Assignment Instructions – Contemporary views of leadership
Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper critically analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing contemporary views of leadership. Base your analysis and evaluation from your Week 5 paper (analyzing contemporary views of leadership), Week 6 PowerPoint (McGregor Burns), the additional journal articles, and videos presented.
Include the following in your paper:
Select a specific context or criterion to analyze contemporary leadership theories or views. Suspending personal bias, describe the conclusions you drew from your critical analysis, using well-reasoned judgments. What would your model of contemporary leadership evolve to if designed for your company?
Use a minimum of five references to support the criteria, assumptions, or context of your evaluation. References should be course readings, peer-reviewed articles, journals, and scholarly literature located in the University Library.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Sample Answer – Contemporary Views of Leadership Analysis, Evaluation And Synthesis
From Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi’s charisma to Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill’s intelligence and Steve Jobs’ analytical personality, it is clearly evident that there can be myriad ways to lead as there are leaders (Crossman, 2010). Due to this, leadership is a debate both in all areas of the society as well as in the field of the business. Throughout the globe, there are as many leadership models and theories just like their commentators (Burns & Peltason, 1975). Fortunately, businesspersons and psychologists have come up with useful frameworks that describe the main ways of leadership.
If leaders can fully understand these frameworks, then they can proceed to develop their approach towards leadership, and resultantly, become more effective. Normally, business leaders embrace different models to lead people. Each model focuses on producing the best out of leaders and success in the society and in business. There are various leadership models whose applications go hand in hand with particular goals and contexts. There is also a huge difference between contemporary leadership models and conventional leadership styles (Lakshman, 2007).
Traditionally, leadership was regarded as an interpersonal influence with a specific purpose of achieving a goal or set objectives (Wren, 1995). It, therefore, had three main elements that include influence or the power over others, interpersonal relationship and goals (Lakshman, 2007).
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The contemporary leadership models, on the other hand, involve dynamic relationships between leaders and their subjects and alliance for mutual benefit. It implies that there exists a connection between leaders and those they lead in collaboration for mutual benefit (Burns & Peltason, 1975). We can conclude that contemporary views of leadership often involve collaborative approaches that seek empowerment to both the employees and the leaders as well.
By definition, leadership gets described as the ability to influence the behavior of a group towards the attainment of some common objectives of the group (Giuliani & Kurson, 2002). Such swaying power can be sourced from formal authority that is enjoyed by the formal position of the leader, for instance, an officially elected representative of a specific group of people or a manager in a company. Nevertheless, the essence of leadership is not rooted in formal power but the influence obtained by people by virtue of their behavior and personal qualities.
There are a number of useful theories leadership that help us to understand its nature, and to take action identify good leaders for leadership positions and in developing leadership qualities in people in order to make them better formal leaders.
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Theories related to leadership get broadly classified into four groups – behavior theories, contingency theories, trait theories and neocharismatic theories. First and foremost, trait theories of leadership try to identify social, personality, intellectual and physical traits that are commonly possessed by effective leaders (Sadler, 2003).
Secondly, behavioral theories of leadership attempt to differentiate leaders from non-leaders using behavior patterns and onwards classify them in different types. One of the most renowned leadership models like that is the managerial grid model which was developed by Blake and Mouton. Other important surveys in this area include University of Michigan studies and Ohio State studies.
In the third place, contingency theories attempt to identify the conditions and factors that lead to the rise and development of leadership. Among such models, the most well known is the Fiddler contingency model. As per this model, effective leadership gets pivoted upon a proper style of interacting with subordinates as well as the degree in which the situation gives influence and control to the leader.
Neocharismatic theories of leadership lay emphasis on emotional appeal, symbolism and extraordinary follower commitment. The group particularly covers types of leaderships such as transactional leaders, charismatic leadership, visionary leadership and transformational leadership. From this, charismatic leadership comes by as a result of followers who make attributions of extraordinary or heroic leadership abilities when they witness certain behaviors in the leaders. Transactional leaders, on another level, are effective in motivating and guiding their followers so that they can achieve the established goals in a relatively stable situation. Quite the opposite, transformational leaders are able to inspire and direct their followers to pursue a path of setting newer objectives, improvement, and moving in uncharted directions. Finally, visionary leadership is identified by the ability to articulate and create a vision of the future that improves upon the present for an organization (Pitcher, 1997).
Straightforwardly, the contributions of men and women leaders are crucial to understanding leadership fully. As their styles come together, businesses also become stronger in achieving their goals. Eventually, leaders will come into view at all levels of business organizations.
Generally, there are four people and business development competencies where leadership convergence can make a constructive difference in meeting present challenges. They include interpersonal skills, strategy development, technical/functional and organizational savvy. Functional and technical knowledge is information of the functions of business used to meet firm’s objectives. It includes operations, finance, marketing/sales, information technology, planning, and human resources. Most people venture in businesses from their educational grounding through one of these functions. Sharing knowledge and keeping pace with business functions are contributing to more successful and vibrant businesses.
Interpersonal skills continue to be crucial to all business organizations (Sadler, 2003). Articulating clearly, listening well and recognizing and respecting the diversity of backgrounds and talents available are significant, especially when building a successful team. Collaboration at a global level pushes leadership to new levels. In the modern times, social media is facilitating diverse groups in effectively executing common goals across many boundaries.
Looking beyond what we can see and over the horizon is overly important. You can thrive on modern day’s data, but that may not suffice for the long term. The practice of reading the trends, looking ahead and analyzing the current business results is the main starting point. As such, this focus allows the styles of men and women to meet and decide on strategies for success in days to come.
Knowing where key internal resources reside as well as how to mobilize them for action is another essential competency for convergence. It requires a solid internal network of resources to respond as needed. It crosses bureaucratic understanding and philosophical lines to meet common objectives. The benefits are a more porous organization, better utilization of resources and higher talent retention rates.
Clearly, from the perspective of contemporary leadership, modern times are exciting times for leaders and followers to understand that leadership is naturally a dynamic process in which both are required to participate.
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