In general, although research into leadership acknowledges negative aspects of leadership, research into implicit leadership theories lags behind in this respect. Most implicit leadership theories research implies that the image of a leader in general reflects an effective leader. However, recent results in leadership research as well as headlines and reports in the popular press cast doubt on this assumption. This article reports a qualitative study, focusing on general implicit leadership theories rather than effective images of leaders. The analysis of 349 statements results in 15 categories that describe leaders in general. The results imply that implicit leadership theories are composed of both effective and ineffective attributes. The study challenges previous assumptions on the effectiveness implied in implicit leadership theories
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