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Leadership - Essay Example

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Who is a leader?
A leader is defined as an individual who influences others to accomplish set goals and objectives as well as directs an organization in a manner that makes it more coherent and cohesive. …
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Leadership Who is a leader? A leader is defined as an individual who influences others to accomplish set goals and objectivesas well as directs an organization in a manner that makes it more coherent and cohesive. Leaders usually exercise leadership by applying their leadership skills and knowledge through process leadership. However, Jago 1982 argues that certain individuals usually possess traits and characteristics that influence the actions of others. This is what is referred to as Trait Leadership. Through Jago’s argument, it was once common for people to believe that leaders were born rather than made. Personally, I do not believe that leaders are born and not made. This is because, while leadership is learned, the knowledge and skills processed by leaders can be influenced by their traits or attributes such as values, beliefs, character and ethics. In other words, skills and knowledge contribute directly to the leadership process while other traits and attributes give a leader certain characteristics which make him or her unique. An ideal professional leader One of my best ideal professional leaders is a person named Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard is the CEO of Virgin Atlantic and is commonly known for customer service and success. He owns over 400 companies worldwide and his estimated net worth is $4.2 billion dollars. With billions of dollars in net profit and businesses that extend into nearly every aspect of human experience, it is evident that Sir Richard knows a lot about achieving success. Now in his 60’s, Richard’s business ventures range from telecommunications, airlines, formula one, space exploration, and cosmetics just to name a few among others. The main reason for choosing Richard Branson as my ideal leader is because he is one of the most successful people in the field of business which I am interested in. Despite the fact that there are other successful leaders with whom I work with on a daily basis or are known to me personally, I often like to think out of the box and Richard is my role model. It is evident that Richard’s leadership style is a key driver of his success. In his book “screw business as Usual”, Richard explains to us how the five leadership practices have enabled him to be an exemplary leader. These practices are reflected in his work. Branson has a clear cut vision of exactly what he wants and what he wants to change. This has enabled him to get into business ventures that are fun for him. Additionally, he communicates his vision to his subordinates in a bid to make them understand what he exactly wants. Unlike many other leaders, Richard enjoys interacting with people and especially his employees. He established a unique way in which people working in his organizations should be treated. He seeks original and non-conforming employees and tries to minimize bureaucracy in his organizations. For him, every person should be treated equally regardless of his social stature. This principle has made Richard to be one of the most loved leaders by his employees. With huge success comes a lot of responsibility. Sir Branson understands his occupied position very well and as such he has no problem delegating his responsibilities. By enabling others to act, Branson fosters collaboration among his employees and builds spirited teams which make individuals feel capable and powerful. He also encourages his employees to share their ideas and issues that require discussions. To top it off, Branson normally recognizes the contributions made by individuals and rewards every winning team in an attempt to encourage them. In one of his radio interviews, Branson said that people usually bloom when celebrated. Celebrating employees is like watering plants and hence for him employees come first, followed by clients and finally the shareholders. One common practice in which leaders embark in is that of challenging processes. They search for opportunities that change the status quo by seeking innovative ways for improving organizations. They experiment and take risks in their ventures and any inevitable disappointment is accepted as a learning opportunities. Branson is a leader who is not afraid of taking risks or experimenting. As a successive leader, Branson contributes enormously to the society through charity work. He is also a huge supporter of green energy. In the year 2004, he created the Virgin Unite Foundation whose objective is to contribute in the generation of sustainable changes. The foundation supports entrepreneurial projects that deal with complex environmental and social issues. He also teaches interested individuals new leadership styles aimed at operating effectively with the changing world scene. In addition, he formed an organization called the elders which is an advisory group that advocates for peace around the world. With all the success that Richard has gained and achieved, it is hard to believe that his leadership style has any weakness. However, one limitation with Richard as a leader is that he is too ambitious to the point that he makes bad business deals. An example of this is his recent venture of the Virgin Galactic. Although it is yet to be determined, Virgin Galactic was established as a space travel but seemed to be an out of reach market. Additionally, Richard embarks on very risky ventures without proper decision making and consultations. Evident in his book, Richard admits to not weighing risks and doing figuring in new ideas. He just dives in into a venture that he believes can improve something. This is not a rational way of doing business as it can lead to enormous loss in the venture. In conclusion, it is safe to say that there is no one best way of leadership that will work for all organizations. However, it is important for a leader to have certain traits as well as combine various leadership styles for the success of an organization. References Jago, A. G. (1982). Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research. Management Science, 28(3), 315-336. Read More
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