My chosen leaders are Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. On the first male leader, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born on May 14th 1984. Mark is an American internet entrepreneur, programmer as well as a philanthropist. He is the chief executive, chairman as well as a co-founder of the famous social networking website known as Facebook. He is one of the most successful business men in the business market as his net worth stands at US$52 billion. This is as of today, 8th May 2016. This leader depicts the trait theory of leadership as he shows various traits as a leader. He is very ambitious, hardworking and a go getter. This is shown when he was so determined for greatness as he was able to create the social website in his campus room (Harvard dormitory rooms) with the help of his friends. They were able to spread this website to other campuses and it spread so rapidly with over billion users by the year 2012. His determination is also depicted when he was able to withstand several legal disputes which were initiated by some of his colleagues who claimed a share of the profits with the contribution they claimed to have made. He also showcased integrity when he and his wife decided to give a bigger part of their wealth in their course of their lives to “advancing human potential and promoting equality”. This as they say, is in the spirit of the giving pledge.
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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th president of Liberia. She is still the current president of Liberia. She served as a finance minister under the reign of President William Tolbert which lasted for only two years, 1979-1980. She showed perseverance when she came second in the 1997 presidential elections and she vied again in 2005 and won. She is the first ever female head of state to ever been elected in Africa since time immemorial. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize together with Tawakkol Karman of Yemen and Keymah Gbowee of Liberia. These women were recognized for what is termed as their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” She was as well listed as the 70thmost powerful woman in the entire universe, an award that was given by Forbes. She has expressed expertise in her job by leading Liberia in the most effective way. This thus attributes to the power and influence theory. As a public leader, she has to show clearly that she has authority over others under her government. She uses personal power and not alternative power and this translates to her effectiveness.
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These two leadership theories mentioned above that have been related to the selected leaders have some similarities as well as differences. The trait theory which is also referred to as dispositional theory is an approach that is used to study the personality of humans particularly leaders. The trait theory is interested primarily in the measurement of the traits which can as well be termed as habitual patterns of thought, behavior as well as emotion. Traits are considered to be stable over a long period of time and are may only differ among individuals(Derue, Nahrgang, Wellman, & Humphrey, 2011). For example, some people might be shy while others are outgoing. These influence behavior.
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According to the trait theory, traits are the external behaviors that in most cases emerge from the things that are ongoing in our minds. It is the internal processes and beliefs that are necessary for one to achieve the effective leadership (Derue et al2011).
The power and influence theory on the other hand takes quite a different approach. As much as the trait approach looks at the trait of a person to define who a leader is, this theory looks at the different ways that a leader can utilize power as well as his/her influence so as to get things done in the right way (Nohria & Khurana, 2013). They thus look at the styles of leadership that may result thereafter. This theory highlights that there exists five forms of power. Among these, there are three types of positional power. These include coercive, legitimate as well as reward power. There are two sources of personal power, these include referent and expert power. These can be a person’s personal charm and appeal.
This theory suggests that it is much better to use personal power other than alternative power and that people should work extremely hard so as to build expert power.
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The two leaders named above Mark and Ellen depict the two leadership theories respectively. These two theories have made them effective leaders in their different ways of operation. For Mark Zuckerberg, it is clear that throughout his leadership and even as he is still a leader, he has not had an issue with gender interfering with his leadership. As seen earlier, his past colleagues who claimed to have made some contributions to the formation of the famous website were fighting him so as to get some shares of the profits that he was making. They may have made contributions but Mark was responsible for the success of the site as he put in more effort to ensure its success. His present subordinates are however supportive as they help in improving the site in all ways possible. This is evident as the site has been seen to have experienced several changes over a period of time which is meant to make the site better for its users.
For Ellen on the other hand, her election as the first female president in Africa has brought several issues on the. This is because in Africa, most people have had the idea for the longest time that women are inferior and that they should not be in the position of leadership. Most of the people especially in the opposition have had various issues with her leadership as they expect her to be nothing but perfect, something that is not possible for any human. They thus try hard to find so many problems with her leadership. This has not however affected her ability to lead as her effectiveness is clearly seen. This is because she managed to complete her first term of leadership successfully and has set in to serve in the second term after a successful win in the 2011 elections. Most of her subordinates are however in support of her leadership and they try to offer help and advice where needed.
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Mark Zuckerberg depicts the transformational style of leadership. This, as it happens, is one of the most effective leadership styles in business. As a leader, Mark has depicted this style of leadership as he shows high integrity as well as emotional intelligence. This can be seen when he and his wife made a choice to give their wealth over the years in what they termed as “The Giving Spirit”. He inspires his team members as he is expecting them to deliver nothing but the best and that is what the team members have tried to do by all means.His conflict resolution mechanism is one that needs to be emulated. This is because he did not choose to fight back at his colleagues when they pulled out legal issues against him. His efficient leadership is what has led to the productivity of his business.
Ellen on the other hand depicts the democratic style of leadership. As a public leader, she has to be very aware of the decisions that she makes. In this case for example, she is the one who is responsible for final decision making but also ensures that she involves others in the lower positions as well as her advisors in the decision making process.
Both these two styles of leadership have their strengths as well as weaknesses. The democratic style of leadership has the following strengths. It leads to an increase in production. When the leader communicates effectively, they ensure that the workers are kept aware of the happenings in the organization and thus they are interested in the production of more output thus increase in productivity. Secondly, the workers as well as the subordinates are involved in the decision making and thus this leads to increased satisfaction. Finally, the workers and the subordinates as well get a chance to utilize all their capabilities(Bhatti, Maitlo & Shaikh, 2012).
Despite these, they also have their weaknesses. The power is not centralized in this situation. This leads to the following drawbacks. As the authority in this case is decentralized the executives who are less competent cannot be used and thus people may lose chances because of this. Secondly, in this kind of leadership, several people are involved in decision making and thus this might lead to delay in the decision making process. Finally, this type of leadership style can in most cases appear indecisive. During a crisis for example, the leaders are expected to be very directive which is not what happens in democratic leadership.
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For the leaders who depict the transformational style of leadership, have their own strengths as well as weakness. For example the transformational leaders create the best mentors and thus leads to innovative waves in the particular business. Secondly, these leaders are hardworking and depict good qualities. They are thus able to arouse some emotions among the workers which motivates them to work harder and even beyond the framework. Lastly, it also forms some new expectations in their followers since these leaders are proactive(Braun, Peus, Weisweiler, & Frey, 2013). On the other hand the leaders might have some weaknesses as not being able to achieve their expectations as well as the force of character and thus are unable to achieve. Some leaders may also be unable to have this character and thus leading their leadership to drawn at the edge. Finally it is based on the ability of the leader to inspire the workforce to ensure they do their best in the job which at times may not be applicable.
One strength that could influence me to become a good public leader is that I at all times ensure that I have undertaken all the duties with all the strictness and caution that it deserves and thus am able to ensure that the final output is close to flawless if not flawless at all.
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