Last Updated 11 May 2020

Kant and Leadership

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Immanuel Kant is the philosopher who best embodies my personal ideas of leadership. His concept of the “categorical imperative” perfectly sums up the ideal leader in contemporary society where human rights are essential in the growth of the society (Clarke, 1997). Without a regard for human life, there can hardly be any leader who can please his followers so that they will function productively and efficiently. Kant’s categorical imperative gives strong emphasis on the welfare of every human being regardless of class, race, gender or age (Sokoloff, 2001).

It basically promotes the regard for human life especially in situations where are conflicts in perspective such as moral dilemmas. I believe that a good leader is someone who is able to lead his followers on the basis of moral consideration for the life and welfare of each member of the organization, for instance. Without the moral consideration for the life and welfare of the members, the leader will hardly convince his members to follow his directives because they will always have the fear of facing certain risks without protection or security.

A leader who follows Kant’s moral theory will not allow a single member of his team be sacrificed if only to gain the benefit of the entire group. I believe that the good leader should rightfully consider the interest of each person in the group regardless of whether or not a larger benefit for the group is at stake. There are no excuses for letting an individual become a sacrificial lamb before the altar of leadership.

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I think no good leader will allow anything awful to happen to his constituents because the course of his leadership basically depends on the general welfare of his followers.


Clarke, M. (1997). Kant's Rhetoric of Enlightenment. The Review of Politics, 59(1), 55. Sokoloff, W. W. (2001). Kant and the Paradox of Respect. American Journal of Political Science, 45(4), 768-779. Sullivan, R. J. (1994). An Introduction to Kant's Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kant and Leadership essay

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