Since Burns, the study of leadership has taken many differe nt forms which had a narrower focus on the term, however today there is very little known about leadership. There are very few recent definitions of leadership, although those that exist focus on the leader’s knowledge, traits, skills and abilities and the process of influencing. Contrary to many other authors, BARKER does not make the assumption that people know what leadership is. The responses from various studies which were done with leadership students have shown that there is very little consistency when it comes to the definition of leadership.
Often these definitions are contradictory, discrepant and the content and nature of leadership are confused. However, even though there is generally accepted perspective of leadership, a paradigm as the base for leadership. Paradigm = a generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time; he framed the problem within the psychoanalytic paradigm- dictionary 4 This paradigm is a feudal one, where there is a ruler (masculine), within a hierarchical system, who directs and controls the activities of their subjects towards the achievement of the leader’s goals.
This is usually in the form of defence and acquisition of land, i. e. war. The feudal system has been adapted slightly to form the Industrial paradigm, with economic warfare. Both paradigms have been used time and time again so that almost all existing theories and concepts of leadership today, rely on this paradigm of ‘one man at the top’.