Mary Parker Follett – “The Essentials of Leadership”

Leadership for Social Change | Saint Louis University

Mary Parker Follett (Sept. 3, 1868–Dec. 18, 1933) was an incredible individual who “paved the way for the contemporary study of power authority, and influence in business, in the private sector” (Kellerman 91). Follett challenged her readers and listeners to focus on the meaning of leadership instead of the actual leader. Unfortunately, Follett had to wait half a century to receive the full credit and recognition she deserved.

During Mary Parker Follett’s time, businesses were emerging as a dominant force in society. In “The Essentials of Leadership,” Follett analyzes the relationship between the leader and the follower. According to Follett, the leader is not the leader of followers but of the “total situation” (Kellerman 92). The leader must be able to see the desires of the group, organize, and unite them all under a common purpose. Follett continues to state that it is essential for a leader to create control…

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