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Mohandas Gandhi Essay

2359 words - 9 pages

Few people on this planet have ever willingly endured jail, starvation, and isolation from their family just for the sole purpose of selfless helping those who lack the unalienable rights that humans should universally be provided. But one man, Mohandas Gandhi was one of them. An internationally recognized leader for single handedly starting and leading the Indian civil disobedience and independence movement, Mohandas Gandhi is often considered a legendary leader for his undeniable ability to attract and inspire followers. But the question remains, although Gandhi is widely considered an extraordinary leader, did he actually practice values-based leadership and was he successful? Gandhi was an exemplary leader who displayed values leadership based through transforming and inspirational leadership qualities that ultimately were unsuccessful in reaching the main cultural goals Gandhi preached. Gandhi’s values, behaviors and life will be analyzed through the lens of Fairholm’s definition values leadership while pulling in aspects from ethical leadership theories, leadership shadow casters and leader virtues.
Mohandas Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869 (“Mahatma Gandhi”, 2014). According to the Sparknotes Editors, He grew up with the notion he had no real talents and grew up an average student eventually going on to law school in England and graduating with a law degree. He had left his wife in order to pursue a law degree and left her again after failing in law in India and moving to South Africa (SparkNotes Editors, 2005). It was here that his career as a leader began when sitting in a train compartment and was asked by a white European to move to the colored section of a train despite having a first class ticket, and when he refused, went on to throw him off the train (“Mahatma Gandhi”, 2014). This set off his movements based on Swaraj or Indian independence with some goals of unifying the different religions, making indigenous Indian-made products the norm for use in the country and getting rid of the class system that would rid of the class of “untouchables”. This lead to a series of non-violent civil disobedience acts to protest certain laws, which lead to Gandhi’s jailing form 1922-1924 (SparkNotes Editors, 2005). He went on to lead a Salt March to the ocean to collect his own salt to protest the government’s monopoly on salt collection and distribution. After obtaining India’s independence from the British, India fell into a state of violence and religious turmoil. At the age of 78, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse who shot him three times point blank in order to cause more war between the Muslims and Hindus to further a radical agenda (SparkNotes Editors, 2005).
While knowing his background and general legacy, the question of whether or not he practiced values leadership remains. Fairholm defines values leadership as “Leader action to create a culture supportive of values that lead to both high quality output and mutual growth...

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