Leadership Definition There are lots of definitions and interpretations for the term LEADERSHIP. One is "A relationship through which one person influences the behaviour or actions of other people" (Mullins, L. J. 2002, Management and Organisational Behaviour, 6 th Edition, FT Publishing, p 904). Another popular definition would be, "the process of influencing an organization or groups within an organization in its efforts towards achieving a goal" (Johnson, Scholes & Whittington, 2005, Exploring Corporate Strategy, 7 th Edition, FT Prentice Hall, p. 519) Leadership Theories on Behaviour To me, leaders are constantly surrounding us.
People constantly need to be led and they seek out individuals around them who have personalities that stand out - the basic qualities of leadership, the Great Man Theory. This could be in terms of their appearance, knowledge, charisma, behaviour or style. For example, popular actors / actresses might not be great leaders but they influence the thoughts of people through advertisements through their appearance and charisma. Leadership is also a process where trust of people needs to be gained and established before followers are doing things willingly and without having to use pressure. Managers are different in this aspect, as they are given authority / power and trust factor might not be required to actively participate in management, subordinates might not be performing their tasks willingly. The above idea is adopted from the most recent leadership definition by Manfred Kets de Vries, he defines leadership style as the point of interaction between the leader's character, the follower's character and the situation.
(Manfred Kets de Vries, The Leadership Mystique, Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001) To gain people's trust, the first steps is to communicate, Warren Bennis observed the significance of rhetoric and eloquent, "Effective leaders put words to the formless longings and deeply felt needs of others. They create communities out of words." (Bennis Warren, An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change, Reading, Mass, Addison-Wesly, 1993) The Traits theory, otherwise known as the Great Man theory, is the origination of leadership theories. This theory believes that there is a unique set of qualities for a leader, mainly: his intelligence and ability to judge, his knowledge power, self-confidence and dependability, his sociability and adaptability, lastly, his popularity status. Thus, it is believed that leaders are born and not made while managers are made and not born. We shall reflect the above theories in two great leaders: Sir Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler. Their Similarities in Behaviour Sir Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler have many similar qualities; these qualities enabled them to be most influential people of their time.
Churchill and Hitler are both very determined and modest; they worked tirelessly for their countries and causes they represent. Both have an eye for details, Churchill would require an extensive walk through of the departments under his lead for every new post he takes up, while Hitler had an incredible memory for details, every point made must be correct and consistent with previous briefings or he would be annoyed with the discrepancies. They are intelligent, excellent public speakers and most importantly, they have the self-belief and confidence to continue to fight for their cause (both reasons are at the extreme of each other). Their confidences were not influenced by their failures. Their Differences in Behaviour Adolf Hitler had motivated thousands of people to action for his cause. He inspired powerful emotional loyalty in his followers - the loyalty that spawned the intense effort and sacrifice among his followers.
Hitler's ideas may have been illogical but the fact is he convinced people that these were ideas worth listening and living for. He has charisma, confidence and excellent speaking skills to make people believe in him and his cause. In fact, the extent of his self-believe and confidence is unbelievable; he has little room for doubt concerning his own greatness - he believes he can never be wrong. Churchill lacks charisma, however, he more than made up for it with his inspiration and vision, and his anticipations of changes to come were uncanny. As a writer, he wrote about the future of nuclear weapons and how warfare would change - 20 years before WWII. Sir Winston was also a great innovator and has a great appetite for change -at that era, the structure of British Government is based on collective decision making which slows decision-making process, thus to produce effective actions and prompt decisions, he organized his administrative structure with specific functions and responsibility assigned, streamlining his departments and shrinking numerous committees.
Churchill was never afraid of failure, he had once remarked, "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." (Steven F. Hayward, Churchill on Leadership, 1997, ICS Press, p. 7) It is common human instinct to follow or be led by people who possess the above traits. However, having only the above characteristics will only make people stand out among the rest. A successful leader will need employ a leadership style where he / she thinks it best complements the situation and the people.
He/She also needs to be flexible and adaptable to all situations. Leadership Styles Other than traits of leaders, numerous studies have also been conducted on the best leadership style; theories and models have been developed during these researches. A leadership style is a general pattern of behaviour that favors either tasks or people in decision-making activities. The earliest styles being identified are: 1.
the autocratic style, where environment is characterized by tight control of group activities with all decisions being made by the leader. 2. the democratic style which emphasized group participation. 3.
the laissez-faire style which involved very low levels of any form of activity by the leader. It allows subordinates to function creatively. Blake and Mouton (1964) developed another 4 leadership approaches using a Grid - 'Managerial Grid' (refer to Grid below). The Grid is based on two aspects of leadership behaviour: concern for production, ie, being task-oriented, and concern for people, ie, building trust and friendly atmosphere. This approach, however, fails to take into account the characteristics of the situation and nature of followers. Mcgregor's X and Y theory (1987) is another popular leadership style.
Theory X worker likes direction, control and use of rewards, thus Theory X worker can be motivated by money, which fits the autocratic style as workers prefer not to have any responsibility. Theory Y worker, on the contrary, requires satisfaction from their work in the form of meeting targets within the organization, money doesn't completely motivates them unless the job they were doing fully satisfies their emotional needs. This fits the democratic leadership style. Their Differences in Leadership Styles Sir Winston and Hitler adopted very different leadership styles. Hitler was more of a micro-manager; he was determined to command personally during the war.
According to the Leader Principal (F"), ultimate authority rested with him. The autocratic / authority -compliance style of leadership allows him to give orders at each level and have the final say on every subject he took direct interest in, example, the details of military operations and the actual direction of armies in the field. He controlled the military operations from hundreds of miles away, ordering that no units could be moved without his express permission, and demanded lengthy reports on every detail. This attention to detail slowed down decision-making process and in spite of this, he sometimes put off difficult decisions for weeks, especially as the war situation grew worse.
He does not trust his generals to come up with good decisions; this was established through the numerous encounters he had with them. His senior officers were timid at his presence and his perceptions of them were over cautious and incapable. Nonetheless, Hitler still enjoys a good relationship with his subordinates due to his charisma and his ability to listen and phrase his words according to what they wanted. He remembers their names, birthdays and visited them when they were ill. These actions had gained him lifetime devotees. Sir Winston Churchill, on the contrary, tried to lead democratically and allow more participation from his followers.
He created new positions, such as heads of departments to delegate authority and responsibilities to them. Meetings were held weekly to update him on issues and progress of the departments while he will provide integral direction to every department. He saw fit to create ad-how committee for to solve specific problem should it arise, such as setting up separate Ministry of Aircraft to improve on the British armies' air superiority. Churchill has his own separate statistical office that would gather information and statistics of all aspects of the war effort, he was one of the first political leaders to recognize the value of statistics and quantitative analysis, and he saw it as a tool to find out what is taking place. Usually in meetings, he would set out his ideas to his staff and encourage complete discussions of issues; he had never penalized anyone from openly disagreeing with him. Both Churchill and Hitler have thirst for information, they need reports of details to be provided to them, yet they have different uses for information provided.
The autocratic style, using the information to make decisions, complements Hitler in his situation where no one was capable to handle the job; however, his downfall was partly contributed by his micro-management and indecisiveness. Churchill, on the other hand, uses the information to suggest his ideas and solutions, getting more out of his followers. Conclusion Churchill and Hitler have risen to become successful leaders given their situations as they have successfully led followers to their cause, whether the cause is ethical or otherwise. From above, we can see that they possess similar traits of a leader, and the style of leadership employed during their circumstances have won them followers.
Many organizations have adopted their way of leadership due to their success. For example, German leaders in organizations tend to establish agenda and determine the best way to address issues, management are highly sensitive to feedback and in general it is a top-down / autocratic leadership style. (Leadership styles, 2002, Tony Kippenberger). The autocratic style can also be seen as the leadership style in old organizations, this leadership style has been adopted widely in multi-national organizations all over the world in the past and still exists in Germany due to the style being integrated into their culture - such is the immense influence of Hitler. The organization structure invented by Churchill is widely used in most organizations so is his leadership style.
In organizations of this century, employees are more participative and require more job satisfaction - Mcgregor's theory Y. Thus in this situation, managers or leaders of organizations adopts Churchill's democratic & participative style of leadership which encourage more delegation skills from leaders or managers and contribution from employees. References Topic 1: Global Leadership in a Global Environment Mullins, L. J.
2002, Management and Organisational Behaviour, 6 th Edition, FT Publishing Johnson, Scholes & Whittington, 2005, Exploring Corporate Strategy, 7 th Edition, FT Prentice Hall Manfred Kets de Vries, The Leadership Mystique, Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001 Bennis Warren, An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change, Reading, Mass, Addison-Wesly, 1993 Steven F. Hayward, Churchill on Leadership, 1997, ICS Press Blake and Mouton (1964) Mcgregor's X and Y theory (1987) Leadership styles, 2002, Tony Kippenberger Human Resource Management, Derek Torrington, Laura Hall & Stephen Taylor, 5 th Edition, 2002 Hitler's Leadership Style by Dr Geoffrey Megargee web commander 01. s html Secrets of Leadership: Hitler and Churchill by Andrew Roberts web churchill 01. s html Adolf Hitler web Hitler as he believes himself to be web.