Joseph C. Rost

2008 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

John Adair

Honored posthumously, Joseph C.Rost was a distinguished scholar in leadership studies and was most noted for his conception of followership. Rost was a professor emeritus of leadership studies at the University of San Diego (USD) in San Diego, CA where he was a professor of leadership from 1976 to 1996. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he specialized in the politics of education.

In his early career, Rost was a Christian Brother in the St. Louis, Missouri Province for twenty-one years, and he served as a teacher and administrator of several schools in the Midwest. After his retirement in 1996, Rost collaborated with several graduates and doctoral students in leadership studies at USD to inaugurate the Institute for the Advancement of Leadership. He served as Executive Director of this nonprofit corporation until it ceased operations in 1999. Rost's Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (Praeger 1991) is one of the most quoted books about leadership in print. In this book, Rost emphasized the shift in leadership/management to a more collaborative form. His work is still used extensively in leadership courses today.


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