It is not new. Leadership has been analyzed throughout centuries from different approaches and its practical use taken into consideration and questioned as well.
Within social science, Max Weber as the pioneer of modern sociology established the three pure categories of leadership. He outlined the differences among the charismatic leader (able to gather followers through emotions), the traditional (given to her/him for just being a member of the elites) and the legitimate one (born from legality and established rules).
After other different visions and intellectual efforts to understand and to come up with the characteristics that shape the leader and distinguish her/him among the others, also with the influence of Confucius who believed that a leader was someone wise and good, a disruptive moment emerges in the middle of the 20th century.
Thus, situational leadership became stronger. Leaders good in a situation might not perform as well as in a complete different situation. Situation became the key and leadership had to count on context from that moment. This assumes that in different circumstances some qualities are more granted than others.