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Effective Leaders, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 651

Essay

When we think of successful companies like Apple, Google, Boeing, Facebook, Toyota, and Wal-Mart, we often think of the leaders that lead these particular companies because successful companies are often represented by capable leaders. It is the leaders’ job to develop competitive strategy and vision for their respective organizations and efficiently manage human and capital resources. The change of leadership in publicly listed companies is usually accompanied by a change in stock price which demonstrates how much the future expectations of overall organization performance are influenced by the quality of leadership at the helm. This doesn’t mean that the leadership is only limited to Corporate America but in fact, leaders can be found in almost all walks of life including politics, social work, and entertainment. The body of research in the field of management over the last few decades has further improved our understanding of the concept of ‘leadership’ and it is now apparent that effective leaders share certain traits and characteristics.

As far as U.S. ex-President George W. Bush is concerned, one of his effective leadership traits was his ability to provide vision to his followers. Effective leaders are able to communicate their vision to their subordinates as to what they want the future to be like (Ryan, 2009). Bush’s vision was to spread democratic principles around the world. Another strength of President Bush was his connection power (Gray & Larson, 2011) with his followers, especially conservative among whom he enjoyed high popularity. President Bush was not afraid to admit his religious beliefs did guide him which helped him build connection with the conservative Christian elements. President Bush’s weaknesses include his unwillingness to take responsibility for inaccurate decisions such as the decision to go for Iraq War. Another reason why President Bush was an ineffective leader was his authoritarian leadership style (Gray & Larson, 2011) which led to loss of political goodwill for America in the world.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates enjoyed expert power (Gray & Larson, 2011) over his subordinates which is an informal power and helps the leader establish credibility with the followers. Bill Gates’ strengths also included his transformational leadership style (Gray & Larson, 2011)because Bill is a visionary who could inspire his followers to build a better future. Bill Gates was also an effective leader because he set personal examples for his followers by being intensely competitive and not being afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom.

Senator Hillary Clinton is an effective leader because she is pragmatic and is continuously evolving to keep up with the changing public opinion. For example, Hillary Clinton opposed same-sex marriage in 2008 but has recently come out in favor of it (Stolberg, 2013). Hillary Clinton is also an effective leader because she enjoys referent power (Gray & Larson, 2011) and left office with high approval rate. Even though next presidential elections are in 2016, her followers are already calling upon her to be prepared to be the next president despite lack of enthusiasm from Hillary Clinton herself.

Similarly, Oprah Winfrey is also an effective leader because she is trusted and enjoys credibility with her followers. There is a reason why her name can be one of the most powerful marketing tools for any product. Oprah is also an effective leader because she can motivate her subordinates to go beyond their basic responsibilities to do their best and enjoys loyalty among them. She is also en effective leader because she sets personal examples for personal integrity, hard work, and compassion which makes her a likeable and inspiring person (Goudreau, 2010).

References

Goudreau, J. (2010, October 22). How To Lead Like Oprah. Retrieved May 18, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2010/10/22/how-to-lead-like-oprah-winfrey-own-rachael-ray-dr-oz-phil/

Gray, C. F., & Larson, E. W. (2011). Project Management: The Managerial Process (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Ryan, J. (2009, April 29). The Three Fundamentals Of Effective Leadership. Retrieved May 18, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/29/vision-communication-judgment-leadership-managing-ccl.html

Stolberg, S. G. (2013, March 18). Hillary Clinton Endorses Same-Sex Marriage. Retrieved May 18, 2013, from http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/hillary-clinton-endorses-same-sex-marriage/

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