Good Example Of Essay On Leadership Styles
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Leadership, Style, Leader, Power, Politics, Margaret Thatcher, Apple, Steve Jobs
I have chosen to write on the leadership skills of Adolf Hitler. Hitler rose to become the dictator of Germany and had the personality traits of an autocratic leader. He believed that only he had the vision, military and political knowhow and the determination to lead Germany to a glorious future. His self-confidence did have its limitations and he was strongly criticised as well as hated for this personality trait. Moreover, Hitler had a violent rage whenever someone even questioned his decisions. He did not bother to consult other individuals prior to making a decision and this finally led to his downfall.
Another quality of Hitler was that he was an excellent orator. He vowed audiences with his oratory skills and this quality helped him to have power and control over his audience. Hitler mastered his oratory skills and manipulated and inspired his audiences so as to challenge explanation and definition. His audiences believed in his speeches and this helped him to quickly rise and gain political as well as military power. One of the main factors that help Hitler to rise was his charismatic leadership including his excellent oratory skills (Tudoroiu, 2014).
Hitler’s leadership style is that of autocratic leadership. In order to win the confidence of the masses, a non-aggression pact was signed by Hitler with Poland in the year 1934. The year 1935 witnessed Hitler’s decision to negate the disarmament clause by reinstating military recruitment. Despite the anticipation of a possible war between France and Germany, the German military regained the territory. This is an example of autocratic leadership style as Hitler did not bother to listen to the advice of his generals.
Britain and France simply voiced their disagreement and this helped to boost Hitler’s self-confidence. Hitler, then, proposed a twenty five year pact with France for non-aggression thereby making another diplomatic win.
After the acquisition of power Hitler’s leadership style changed from charismatic to that of autocratic. Prior to this, he made excellent speeches so that the masses believed in him without questioning the practicality of his decisions. After acquiring power, Hitler first defied the advice of his generals by leading his troops to regain territory.
One of the main tools used by Hitler to promote and influence the masses was his excellent oratory skills. He used technology solutions like air transport, broadcasts over the radio, systems to address the masses and floodlights so as to make the masses aware of his political vision and make them support him.
Another personality trait was that Hitler did not tolerate conflict. Those who dared question his authority and his decisions were punished. Hence, people gradually began to fear and defy him. The environment as well as the time in Germany also helped Hitler to rise to power. The masses were disillusioned and Hitler gave them a vision.
Certain personality traits of Hitler’s leadership style is even practiced today. Modern day leaders do practice autocratic leadership style in order to control situations. Moreover, several of them have gain success. Hitler’s is a perfect example of attaining success by displaying charismatic and autocratic leadership. The same style has been practiced by modern day leaders like Steve Jobs.
Margaret Thatcher came from humble beginnings and rose to power by becoming the Prime Minister of Britain from the year 1979 till the year 1990. She loved politics and contested the election. She married a rich man who funded her so as to pursue her opportunities. In order to woo the masses, Thatcher took lessons in oratory and public speaking. Moreover, she believed in doing what according to her was right rather than striving to gain mass popularity. These circumstances helped her in gaining her position as a leader.
She believed in duty and hard work in order to attain her goals. She broke tradition towards her early career by the “free school milk fiasco” which led the Conservative party to lose the elections in the year 1974. She broke tradition again after becoming the Prime Minister of Britain by refusing to aid the unions unlike previous governments and moved forward towards a monetarist approach. This is a perfect example of authoritative as well as transformational leadership. She believed in not sticking to traditions and embracing change for the betterment of the nation.
A transformational leader is one who has the quality of being an excellent motivator, and drives followers to meet goals and visions. She did not always enjoy mass support, but her decision to divert from political tradition is an example of authoritative leadership and this helped her to gain her position. She again went ahead by imposing stringent rules for immigration and tough policing. These were imposed in response to the summer riots that took place in several cities in the United Kingdom. This is an example of contingency or situational leadership in which Thatcher took decisions depending on the prevailing circumstances in the United Kingdom.
She started making her public image after she received the negative remark of being the “Iron Lady” from the Soviet newspaper, the Red Star. This was in retaliation to her comments of the dominance of the then Soviet Union. She started to cultivate an image that was less strident, lowered her voice and started speaking slowly during her public speeches. This was one of the strategies used by Margaret Thatcher to gain popularity over the masses and rise to political power (Stepney, 2014).
The current situation in Britain helped Thatcher to win the elections in the year 1979 and rise to position as the then Prime Minister of the country. The failed policy of the Labour Government led to a negative image of the country that was plagued with high rate of unemployment, inflation and ineffective competition in world economies. Her gain to power and subsequent imposition of the monetary approach helped the country to display signs of a recovering economy. This was also one of the reasons for her to change her leadership style from being that of mass friendly and participative to that of an authoritative style.
Another strategy used by Thatcher was that she associated herself with men of power like the then U.S. President, Ronald Regan. This was one of the manner in which she associated herself with a group that boasted of power; and gradually developed a power base (Lewin, 1947). Her tools to promote her vision and influence public support were mainly the manner in which she addressed the masses by her careful selection of words, tone of voice and her choice of group. Especially, in the international circle, she proved to influence nations by her excellent speech and her constant reminder of the fairer sex being a successful leader.
The leadership styles of being authoritative, breaking tradition and being dutiful and responsible is followed by leaders even today. This is one of the reasons as to why her personality traits of being confident, dutiful and responsible is found in successful leaders.
Steve Jobs is an excellent example of a transformational leader. He had excellent oratory skills and also used an authoritative leadership style once he came back as the CEO of Apple. However, people remember him for his effervescent qualities of being a visionary, innovative and passionate leader.
Apple Computers was founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs way back in the year 1976. The company became a publicly traded firm in the year 1980. Subsequently, in the year 1985 Jobs resigned from Apple and founded his own firm NeXT. He also purchase Pixar and successfully made animation films.
Academic scholars maintain that Jobs practiced the leader member theory by having an in group and an out group. He took inputs from his in group members but decisions were solely taken by Steve Jobs. On the other hand, out group members were conveyed of the diverse decisions and approaches by the in group members. Jobs had all the qualities of a charismatic leader and vowed the masses by his excellent speeches. He motivated and stimulated the employees to perform objectives in order to meet deadlines and shared vision.
Depending on the situation, Steve Jobs displayed several decisions and leadership styles. His excellent oration helped employees to be motivated and meet deadlines. Also, he re-joined Apple as the CEO when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. His expert power, knowledge and innovation helped the company to regain its position as one of the leading information technology providers of the world.
Steve Jobs became a social phenomenon by displaying excellent will power, self-confidence and the ability to win the masses. His leadership style is still researched by academic scholars and he is regarded as one of the few leaders who drove change successfully by using the transformational style of leadership.
Mother Teresa is another example of an exemplary servant leader. The concept of servant leadership is a modern phenomenon that was originally proposed by Robert Greenleaf (Borkowski, 2011). Mother Teresa is the founder of the Missionaries of Charity and wooed the masses by love and care. The Missionaries of Charity is a Catholic religious group that is committed to serve the poor and uplift the conditions of the needy by providing them love and care.
She is an epitome of a servant leader as she led followers by serving and loving people. Her personality traits consisted of having self-confidence, determination, faith, humility, care and love. Her leadership style has become highly researched and is applied in most healthcare settings. Another trait displayed by servant leaders is that of altruism. Such leaders are highly self – sacrificing as is displayed in the leadership style of Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa displayed high achievement of objectives and her profound impact on her followers have led to change the reigning environment. Followers performed their tasks by sharing her vision and displayed similar qualities of a servant leader.
The followers of a servant leader are those who ape the actions of the leader and in this case Mother Teresa’s followers displayed high levels of hard work and passion despite working in gruesome and dangerous situations. She displayed the personality traits of altruism, justice, love, forgiveness, role-leader and integrity and these are the traits associated with servant leadership.
She is regarded as a highly successful servant leader as her leadership has helped the Missionaries of Charity to flourish and expand to have its presence over hundred nations. Her personal belief was initially criticized but her simplicity, determination and vision helped her organization towards a path of growth and prosperity.
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India in the year 1967 when the country was going through a transition phase in culture and politics. She developed her own leadership style in order to lead the Congress party to a path of success and growth. She defected from the original Congress parties, when her decisions were challenged by other Congress leaders and formed her own party.
She believed in gaining the support of the masses by using diplomatic strategies. Once in power, she took on the authoritative leadership style. She used the confrontational leadership style in order to resolve political conflict and redesigning the foreign policy of India. Depending on the situation, she used the blended styles of confrontational and authoritative leadership.
Constancy and change are interdependent constructs (Lewin, 1947). The time when Indira Gandhi came to power was marked by a period of political upheaval in India. During this time, war broke out between Bangladesh and Pakistan and this led several refugees to come to India. States began to rebel in order to form their own autonomous nation and Indira Gandhi had to crush such rebellions. She crushed conflicts and rebellion and this finally led to her assassination by her personal bodyguards.
Indira Gandhi, has been regarded by scholars, to use a style that benefitted her own self-interest rather than the interest of the country. She was highly determined, ambitious and bent tradition in order to succeed. Her diplomatic strategies and authoritative leadership style is used by modern day political leaders till date.
Borkowski, N. (2011). Organizational Behavior in Health Care. Jones & Barlett Publishers, U.S.A.
Lewin, K. (1947). Frontiers in group dynamics: concept, method and reality in social science; social equilibria and social change. human Relations, 1, 5, 5 – 41.
Stepney, P. (2014). The legacy of Margaret Thatcher – a critical assessment. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 134 – 143.
Tudoroiu, A. (2014). Defining the Revolutionary Totalitarian Personality: The Parallel Lives of Adolf Hitler and Fidel Castro. Comparative Sociology, 13(3), 383 – 409.