Leadership Definition Essay Samples

Published: 2018-02-19
Leadership Definition Essay Samples
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Goal Motivation
Pages: 13
Wordcount: 3565 words
30 min read

Essay Sample #1 - What is leadership

Harold S. Geneen said leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and actions. All living creatures tends to have appointed or default leaders. I would like to look into three main important characteristics of a leader in all settings of life. First, a leader must be visionary. H/she must be in a position to plan about the future, have a clear focus where he/she is taking his/her people. Someone once said, "the far you see, the far you will go" and I strongly agree with this. Secondly, A good leader must be courageous. After having a clear plan where they are going as a team, an organization, he/she must be bold enough to match forward despite of all the challenges that may arise. As bold as a lion in pursuing what he/she believes is the best for his/her people. Last but not least, a leader needs to have a positive attitude. As a leader, your attitude determines your altitude. The far you will go or take your people, it all depends with your attitude. With a clear vision, courage to pursue your vision and having a positive attitude every leader will be successful in his/her leadership.

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Essay Sample #2 - Leadership traits and skills

Every employer in whatever industry looks for leadership traits in most of their employees. Leadership skills to the prospective employees are a sign that the employee is able to work with people offer good job performance and as well boost on career advancements. Most of these skills usually are lerned or acquired during the course of the students stay in school and once they are done and new to the job market these skills help them in their day to day activities in the job place. This paper seeks to prove the fact that lerdership skills acquired as a student have a positive impact on the someones ocareer.

To most people leadership skills ha;ep them the moment they step into an office or place of work. Testimonials by several millennials have it that when they first landed their jobs leadership skills palyed a vital role in their settling in the places of work. To them most employers considered candidates with leadership skills since these candidates could lead by example. They could take on duties and work with a diverse work force to ensure that work is flowing.this sets an overview of the role played by student leadership in the development of carrers. Student leadership entails taking of risks. This is at the university level.risk taking develops on into someones career. If the suitable employee was once a leader in the university taking risks will not be a big issue. This is becasuse such a person understands the aspect of risk and the ways in which to carry himself or herself in such situations. Being able to understand risk and its effects will as well mean that the person is able to come up with possible mechanisms to mitigate risks. Firms face a lot of risks as such there is need for the people working in the firm to know how to successfully handle risks. This is learned or acquired at an erly age in the university or college throughtaking on leadership roles. In essesnce leadership skills help in enhancing the career of an individual. Leaders have good communication skills. They are able to work with different people.these skills are vital for all employees. Communication skills of a leader enable them to effectively listen and respond to ideas in a firm. Developed communication skills will enable the leader to convince other workers to work towards meeting specified job objectives in the work place. For people who once were leaders its an easy tsk since they have that convincing language and people re able to listen to them. This shows that they are able to take on roles and meet the deadlines on time something which most employers look for in potential employees.

Leadership skills are vital for the planning process.having taken leadershoip roles will enable the employee to work on a plan that will see to it that both personal and organizational goals are met on time.peole who have been leaders have a tight work schedule as such they are able to meet planned targets on time.this works to the advantage of their crrer since they are in position to meet targets on time.

In conclusion leaserdhip skills acquired from an early age have a great impact on carrer developement.leaders are able to take measurable risk convince fellow employees st nd meet targets as well as work on tight schedules something that impresses most employers.student leadership is good for career developement.

Essay Sample #3 - Leadership Skills in Students

Leadership is the ability to handle, manage and show your bosses {the people your leading} the right direction by helping them understand your role as a leader. A leader will always be the servant of the people. In the concept of our essay the student with leadership skills will steer the growth of his/her career by; acquiring management skills,creativity and being an active team player.

Most of the student leaders have the following characteristics that will always give then an upper hand in development of their careers;

1. Student leaders always learns from mistakes

2. They are ambitious in life

3. They are always success oriented ,they dont want to fail

4. Leadership helps them improve their daily skills

5. Leaders are big dreamers this will help them create a major impact in their careers

6. Most of the leaders are morally upright and those are the people who employers need

7. They have a drive within them that helps them to be compitent

8. They are competitive since the current world is competitive this will help them futher their career more.

9. They have positive attitude

10. They really know how to motivate others

The above-mentioned qualities will always steer the student towards personal career development.

When examining various leadership characteristics mentioned above, one immediately notices that student-related characteristics are strongly represented. Being students seeking to increase their knowledge and obtain career enhancing skills its is expected they learn from their mistakes and ambitious and success oriented and are looking to improve their skills. While acquiring skill sets and knowledge, these attributes increases their level of success towards their career.

Essay Sample #4 - Leadership and Democracy

Leadership is very essential in any company, industry or country. Without good leadership, the goals of any company, industry or country will not be achieved. I believe that a good leader is one that leads through example. There are several ways that a company, industry or country can be led. The various leadership styles include; autocratic leadership, democratic leadership, laissez faire leadership, team leadership, strategic leadership. A leader may subscribe to any of these leadership styles. The choice of a leadership style depends on many factors chief among them is the leader. I live in a country that believes in democracy. The leadership style in my country dictates that the president and other government officials must be guided by what is provided for in the constitution. Democratic leadership requires that the people take part in decision making. However, there are some instances where some leaders in my country abuse the responsibilities that are bestowed upon them. For instance, there was an election that was held a few days ago in my country. The body that is responsible for conducting the elections did not conduct the same as required by law. The incumbent president was declared the winner and the his victory was nullified by the supreme court. This was a bold move by the court to uphold democracy which is provided in the constitution of my country. The constitution requires that we choose our leaders through a free, fair and credible election. My country believes in democracy. In my country, laws are made by a body we refer to as parliament. Members of parliament are elected to represent the people in legislation. This means that they consult the people before they debate and pass laws. However, there have been concerns about the members that are elected to parliament to represent the people. Some of those elected end up not performing the responsibilities that sent them there and instead they embezzle the funds that are allocated to them to develop their constituencies. In my view, this is a vice that must be eradicated so that the country can move forward. Generally, we are making progress as a country since we adopted a new constitution. It is very crucial to point out that leadership begins from me as a citizen. I believe that through those like me in the grassroots are the best leaders. I was once told that charity begins at home. I therefore believe that leadership is not a one man show but it is for all the countrymen. It is the people that elect leaders in my country. We often refer leadership of our country to as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is the people that we elect to make laws, the laws are made by the people that we have elected and finally the laws are made for the people of my country. This is the major principle in democracy that our constitution provides in my county. I believe that with all this, it is very clear that we are a democratic country. I therefore submit that the leadership in my country is that of the people by the people and for the people. It starts from the common villager to the members that are elected to represent the people and to the president.

Essay Sample #5 - Leadership Studies and Theories

What is Leadership

Leadership is a broadly used concept that if not defined more narrowly can be ambiguous. In a study, Miller and Sardais (2011, pg.201) proposed a baseline conception of leadership by giving the concept defined in literature into two groups of too broad and too narrow definition. From a broad definition perspective, leadership is a process that influences behavior. This conception accounts 40 percent of the 1940 leadership definition that refers to "influence". Leadership is a process that influences the will of followers. Each of these definitions encompasses a wide variety of disparate situations. Influence may comprise persuasion, setting an instance and coercion.From the narrow meaning perspective, leaderships is a process in which a leader changes the convictions of a group of people or an organization or a subordinate. Leadership can undoubtedly have an impact on the mindset of a group, yet it can likewise concern and include an individual. Also, it need not happen within an official organization or amongst superior and assistants. It may span boundaries of an organization, originating with a subordinate that changes the convictions of a leader.

One way of defining types of leadership is by the category of "followers" that are led, and another is the nature of work that is the primary emphasis of the leader. Some leaders spend most of their time with followers over them whom they are in authority over, such employees; other leaders primarily represent their followers such as constituents and still other leaders don't have any authority over or direct authority from followers but have intellectual sway over adherents such as role models, based on the creativity of the leader or the ideological clarity. Other people assume the role of leadership because they are in charge of getting things done; some are leaders because they are in charge of ensuring policies, and still others are leaders because they come up with ideas or well-formulated ideologies that others emulate or admire. In mature organizations and system, such roles are usually distinct, but in a few special cases such as a new entrepreneurial organization, these roles are merged, as was seen in the case of Bill Gates at Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg are Facebook (Hitt et al., 2011, pp.57-75). The impact of strong initial leaders can be profound too in the public sectors when they have the ability to bridge several functions.

Modern Leadership

Even though the serious study of leadership is only about a hundred years old, interest in leaders, as well as leadership, dates back thousands of years. In addition to the enormous power that leaders have had over their people –literally life and death –leaders usually gain godlike status alone. Modern leadership studies began in the early 1900s and gained popularity during World Wars I and II. After World War II, Caroll Shartle, Ralph Stogdill, and John Hemphill at Ohio State University became the very first group to examine leadership from a multidisciplinary approach that included education, psychology, sociology, and economics (Bryman, 2011). The nineteen century was dominated by the notion of the "great man" thesis. Especially great men (women were invariably overlooked despite great historical women such as Elizabeth I, Joan of Arc, and Clara Barton) in some way move forward history due to their exceptional characteristics as leaders. The stronger version of this theory holds that history is a handmaiden to encounter men; great men actually change the direction and shape of history. Philosophers such as Fredrich Nietzsche and William James firmly asserted that history would not be the same if a great man were suddenly incapacitated. Economic determinists such as Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, even though not theorizing about leadership per se, implied that great men overcome the obstacle of history more effectively and quickly compared to lesser individuals. Although these lines of thinking have more sophisticated echoes later in the trial and situation leadership periods, "hero worship" is certainly alive and well in popular culture and biographies and autobiographies.

The scientific mood of the early twentieth century fostered the growth of a more organized search of the basis of leadership. Researchers developed personality tests and made a comparison of the results of average individuals with the ones who perceived to be leaders. By 1940s, the researchers had amassed long lists of traits from several psychologically oriented studies. This technique had two issues. First, the provided lists turned out to be longer and longer as research continued. Second, and most important, the traits and characteristics identified were not powerful predictors across situations. For instance, leaders have to be decisive, but they also need to be flexible and inclusive. On the surface, these traits are contradictory. With no situational specificity, the unending list of traits offer limited prescriptive assistance and descriptively becomes nothing more than a long laundry list. In 1948, Ralph Stogdill published a devastating critique of pure trait theory, which subsequently fell into disfavor as being too unidimensional to account for the complexity of leadership.

Ohio State Leadership Studies

The next major thrust focused on the situational context that affected leaders attempted to find meaningful patterns of theory building and useful advice. An early example was the work that came out of Ohio State Leadership Studies (Hemphill and Coons, 1950). These studies started by testing 1,800 statements that had relations to the behaviour of leaders. By constantly distilling the behaviors, researchers arrived at two underlying factors: consideration and the initiation of structure. Consideration describes various behaviors related to the development, inclusion as well as good feelings of subordinates. The initiation of structure describes various behaviors related to defining roles, control mechanism, tasks focus, and work coordination both inside as well as outside the unit. Coupled with humanist and human relations revolutionary that was taking place in the 1950s and 1960s, these and other studies spawned a series of useful, if not simplistic and largely bimodal theories. Agryis’s maturity theory (1957), Likert's motivational approach (1959) and McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y (1960) implicitly encourage more conversation in all leadership behaviors. Maslow's Eupsychian Management recommends that leadership is assigned based on the needs of the situation so that authoritarian tendencies (excessive structure can be curbed (1967). This thinking line was further advanced and empirically tested by Fiedler, who came up with a contingency theory and associated leader-match theory. Blake and Motoun’s (1964) managerial grid recommends that leaders be highly skilled in both task behaviors and people-oriented behaviors. Hersey and Blanchard's life cycle theory (1969) relates the maturity of the followers, regarding both expertise and attitude, to the ideal leader behavior where features such as directing, consulting, participating and delegating are involved (Bass, 1991, pp.19-31).

These situational theories of early times were useful as an antidote to excessively hierarchical, authoritarian techniques that had developed in the first half of the twentieth century with the rise and dominance of large organizations in both private as well as public sectors. They were additionally important tools for incipient and practicing managers, who had appreciations of the uncomplicated models although they were descriptively simplistic. As a class, however, such theories failed to meet scientific standards because they attempted to explain too much with very few variables (Kellerman, 2010). Of the major theories, only a decision-making model by Vroom broke out of this pattern because of it self- consensually focused on a single dimension of leadership style –the role of participation and identified seven problem attributes and two classes of cases. Even though this situational perspective still from the basis of most leadership theories today, it has largely either done so in a strictly managerial context on a factor-by-factor basis or been subsumed in more comprehensive approaches to leadership at the macro level.

Even though ethical dimensions were occasionally mentioned in the mainstream literature, the coverage was invariably peripheral due to the avoidance of value-laden issues by social scientists. The first major text devoted to ethical issues was Robert Greenleaf’s book Servant Leadership (1977). He was assumed by mainstream theorists who were dominated by positivists in spite of affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia, Harvard and Dartmouth and he ultimately founded the Centre for Applied Ethics. In contrast, James Burn's took on leadership onto the scene in 1978 and had unusual heavy ethical concerns(Graen & Cashman, 1975, p.165). However, it was not the ethical dimensions that capitulated it to prominence but the transformational subject. Both Greenleaf, a former business executive, and Burns, political scientists were outside the usual leadership academic circles, whose members were there mainly from business and psychology backgrounds. Several contemporary mainstream leadership theorists, both academic and popular such as DePee (1989) among others in contrast with Bennis’s other work. Have continued in this tradition to one degree or another.

Leadership Literature

Until 1978, the emphasis of the mainstream literature was on leadership at lower levels, which was amiable to small-group and experimental methods with simplified variable models, while executive leadership, with its external demands and more amorphous abilities to induce large-scale changes, were largely ignored. Burns’s book on leadership changed that interest dramatically by introducing the idea that only transaction leadership was being studied and that other highly significant arena were largely ignored (Northouse, 2015). Overall, this school agreed that leaders have a special responsibility for understanding a changing environment, they facilitate more dramatic changes, and they often can strengthen followers far past what traditional discussion theory would propose. Infusion of transformational leadership institutions led to a reinvigoration of academic and non-academic studies of leadership as well as to a good deal of initial confusion. Was the most transactional leadership that the situationists had so assiduously studied just mundane management? Or was the new transformational leadership an extension of a more basic skill that its advocates were poorly prepared to explain with more conservative scientific methodologies? Even before the 1980s, some work had been done to create holistic models that tried to provide an explanation for aspects of leadership (Miller & Sardais, 2011 pp. 174-183). Yet it was not until the 1980s that work started in earnest and conventional models routinely incorporated transactional and transformational elements. Bass's work is a good example of this regard.

Not surprisingly, then, scholarly cross-fertilization and new economic, social and philosophical trend brought new perspectives to the study of leadership. First, fresh efforts to obtain integrative models were common starting in the 1990s. There was a tremendous need for obtaining ways of conceptualizing the different schools of thought as complementary rather than as mutually exclusive (Riggio et al., 2008 p.10). Second, there was an enormous resurgence in looking at leadership as less hierarchical and more distributed with ramification for a structure such as teams, training focusing on empowerment and self-leadership and acculturation leading to tighter cohesion and less internal competition. Finally, postmodern perspective emphasized leadership as a process instead of an event, and as a group dynamic instead of the artifact of individuals.

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