Leadership Essay

3614 words - 14 pages

LeadershipIn today's chaotic world, the attention on individual leaders and their performance grows brighter. Those organizations that are supporting their value and the reputation of their leaders in these challenging times have one thing in common: leaders who pay attention to what they will leave behind them after they are gone. They ask themselves what values will sustain the organization over the long haul; what people will say of them; whether the organization they led will still be there to remember them; and if so, what position they will hold in the organization's memory.Francesco and Gold the, "definition of leadership is not straightforward, especially in a cross-cultural context. One difficulty is that not all cultures have the term leader. The closest equivalent in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean to leader is similar to coach in English. Hardship captures the nature of the authority role in familial organizations, which are prevalent in Asian cultures. In the German language. There is "no word exactly corresponding to the meaning of the term manager in English. Present-day Germans also avoid using the German word for leader because of its association with Hitler". Of course, the variety of terms used in different cultures does not mean leadership is absent, but rather that the nuances indicate that different cultures vary in their understandings of and expectations for authority roles." (Francesco and Gold)The irony at the heart of organizational leadership is that the leader must add value to the organization but must not take it away when he or she leaves. An essential part of a leader's job is to become dispensable through creating a culture of leadership that extends throughout the organization. There are a number of "models" of leadership - but they are all essentially attempts to develop an effective metaphor for describing how leadership functions.When an organization becomes powerless and falls apart after the leader departs, the succeeding is, in a sense, a validation of that leader's talent and evidence of the value added during his or her tenure. However, it is also evidence of that leader's failure to bestow the organization with the qualities needed to rise above previous achievements, the failure to take care of the conditions under which leadership can grow.Both styles of leadership, transformational and transactional, have strong philosophical underpinnings and ethical components. In individualist philosophies, where leaders and followers each rationally pursue their own self-interests, it is generally thought that leaders should be transactional. A free contract is often assumed as a model of transacting between leaders and followers. A contract has to have moral legitimacy (Donaldson & Dunfee, 1994). The legitimacy of transactional leadership depends on granting the same liberty and opportunity to others that one claims for oneself, on telling the truth, keeping promises, distributing to each what is due, and...

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