John Kotter, Confucious, Machiavelli and Rousseau Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1089 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

John Kotter, Confucious, Machiavelli and Rousseau

John Kotter has written several self-help books on corporate management. The most recent, Leading Change, outlines an 8-step process to effect transformations successfully, and has become a bible for change with managers. The October 2001 issue of Business Week magazine said Kotter was the #1 "leadership guru" in the United States, based on their survey of 504 enterprises (Kotter, 2007, 1). His book Power and Influence is written for leaders, as well, encouraging the lower-level employee to become an "unofficial" power within their organization through influencing others. Naivete and cynicism have no place in the lives of powerful people and his outline for getting rid of internal strife which can destroy corporations as well as the careers of its personnel involves becoming personally effective in one's own realm and influencing others with positive goals by recognizing that diversity allows various talents to thrive and that interdependence allows for power over others while remaining dependent (Kotter, 1985).

Kotter's best description of a leader with power is in his newer book, Leading Change. It is a common sense directive for gaining effective power which Kotter outlines in this book for leaders, one that most people use every day for suggesting that companions might improve their situation when danger or discomfort is present. Planning, obtaining a vision and suggesting something that is obviously better than one's present situation is the most effective way to get people to change.

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A good vision helps to overcome this natural reluctance to do what is (often painfully) necessary by being hopeful and therefore motivating. A good vision acknowledges that sacrifices will be necessary but makes clear that these sacrifices will yield particular benefits and personal satisfactions that are far superior to those available today -- or tomorrow -- without attempting to change (Kotter, 1996, 70).

TOPIC: Term Paper on John Kotter, Confucious, Machiavelli and Rousseau John Assignment

Common errors of leaders which Kotter lists are (1) allowing for too much complacency, (2) failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition, (3) underestimating the power of vision, (4) undercommunicating the vision by a factor of 10 (or 100 or 1000), (5) permitting obstacles to block new vision, (6) failing to create short-term wins, (7) declaring victory too soon, and (8) neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture (Kotter, 1996, 16).

Confucius, a Chinese philosopher from the fourth century BC founded a philosophy which emphasized morality for oneself and the government, with values invested in social relationships, sincerity and justice. He urged disciples to think for themselves, to study the outside world, to relate the ancient religious and secular writings and past political events to the present in order to solve problems. Rulers should be morally upright, devoted to the people and pursuing personal and social perfection and to lead by example, not by imposing rules. He also valued human life over property and tried to live by universal ethical principles. Kotter tries to express this in his writings, as well, essentially saying that a leader has to have faith in his or her employees and their willingness to accomplish a task which the leader has envisioned as being good for them.

Machiavelli observed and modeled his book, the Prince, on the activities of Cesare Borgia, who used force, manipulation and cruelty to gain territories in Italy… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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