus, echoing the desire of many. He also pointed out that leaders should be well-versed in theory. Now we have it, and its preparation for publishing is underway. Will you get what it takes to help you never fail as a leader?
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Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. J. (2012). Organizational behavior (10th ed.).
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Sorenson, G., Goethals, G. R., & Haber, P. (2011). The enduring and elusive
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University of Michigan. (2019, August 17). A discussion of leadership
theory: Rethinking leaders, leadership and leadership development.