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The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis

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Running head: AGES OF A LEADER 1
The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis
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AGES OF A LEADER 2
The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis
The 2004 article The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis gives a detailed
description of the growth process of persons in authority. Bennis makes an excellent case to
support his idea that a leader goes through seven stages until he/she retires. To back his
assertions, he makes references to famous leaders such as King Henry IV, Caesar, and Carly
Fiorina. Furthermore, he relates his life experiences with his leadership assertions.
Bennis asserts that a leader must go through seven stages, which he categorizes as infant,
schoolboy, lover, soldier, general, statesman, and sage. The infant level refers to the period just
after a person’s induction as a leader in any organization. Bennis opines that an individual should
first learn from those who are experienced and aware of how the firm operates before he/she
makes any decisions. Once a person in authority is confident that he/she has all information
needed to make appropriate choices, he/she should slowly start to implement his/her tasks.
Bennis refers to this leadership level as a schoolboy with shining face. Normally, the young
leader faces a lot of criticism, and most of his/her comments are interpreted or misinterpreted in
various ways. In the lover stage, a leader usually has the challenge of relating to his/her former
junior workers.
After gaining experience, the leader graduates to the bearded soldier. In this level, he/she
must choose his/her words carefully since they may have a lot of repercussions in the
organization. In the general stage, he/she must keenly hear what his/her followers are saying.
The statesman rank is the highest position of a person in authority; consequently, he/she must
exercise his/her duties excellently. Finally, the leader must act as a mentor when he/she is about
to retire. This stage is called the sage level.

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Running head: AGES OF A LEADER 1 The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis Student’s Names Institution Affiliation AGES OF A LEADER 2 The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis The 2004 article The Seven Ages of the Leader by Warren Bennis gives a detailed description of the growth process of persons in authority. Bennis makes an excellent case to support his idea that a leader goes through seven stages until he/she retires. To back his assertions, he makes references to famous leaders such as King Henry IV, Caesar, and Carly Fiorina. Furthermore, he relates his life experiences with his leadership assertions. Bennis asserts that a leader must go through seven stages, which he categorizes as infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, general, statesman, and sage. The infant level refers to the period just after a person’s induction as a leader in any organization. Bennis opines that an individual should first learn from those who are experienced and aware of how the firm operates before he/she makes any decisions. Once a person in authority is confident that he/she has all information needed to make appropriate choices, he/she should slowly start to implement his/her tasks. Bennis refers to this leadership level as a “schoolboy with shining face.” Normally, the young leader faces a lot of criticism, and most of his/her comments are interpreted or misinterpreted in various ways. In the lover stage, a leader usually has the challenge of relating to his/her former j ...
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