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Leadership: Theory and Practice is a popular leadership theory book edited by Peter G. Northhouse. In this book, Crystal L. Hoyt has explicitly explained the topic Women and Leadership. The author has described that leadership of women is more effectual in the contemporary society. Females lead in more participative and democratic way as compared to males. Further, the essential components and characteristics of the transformational leadership are more in women than in men. The transformational leadership focuses on the positive motivation, and it considers inspiring the employees with the help of examples so that they can accomplish their work in an effective manner (Schein, 2010).
The characteristics of the transformational leadership are encouraging motivation, rational stimulation, and individualized consideration, which play an important role in increasing the effectiveness of the leadership. Some of the examples of females, who have proved themselves as effective leaders are Indra Gandhi-the prime minister of India, Indra Noori-the CEO of Pepsi, Andrea Jung-the CEO of Avon, and Wendy Kopp-founder of Teach for America. Women are not given due consideration for the top positions because of glass ceiling that pave the way to discrimination because of several reasons. One reason is the stereotyping sex roles, where people consider the characteristics of males for the top positions (Hoober, Lemmon & Wayne, 2011).
Another reason for under-representation of females is that the organizations consider now the work is organized and structured in a way that more energy and time is required in order to compete in the modern business environment. The required amount of time and energy can only be provided by the males, and not by females.
This is true that the organizations do not consider women for the top positions as they are unable to give sufficient time and energy to the work. I have personally experienced this. I worked in a bank, and I realized that women were not given importance for the higher ranks as they are could not give proper time and attention to the customers. The higher rank such as Branch Manager of bank demands more customer interactions, energy, and time; the bank considered that women would not be able to manage all these. The bank had promoted male to the position of Branch manager instead of promoting a female, who was even more experienced and trained than the male.
The resolution of this issue requires removing the gender gaps in the organizations. The thinking that the effectiveness and the leadership styles of females is different than males should be discouraged. The organization should give equal chance to women; they should not promote the gender differences on the basis that the men are more committed to the motivation and employment as compared to women. Females should be given opportunity so that they promote themselves for the top and leading positions of the organization. Females have the social skills, capability to persuade, honesty, intelligence, and competence with which they can effectively lead the employees and organizations. These skills are also required for performing the banking job; females can use their social, intellectual, technical, and human skills in order to provide the innovative solutions to the customers of bank.
I also feel that the issue regarding women leadership can be effectively controlled by giving equal importance to females and treating them equal to men. The organizations should not consider promotion of individuals on the basis of their gender, but they should be promoted on the basis of their skills, performance, and experience. The organizations should create such an environment where females can work with freedom in order to encourage creativity in the organization.
The Exemplary Leadership aspect of the Kouzes Posner leadership framework is also applicable in the situation. The Exemplary leadership aspect of the The Leadership Challenge: A Theoretical Frame, which is proposed by Kouzes and Poser indicate that the contributions of people should be recognized, and personal recognition and best should be expected. In the same manner the organizations should consider the contributions of female employees and they should expect best from them. The Kouzes Posner leadership framework also points out towards the fact that honesty and competence are the major requirements for the effective leadership (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). These traits are, however, found in females as indicated above, so the organizations should take this fact into consideration while deciding to promote or hire an individual for the top positions. Further, this framework also emphasizes to enables other people to act. The organizations should encourage the females to work independently without any undue influence or pressure.
The lessons that I learned from the analysis are that effective leaders should be participative and democratic; they should be transformational so that they can effectually motivate people. They should be competent, honest, intelligent, and capable of using their technical, human, social, and intellectual skills for providing creative ideas and leading and motivating people in proper manner. They should be committed and motivated to their work and employment, and should be able to work independently and in the form of teams.
Hoober, J.M., Lemmon, G., & Wayne, S.J. (2011). Women’s underrepresentation in upper management: New insights on a persistent problem. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 151—156
Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publishers, California
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey
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