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Managerial leadership (movie Forest Gump) - Assignment Example

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Forest Gump is a character that displays great leadership skills, unorthodox but still inspirational and effective. He doesn’t pose, he tells his stories with utmost truth and honesty. The reason he becomes so successful is partially due to his inability to communicate in the normal way, which is to mask and hide emotions. …
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Managerial leadership (movie Forest Gump)
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Download file to see previous pages In theory, an authentic leader is the one who understands his purpose, passion and these powerful drive force results from an ongoing self-reflection (Marquis & Huston, 2009), in other words, being true to one’s self (Pless & Maak, 2011). Gump exuberates authentic leadership skills. He is relentless in his struggle to achieve his goals, be it getting better at ping pong, opening a shrimp catching Ship Company or saving his fellow soldiers in Vietnam War. He is a natural leader who hasn’t read any books on leadership. He simply assesses a situation, makes a decision and is simply unstoppable when he’s at it. Such skills are mandatory in an authentic leader, be it corporate, politics or even a baseball team. Without a follower, there is no leader. Authentic leadership skills develop relational process with the followers (Nichols, 2008). Dan Taylor, the Second Lieutenant, is probably the best example how an authentic leader, Gump, develops a relation with the ‘follower’, who in fact was Gump’s leader.
Gump’s leadership traits are not of a one-dimensional leader, despite being authentic, he is a transformational leader; a hybrid category, including a proportionate combination of traits, situational and behavioural awareness (Gittens, 2009). There is a distinction between an authentic and pseudo leader, Gump belonged to the former category. For instance Hitler was a charismatic leader but how was he able to convince ordinary soldiers to commit heinous crimes? That’s where the difference lies; Hitler was a pseudo transformational leader, who was successful in committing crimes against humanity through his army (Schminke, 2010), while Gump’s character exhibits authentic transformational leadership skills.
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That’s where the difference lies; Hitler was a pseudo transformational leader, who was successful in committing crimes against humanity through his army (Schminke, 2010), while Gump’s character exhibits authentic transformational leadership skills. The greatest dilemma he faces in the movie is when he makes the decision to save his commander at the battle ground in Vietnam. His commander gets severely injured and is almost bleeding to death on ground. Gump works like a powerful robot saving his fellow soldiers by carrying the injured on his back and shifting them to safe ground. When it comes to saving Lieutenant Taylor, the captain refuses as he considers it honourable to die in the battlefield than to go home and face the shame for losing so many men. He orders Gump to leave him there and join his battalion, Gump refuses. Transformational leadership is associated with bringing change in organization and groups (Bass & Riggio, 2012). What Gump does at the battleground is the change, he defies order, changes the pattern of hierarchy to do what he deems right; this is transformational leadership. The other thing is the fact that when they reach home, his commander loses his legs and is dependent on a wheel chair. He hates Hump for saving his life, but Gump doesn’t leave him, the heart of good leadership is sacrificing (Maxwell, 2007). The sacrificial aspect of leadership is now considered ancient; it is a common thing to read in newspapers or on TV that the CEOs scapegoat their own employees whenever problems arise (Grint, 2010). Plus leaders usually demand sacrifice from employees but never take their share of hardship and sacrifice (Ruprecht, 2010). What Forrest Gump practices is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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