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Comparative Leadership Approches - Essay Example

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The concept and theoretical framework for the study of leadership have evolved and transcended through time. Diverse scholars and organizational practitioners have been continuously intrigued by leadership theories in terms of their profound effects in transforming organizations from meager existence to exemplary growth and success…
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Comparative Leadership Approches
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Download file to see previous pages A number of contemporary leaders manifest distinct approaches by exhibiting traits, knowledge, skills, and abilities that set them apart from the rest. Among the two organizational leaders that have been deemed to contribute to the extraordinary development and professional growth of their respective organizations are John Frances Welch Jr., known as Jack Welch to many, the former CEO of General Electric; and Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc.
In this regard, the current research aims to compare and contrast the approaches of these two leaders: Welch and Jobs, by using relevant leadership theories. Initially, a brief background on the definition of leadership would be provided; as well as pertinent contemporary leadership theories that are applied by both leaders identified would be presented. Further, the lessons that leaders in organizations could learn from these leaders would be proffered.
Leadership Concepts
The study conducted by Stone and Patterson (2005) perused the history of leadership theories and the origin was traced in the beginning of civilization. As averred, “Egyptian rulers, Greek heroes, and biblical patriarchs all have one thing in common–leadership”. According to Martires and Fule, leadership is the process of influencing people so that they will seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is concerned with eliciting behavioral responses that are more than routine. More clearly, Tannenbaum and Massarik describe the relationship between leadership and influence by saying that leadership is “interpersonal influence, exercised in situations and directed, through the communication process, toward the attainment of specified goal or goals. Leadership always involves attempts on the part of a leader (influencer) to affect (influence) the behavior of a follower (influence) or followers in a situation” ((1957, p. 3). The definitions would reveal the important elements particularly emerging in a leadership situation: the goals that are aimed to be achieved, the process of influencing, and the transformation from where the organization was to where to plans to be. Contemporary leadership theories have emphasized the concepts of transformational leadership on the organization (Stone and Patterson, 2005, pp. 6 - 11). As cited by Stone and Patterson, “with transformational leadership, the leader's focus is directed toward the organization, but leader behavior builds follower commitment toward the organizational objectives through empowering followers to accomplish those objectives (Yukl, 2002, cited in Stone and Patterson, 2005, p. 8). Jack Welch’s Leadership Approach In a comprehensive discourse written by Byrne (1998), Welch was identified to exude the following leadership roles: as teacher, mentor, coach, “the management theorist, strategic thinker, business teacher, and corporate icon” (par. 9). Due to the remarkable growth of GE under Welch’s helm, Byrne (1998) emphasized the transformation of the organization to attest on Welch’s exemplary ability as a leader: the growth in market value of GE “from just $12 billion in 1981 to about $280 billion today. No one, not Microsoft's (MSFT) William H. Gates III or Intel's (INTC) Andrew S. Grove, not Walt Disney's (DIS) Michael D. Eisner or Berkshire Hathaway's (BKR.A) Warren E. Buffett, not even the late Coca-Cola (KO) chieftain Roberto C. Goizueta or the late Wal-Mart (WMT) founder Sam Walton has created more shareholder value than Jack Welch” (Byrne, 1998, par. 12). The analysis of Welch leadership approach and style revealed that an interplay of traits and application of leadership theori ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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