A leadership essay is an assignment that may be required in a business course—particularly a business course that focuses on management. Leadership essays are intended to explore one or more styles of or ideas related to strong leadership and explain why or how they are successful approaches in the business world. A leadership essay is not a research paper; therefore, though it will likely include research on various leadership-related concepts, it should ultimately present the writer's individual interpretation and opinions on leadership rather than simply recounting what others have said.
Leadership reports should focus on a narrow topic. They should not attempt to tackle a book-length concept of leadership such as "what makes a good leader," as this is far too broad. Rather, it would be best if it explored in detail one specific aspect of leadership, such as a certain theory on leadership or a specific dynamic of leadership in the workplace. Once a topic such as this has been decided upon, the writer must construct a thesis—the writer's opinion or interpretation regarding the specific topic. The thesis is the main point or argument of the report; therefore, it should be presented somewhere in the first 1/4 of the text.
A leadership report should make use of illustrative examples to make its point. This means that in addition to theoretic and analytic discussion, it should present real-life scenarios. Such examples clearly display how theory and analysis can be put into practice, and the ultimate aim of all leadership study is to put theories and analysis into successful practice. It is not necessary to present an example for every point the writer is making, but it is helpful to provide an example for each major aspect.
Some leadership essays may be personal rather than analytical. This means that it will require the writer to discuss his or her own observations or experiences regarding leadership. Such assignments may call on the writer to write about a strong leader they know and that person's particular style of leadership. Others may require the writer to discuss their own approaches to leadership. In these types of assignments, the writer should recount his or her own experiences while tying in leadership concepts that have been discussed in the course or course readings.
Most business classes place importance on the professional presentation of writing. This is because in the business world, presentation matters, and therefore writing should be clear and error-free. Therefore, a leadership report should be thoroughly proofread for grammar, spelling, and style mistakes.
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