1974 Stogdill argue that the concept of Leadership lacks a generally altruistic
definition “there are almost as many different definitions of leadership as
there are persons who have attempted to define the concept” (Stogdill,1974),
also, Bennis has stated overtime that during the last century, there were
nothing less than six hundred and fifty “650” definitions on the concept of
leadership, however, each of these definitions depends on the mindset of a
researcher and also the situation that such a researcher wants the definition
for (Bennis & Townsend, 1995).
McCleskey in 2014 & Citing Bass in 2008, has adduced further that the
search for a single definition on the topic, would amount to vain efforts
because it wouldn’t be a very objective one (McCleskey,2014; Citing Bass,2008).
However, this does
not however mean that there should not be a definition for the leadership.
2.1.1 what is the leadership
According to kotter, Leadership includes defining goals,
what interests or implementations are suitable and apt for a particular
organization (Kotter, 1998).
and according to Gary Yukl the leadership is “the process of influencing
others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it,
and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish
shared objectives” (Yukl, 2006). And Peter Northouse has defined the leadership
as “a process whereby an individual influence a group of individuals to achieve
a common goal.” (Northouse,2007).
1.1.2 What is the effective leadership
Professor Dave Ulrich “the professor of business at the Ross School
of Business, University of Michigan” has developed a framework
based on his researches to conclude and define the rules and goals to make a
great leader. These rules are tagged, “The Five Rules of Leadership.” (Dava,2009).
The five rules of effective leadership:
Plan for the future “Shape the future”: this follows the question that strategists ask
themselves. It is the, “where are we going” question. When strategists ask this
question, it helps them to itemize their goals and how best to utilize their
resources in the achievement of such a goal.
True leaders have a foresight of where they are leading
their people. The most of what they do while leading is to direct the people or
organization to a ready predicted end.
The Rain Maker “Make things
happen”: a true leader is one that makes things happen. In fact,
if an organization has a passive leader, such a leader loses the devotion of
his work force. The rain maker ideology follows the executor’s strategy follows
the whole idea of translating strategy into actions that eventually put the
organization into the desired place it wants to be.
A true leader must be a pace setter, and most
importantly, a goal getter.
Resourceful use of talents “Engage today’s talent”: Leaders make use of what they have to get what they
want. They imbibe in their team, the act of loyalty and being united in other
to achieve the common goal.
Leaders highlight the goal, they highlight the
resources to be used for that purpose and they make use of those resources for
the purpose of achieving the goal.
Development “Build the next generation”: true
leaders think about how best they can achieve their goals in other to serve the
need of the generation of the moment, and also the generation unborn.
They think about long term goals and how best to achieve them. They are
not limited by short term goals.
Consistency “Invest in yourself”: great leaders are
consistent. They are consistent in the art of learn and developing such skills
that they have imbibed over the years. They are dynamic enough to implement
terms that works for the best organizational outcomes.
In general, Leaders have the ability
to be self-sufficient because they have developed themselves enough to be able
to lead their team/followers. They are also people who have won the trust and
legitimacy of their followers. Regardless of the personal nature of a leader,
he is always gifted in at least four of the five rules, thereby making him a
A true leader is one who learns to work on His/her
weaknesses in order to improve himself/herself and that could be in strategy, implementation,
talent management etc. and they must be able to grow.
comparison between men and women at senior positions
Many and different research studies
have analyzed the styles of both male and female leaders since time immemorial,
and they have discerned that there exists certainly, a difference in their
leading styles. It has also been discerned that although their differences are
evident, they exist in an infinitesimal amount (Eagly, 2013).
One major distinction is that female leaders are
considered to be more human and democratic in their style of leadership, and
this is in opposition of their male counterparts who are consider to most times
adopt the command and control style of leadership. It has overtime been adduced
that women leaders are more participative in their style of leadership than men
Another difference is that women tend to use the tool
of motivation and reward-based incentives to make their workers more loyal to
the organizational goal, and on the other hand, men leaders prefer to make use
of stricter measures and other skeptically effective leadership styles to
control their organization (Antonakis, Avolio & Siva-subramaniam, 2003).
On the other hand, Kanter argues that organizational
roles override gender roles when it comes to management or leadership
positions. He brings forward that irrespective of the gender in a same
leadership role, theoretically do not differ much in their leadership
approaches, because leaders at these roles “are presumably more concerned about
managing effectively than about representing sex-differentiated features of
societal gender roles” (Kanter, 1977). Kanter went further to opine that,
managers in spite of their genders either of the leaders behave merely less
stereotypic when they occupy the same leadership position because they are
confining to the guidelines about the conduct of behavior of the given
managerial role rather than leading according to their gender stereotype. According
to Kanter, this is because apparent sex differences in behavior is not a
product of gender differences, but is rather because of differing structural
positions; because women are often in positions of less control, and they
behave in ways that reflect that they are inadequate. Thus, men and women in
equivalent positions of power behave similarly, suggesting no gender
differences in leadership styles.
another prospective and according to Powell, there are no core differences
in leadership styles. Whether men or women, the means of carrying out tasks
are similar. The differences between them simply exist as some sort of
stereotype, additionally he argues that overall, leadership differences between
men and women are insignificant because they are cancelled out when looking at
studies as a whole as both genders use equal amounts of task-oriented and
relationship-oriented behaviors. (Powell, 1990)
Also, according to
Harris, “all cultures make social distinctions between men and women and place
importance of identity in social hierarchy” (Harris, 1991). This includes many
different perspectives from hostile differentiation “women are inferior and
incompetent” to benevolent differentiation “women are nurturing and possess
moral purity”.(Eagly & Mladinic, 1994). additionally, there is a fact that
“senior women are surrounded mostly by male colleagues, places women at further
risk of discrimination” (Broughton & Miller, 2009).
In a nutshell,
some researchers have argued that there are no major distinctions between the
leadership styles amongst men and women. They believe majorly that many of the
distinctions that people see in the style of leadership in men and women are
simply situational, and the effectiveness of such leadership style is
conditional to various internal and external environments of their groups
there are some cultural, eductional and social distinctions between men and
women in some countries and it is very obvious in some countries such as
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
Regarding the soft and
hard power, Women are more emotional and democratic and follow the
motivation way in their leadership more than men, while men considered to
depend on command and control style of leadership in addition to the strict
evaluation and measurement.
A female business leader
and a female political leader
I have chosen two
effective leaders who has a great positive contribution on their nations and
people, Angela Merkel & Marry Barre the CEO of General
Female Political Leader
According to Jon Henly
article in the guardian newspaper in 2013, Angela Merkel is one of the most
formidable EU leaders that have survived the economic crisis. Little wonder she
is tagged the second most powerful woman in the world. As it stands now, she is
set out to become Europe longest serving female head of government.
He started that she is not an outspoken person, and
she takes a whole lot of time to make decisions, here personality as mentioned
below along with the five rules of effective leaders are matching.
and trying to know what the future holds for her country. As a child, she
always wanted to know what her Christmas presents were, before the special day,
and this obviously grew with her as she now plans ahead for her country, in the
most scientific way.
and being able to weigh the risks and acting upon the decision with minimal
risk (Risk avoidance person). Merkel, during her school days weighs her options
before deciding, and this explains why she takes time before she implements her
understand your supporters and what they want, and learn to understand the
vantage point of the opposing side. This is not so you can use such vantage
point against the opposing side, but so that you can know how best to avoid a
well organized and
working according a plan and doesn’t work based on what needs to be done.
Follow the utilitarian goal instead. If a situation amounts to picking guns and
fighting a war, use the tool of cowardice to make friends with your enemies.
Deal with the
priorities in private, and avoid disclosing them until when you have fully
implemented them. When there is an avenue in public to discuss matters that
relate to your utmost priorities, bother more on talking about trivial issues,
while you set out the major work in your personal abode.
From the other hand, practically she has a great
achievement in her country which are consistent with the leadership traits, Merkel
is a very distinct leader as she served as a chancellor in Germany in the year
2005, and go the honor ahead of some other short lists of finalists which
include Donald Trump, and many others.
Although politics and business form two different
paths that rarely meet, Merkel’s leadership helps entrepreneurs and many other
major business players to learn a work load of lessons from the larger stage of
Times newspaper has overtime made a summary of some of
her leadership qualities which includes the fact that she has never been afraid
to be a lone voice. This is further buttressed in a life history as more of a
It also records that Merkel has always been a master at
ruling from behind, and this characteristic feature of her, it alluded to as
been one of those things that she learned from Nelson Mandela. She particularly
believes that leading from behind is a genre of purpose based leadership.
In the global setup, her values have helped over the
years to redeem Germany’s reputation. This is further buttressed in her helping
hands towards countries like Ukraine, Greek, Paris amongst many others.
Times also concludes that it is only when people don’t
want to follow that a leader undergoes the true test of leadership. This is
buttressed in Merkel as a leadership brand. Little wonder why Angela Merkel won
Times person of the year 2017.
Female Business Leader
I have chosen Marry Barre the CEO of general motors
since 2014, as the leader in business, as she has shown a great Capabilities to
be one of the most effective leaders in the world thanks to her great
achievements with GM, here I am going to summarize some of her leadership traits
Being strategic and
working through a plan is very obvious since She has a plan to move towards
100% electrical cars in order to adapt to the new technologies and world
direction to maintain the green environment and decrease the source of
pollution, especially after the announcement that UK and France plan to ban Gad
and diesel cars in the near future.
coming risks of keep producing the gas and diesel cars led and the need to
transform the technologies and invest in Electrical cars, reflecting one of the
important leadership rule
profit margin with rose 9.2% during 2016 because she is focused on improving
the profitability while working on improving the new electrical cars
technologies, which reflects also her well organized and plan oriented mentality,
in addition to focusing on the profitability as a
priority to improve their financial position in the market.
Finally, from my personal prospective, both Angela
Merkel and Marry Barra are very successful leaders who has a clear strategy and
working on two pillars, the first one is to lead their place to improve their
current situation and position among all competitors and facing the challenges
with a stable movement. The second pillar is thinking of the future and both are
working on developing their places as mentioned above.
Additionally, both of them are making the difference
and they took over during a critical
situations and the future was almost ambiguous for Germany and General Motors
and they managed to inspire and lead
their people to be in a very good position.
Leadership Vs. Management
4.1 What Bennis (1989) stated: Management is “Doing things right” and
the transition to Leadership is “Doing the right things “is there a potential
& Nanus summarized the differences between managers and leaders in their famous
quoted phrase: “Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people
who do the right thing” (Bennis & Nanus,1985 P. 221).
From my prospective Leadership
and management are different in the wise, where managers are people who love to
do the right things, in other words to achieve their goals. On the other hand,
leaders or perhaps, good leaders are those who do the right things inherently. Table
1 show the differences between leaders and managers, and as per Rowe who claim
that leaders and managers are different, and this is innate in their
philosophy. Managers believe that the organization and environment determine
their decisions. In other words,
managers are deterministic in their belief system. Leaders believe that the
choices they make will affect their organizations and that their organizations
will affect or shape the industries or environments in which they operate. (Rowe,
another vein, the belief systems of leaders are more aligned with their free
will. Leaders on the other hand, believe that the choices they make would
affect their organization, as their organization determines the industries and
the environment in which they operate. And firms that have strong management
with a weak leadership, become stereotypic and less willing to be innovative. while
firms with a strong leadership on the other hand can make changes because they
are more dynamic, but when they have a weak management, such change is
misdirected and meaningless so both leadership and management are necessary.
conclusion is that, every organization needs acceptable authority to lead, but
there is no guarantee as to the effectiveness of diverse leaders. In today’s
organizations, we need more active organizational players who focus more on the
growth of the entire system and see to it that there is a functional work
From my point of
view the leader can act as a manager but manger can’t act or replace the leader,
and Leadership is a two-way path, it is both similar to, and also different
from management. Leadership and management involve making decisions and
influencing lives. They also both agree with the notion of achieving goals.
4.2 Are effective leaders
born or made?
Leadership involves settings goals that determines best,
what interests or implementations are apt for a particular organization. And
they are a good learner, where they learn things from almost all that
they are doing/participating in, as they are always willing to learn. On the
other side, the most effective leaders teach people to be loyal and this is
because they are loyal and honest, and they are able to make a big move and
extensive differences for/with their followers. They can easily overcome stress
and inspire their team.
I am of the view that leaders can be born, and can be
made. There are people who are leaders from birth, and this explains why some
people have got the charisma, and others don’t. I am observant of this, I have mentioned
the five main traits of leadership.