Theory Construct of on Leadership Book Report

Pages: 4 (1439 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Leadership

Theory/Construct of on Leadership by John W. Gardner

In John W. Gardner's (1990) book on Leadership, he addresses the question of why the leadership that is available today is not better than it is. In other words, he asks the question that many people wonder - why isn't the leadership that's available today better, and what can be done to change that? He does not focus on just one type of leadership, either. He is not interested in 'picking on' one particular group of people who he thinks is not leading properly. He does not focus on just one person, one country, or one occupation. Instead, he spends time analyzing the fact that leadership overall is not something that is handled correctly in the world today, and it is causing many significant problems. Until people recognize that the leadership throughout the world needs improvement, it can be very difficult to see it get better and be more in line with what people really need - which is leadership that takes in a group purpose and focuses on more than just the leader.

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Without that group purpose, leadership is too difficult to hold onto and it does not benefit anyone but the leader. When the group does not benefit from the actions of the leader, there are very few good things that come out of the situation. How, then, to see this group benefit, is what Gardner (1990) addresses throughout his book. The prevailing theory that Gardner (1990) addresses in this particular book is that leadership is not what it should be because leaders have not been held accountable for what they do and don't do in their careers and lives. If leaders were held accountable, there would be better leadership overall because they would know that they would not be able to get away with not doing a good job. Leaders who were appointed to work both for and with the people would have to do so, or they would not retain their leadership position.

TOPIC: Book Report on Theory Construct of on Leadership Assignment

Anyone, argues Gardner (1990), who is willing to stand up and lead correctly could change the dynamics of the group which he leads, thus changing the future of that group and potentially a much larger group of individuals who would learn from the people in the original group. The future of the entire world could be changed by the way that people lead, from the presidents of countries all the way down to the heads of small corporations and organizations. How people lead in their homes and communities matter, too, because it all ties in to the greater good of the people who are being led. Is a leader only addressing the people he's specifically leading, or are there larger implications for his leadership? This is the kind of question that Gardner (1990) wants to see answered - and he's not the only one.

In 1978, author James MacGregor Burns wrote a book simply called Leadership. In it, he talked about transformational leadership as opposed to transactional leadership, and how transformational (servant) leadership could be much more dynamic and important when it comes to how people react to leaders. Gardner (1990) appears to build on what Burns (1978) stated, and the two books actually work well together. As a comparison, Gardner (1990) focuses mostly on what has gone wrong with leadership and what should be done to correct it, while Burns (1978) sets his sights on the differences between the various kinds of leadership styles and what should be done to address that in the context of why one type is better than the other. While these are not the same issues, they are very similar in scope and they allow the two books to complement one another instead of requiring them to be at odds. That is great news for anyone studying leadership, because both of the books have value for the reader and can be taken to heart by those who want to lead more effectively.

Gardner (1990) brings a lot to the table with his work. The book has a great call to action, and it showcases the idea that fixing the problems with leadership on a small scale can have large-scale repercussions. This is very important, because too many people feel as though they need to start at the top… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Theory Construct of on Leadership.  (2010, June 12).  Retrieved September 26, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/theory-construct-leadership/981850

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"Theory Construct of on Leadership."  Essaytown.com.  June 12, 2010.  Accessed September 26, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/theory-construct-leadership/981850.