Leaders and Groups - Essay Example

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This paper is a reaction to the following quotation with which I agree: "The wicked leader is one whom the people despise. The good leader is one whom the people revere. The great leader is one of whom the people say: 'we did it ourselves". This is about the qualities and behaviors of leaders and point out some of the key points that allow a better understanding of leaders and leadership, how it is carried out, and why leadership is important.
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Leaders and Groups
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Download file to see previous pages In the case of a wicked leader, the manner of motivation and the type of goal are such that these are despised, or not liked, by the people. For example, the leader may use fear or unnecessary force that tramples on the freedom of the people. In the process, those who are led in this way work towards the goal because they have no better choice. Dictators like Hitler and Stalin are prime examples of the last century who led this way. And to add insult to injury, the goal - such as killing innocent people - may be equally despicable. So while they can be called leaders, the way they exercise it and the goals they have set were wicked. It would be enough that one of the two - either the means of motivation or the goal - is despicable to make the leader a wicked one.
The good leaders are the opposite of the wicked leaders: the means used to motivate and the goals towards which everyone are led to work for are acceptable or not despicable. In fact, these may even be very good, so the people who are led this way end up loving and respecting their leader. The same can be said of great leaders, those whose people can say that they were the ones who did the work themselves. If this is the case, what is the difference between good leaders and great leaders Before considering what these differences are, it would be good to discuss the other similarities these two types of leaders share.
First, good and great leaders have a good knowledge of human nature, of what motivates people and makes them do things, no matter how arduous they may seem. These types of leaders know how to inspire their people by appealing to the whole range of human qualities, desires, emotions, and aspirations they all share: doing a good job, being happy doing what they like, etc.
Second, these types of leaders are good at communicating the goals they want everyone to achieve. They exhibit leadership qualities like patience, optimism, humor, discipline, and the ability to get things done, among other qualities, that make those they lead admire them, perhaps even look up to them as role models they can imitate and follow.
However, where great leaders differ from good leaders is in the way great leaders make those they lead feel that they worked hard as a team and that their efforts were recognized. Great leaders are not afraid to praise and thank their people, raising them in front of others to highlight their unique contributions to the success the team accomplished. So, while people under good leaders were able to succeed because their leader was good, thereby focusing on the good qualities the leader possessed, those under great leaders acknowledge the same but are prouder of the fact that their efforts, acknowledged by their leader, made them better persons.
An example of a great leader was Churchill, British Prime Minister during the Second World War, who by words and example led the British and their allies towards victory against a more powerful enemy and against overwhelming odds (Jenkins, 2001, p. 477). Another example was Lou V. Gerstner, IBM's CEO until 2002, who exhibited the same great leadership qualities in bringing the company back from the brink of business disaster (Gerstner, 2002). These great leaders are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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