Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

James MacGregor Burns

Historian and Political Scientist

"The price of group membership is conformity to prevailing norms."

"Great leadership arises out of great conflict."

"Transactional leaders approach followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign contributions… The transforming leader looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower. The result of transforming leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents."

"A revolution is an act of violence whereby one class shatters the authority of another. "

"Leadership is leaders acting – as well as caring, inspiring and persuading others to act – for cetain shared goals that represent the values – the wants and needs, the aspirations and expectations – of themselves and the people they represent. And the genius of leadership lies in the manner in which leaders care about, visualize, and act on their own and their followers’ values and motivations."

"Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere technique. "

"In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons. "