Research Paper: Leadership

Pages: 5 (1385 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Leadership  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] At times, this suppression of personal ego and selfish motives may be quite obvious, as when a corporate leader voluntarily offers to take a miniscule salary while his or her company is recovering from difficult economic times. At other times, the actions of the servant leader may be hidden almost entirely, observed only by those who are approached by the servant leader and asked, "How can I help you do your job?" (Bell & Smith, 2010, p. 7)

The servant leader bases judgments on what is best for the group in relation to attaining its goals. (Bell & Smith, 2010, p. 6). Leo, the servant from Hesse's novel, is the perfect allegory for this concept. Leo, the revered leader of the order, understood ego-centric or authoritarian leadership would do his followers no good because the whole purpose of their pilgrimage was self-realization, which must be learned through one's own experiences. Thus, Leo poses as the servant in order to help them without directing them and without their knowledge that they are being helped. (Bell & Smith, 2010, p. 6)

The Servant leader is created through the merging of an individual's interests with the interests of the group. The servant leader derives fulfillment and personal satisfaction by seeing his or her supportive role pay dividends in the confidence, creativity, and productivity of others. (7). Proud, loving parents exhibit this quality of servant leadership, as their satisfaction comes from the influence they have had on the lives of their children and the level of development that their children have reached. (Bell & Smith, 2010, p. 7).

Ideal Leadership Style According to Admired Qualities

The ideal leadership style, from my perspective, depends on the context in which the leader has to operate. For example, the leadership qualities that I admire most in political leaders is the ability to overcome obstacles, ability to achieve goals, ability to fight for a cause, and courage. (Bell & Smith, 2010, p. 11-12) The leadership qualities that I admire in nonpolitical leaders is the ability to inspire others, ability to listen and understand, sacrifices made for others, patience, and high moral standards.

My preferred leadership style in nonpolitical settings, then, is the transformational leadership model. Transformational leadership is concerned with the transformation of the followers in pursuit of a common goal. Transformational leaders achieve this goal through communication, inspiration, and leading by example, thereby demonstrating the qualities that I admire: ability to listen, inspiration, and high moral standards.

My preferred leadership style in political settings, however, is the dominant leadership model. Dominant leaders are attractive for political settings because politics is such a cutthroat environment, filled with individuals and groups attempting to elevate their own interests, usually to the detriment of other interests. (Medina, et. al., 2008, p. 256). Success in this field requires the ability to fight for a cause and the ability to achieve goals, specifically the political causes and goals held the leader's group or constituency. Because many worthy political causes are opposed by powerful interests, successful leadership requires courage and the ability to overcome obstacles presented by competing interests.

Conclusion

Although the traditional dominant model of leadership is by no means obsolete, our understanding of leadership has become more broad. This is because our focus is no longer restricted to just the traits of individual leaders. We are paying more attention to the nature of the organizations and groups that are being led. This is a promising trend, and should provide us with even more insights into leadership in the years to come.

Bibliography

Bell, A.H., & Smith, D.M. (2010). Developing leadership abilities. Boston: Pearson.

Cheung, M.F.Y., & Wong, C.-S. (September 28, 2011). Transformational leadership, leader support, and employee creativity. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32, 7, 656-672

Medina, F., Munduate, L., & Guerra, J. (January 01, 2008). Power and conflict in cooperative and competitive contexts. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17, 3, 349-362.

Gibson, C., & McDaniel, D. (January 01, 2010). Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdom: Advancements in Cross-Cultural Theories of Leadership, Conflict, and Teams.Perspectives on Psychological… [END OF PREVIEW]

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