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Transference Article


Good leadership is one of the most important competitive advantages for an organisation - thus business literature often has a leadership focus. However, it is important to remember that leaders need followers, and followers are motivated by their own intrinsic drivers.

Followers follow for both rational and irrational reasons. Rational motivations include hopes of getting money, status, power or prestige by following a successful leader – and fear of missing out by not following. Irrational motivations can be even more in uential, but are often unconscious and therefore beyond our control. Such motivations arise from the way people project powerful images and associations from past relationships onto the present. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, called this tendency “transference”.

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