Date of Award





Communication - Communication Studies Track


Communication Department


What do people want from leaders? That question has been asked for generations. In recent history, a huge growth in leadership studies has produced a wealth of information on this topic, but because of the multitude of publications, there are now many competing schools of thought about what qualities make a great leader. This paper seeks to understand the qualities that people look for in leaders and to understand if any consistent patterns emerge from these desired traits. This is done through two avenues. Firstly, a survey of the existing leadership publications in several different established leadership genres provides an understanding of what the experts seek from leaders. Several military publications show how the modern U.S. military is trying to develop quality leaders. A look at values based leadership publications shows what many leading consultants and professional leadership development experts are looking for. In addition, several business publications and international leadership sources expand the understanding of what the experts say a leader should be. Secondly, a survey conducted among various individuals from different fields helps to determine what qualities are desired in great leaders. These two pieces of information, when taken as a whole, create an understanding of what people are expecting from leaders. In the end, a recommended typology for leadership development is presented as a means for spurring future research.


Honors Thesis

Included in

Communication Commons