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Lessons on Leadership by Terror

Finding Shaka Zulu in the Attic

Lessons on Leadership by Terror by M.F.R. Kets de Vries
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What makes despotic leaders tick? How do they become despots? On a lesser (but far more common) scale: why are some people ruthlessly abrasive in the workplace? Why do some business leaders appear to lose their sense of humanity? How and why do they create a culture of fear, uncertainty and doubt in their companies? Lessons on Leadership by Terror attempts to discover what happens to people when they acquire power, and whether the abuse of power is inevitable. Manfred Kets de Vries examines the life of the nineteenth-century Zulu king Shaka Zulu in order to help us understand the psychology of power and terror. During his short reign, Shaka Zulu established one of the most successful regimes based on terror that has ever existed, from which the traits of despotic leaders are illustrated. Shaka's life history is a study in the psychology of terror, and he can be a proxy for the behavior of any despot, be it from antiquity or modern times. From his leadership behavior fifteen cautionary lessons are derived, offering valuable principles for contemporary leaders.
Edward Elgar Publishing; January 2004
216 pages; ISBN 9781845423476
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Title: Lessons on Leadership by Terror
Author: M.F.R. Kets de Vries