Historical views on leadership
Aristocratic thinkers have postulated that leadership depends on one's blue blood or genes: monarchy takes an extreme view of the same idea, and may prop up its assertions against the claims
of mere aristocrats by invoking divine sanction: see the divine right of
kings. Contrariwise, more democratically-inclined theorists have pointed to examples of meritocratic leaders, such as the Napoleonic marshals profiting from careers open to talent.
the autocratic/paternalistic strain of thought, traditionalists recall the role of leadership of the Roman pater familias. feminist thinking, on the other hand, may damn such models as patriarchal and posit against them emotionally-attuned, responsive, and consensual empathetic guidance and matriarchies.
to the Roman tradition, the views of Confucianism on "right living" relate very much to the ideal of the (male) scholar-leader and
his benevolent rule, buttressed by a tradition of filial piety.
the context of Islam, views on the nature, scope and inheritance of leadership have played a major role in
shaping sects and their history. See caliphate.
the 19th century, the elaboration of anarchist thought called the whole concept of leadership into question. (Note that the Oxford English Dictionary traces the word "leadership" in English only as far back as the 19th century.) One response to this denial of Úlitism came with Leninism, which demanded an Úlite group of disciplined cadres to act as the vanguard of a socialist revolution, bringing into existence the dictatorship of
historical views of leadership have addressed the seeming contrasts between secular and religious leadership. The doctrines
of Caesaro-papism have recurred and had their detractors over several centuries. Christian thinking on
leadership has often emphasized stewardship of divinely-provided resources - human and material - and their deployment in accordance
with a Divine plan. Compare servant leadership.
a more general take on leadership in politics, compare the concept of the statesman.