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This Is A Paper About Contemporary Issues Of Leadership.

2243 words - 9 pages

What are leadership abilities? Do I have them? How can I get them? Is Leadership about being an extrovert? Someone who is a great talker, or is it about being an introvert? Someone who likes to sit quietly and observe others, speaking only when they find it necessary. Is leadership about the clothes you wear? Wearing a business suit, a uniform, or bright colors? Maybe having a lot of money can make you a leader. It was money that 'transformed' Robert Gould Shaw "from 'an ordinary mortal' to a compassionate and selfless leader who 'laid down his life' for his men and 'for a race.'" (geocities). Or was it?At 23, Robert Gould Shaw did not choose to become a captain, nor did he train or study to become a leader. At this time, it was money that talked, and those who had it became the captains and generals (leaders), for the northern states during the war between the northern and southern states of North America. The southern states however, having the majority of the army bases in their area, selected their army's leaders because of previous training and proven leadership abilities and qualities. Which of the two leadership selection processes is the best for finding great leaders?It was not Shaw's wealth that was recognized by the governor of Massachusetts. It was something about Shaws' character that made the Governor offer him the position of Colonel to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the first colored army.Confidence became an attribute of Shaw's personality as he matured into his position of leadership. "Self confidence is an attitude which allows individuals to have a positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations."(couns.uiuc). People with confidence have a sense of control in their lives and believe that within reason they will be able to do what they wish, plan, and expect. I believe Shaw accepted the challenge of leading this army because he knew someone had to do the job and felt confident enough in himself to take it on. Shaw not only displayed self-confidence, he showed confidence in his men. He found confidence in the fact that the colored men seemed to learn faster than the white. He felt this was because they were used to doing as they were asked to do and were then able to relax or free their minds when they were not working.Shaw definitely showed his men that he had confidence in them when he announced "I have no doubt we will leave this state as fine a regiment as any that has marched." (Glory). This brought a look of happiness to the soldiers faces, as they now knew, their leader thought they were doing a great job.Does this mean confidence will make a person a leader?Shaw began his leadership with characteristics of a transactional leader. That is he told the soldiers what their role was and what he expected from them. Although, he was strict about running the army by the book, so he could show that he was in charge, he spoke to the men with understanding and without discrimination. By speaking to the men in this...

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