Leadership Capital: Measuring the Dynamics of Leadership
22 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2014
Date Written: December 15, 2013
This article argues that the extent to which political office-holders can effectively attain and wield authority is a function of the stock of 'leadership capital.' Drawing on the concept of political capital, we define leadership capital as aggregate authority composed of three dimensions: skills; relations; and reputation of a leader. Leadership capital ebbs and flows over time within a trajectory of acquisition, expenditure and inevitable depreciation. We present a Leadership Capital Index (LCI) that systematically maps out the three broad areas combining concrete measures with interpretive aspects. This can be used as a tool for systematically tracking and comparing the political fortunes of leaders in a way that is both more nuanced and robust than exclusive reliance on the latest approval ratings. We offer an illustrative case study of Tony Blair demonstrating the LCI. We conclude by discerning several promising paths for future development of the LCI.
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