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Charismatic leadership

Essay Topic:

Hence, most studies were done to seek to explain what leadership is and to identify the characteristic of the people who are successful in its leadership practice. Various leadership theories came out. Kurt Lenin identified leadership styles in three categories: Autocratic Leadership, Democratic Leadership and Delegating Leadership (Lippies, 1939). Max Weber classifies leaders as Bureaucratic Leader, Traditional Leaders and Charismatic Leaders. In 1978 Burns defined yet another classification: Transactional Leaders and Transformational Leaders. Burns Transformational Leadership Is similar to Charismatic Leadership style proposed by Weber.

Many of the research have been done on various aspects of charismatic leadership.

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In this essay I would Like to give an overview of leadership and focus on charismatic leadership. In addition, I will identify Steve Jobs as a charismatic leader and explain his charismatic leadership with examples. 2. Definition of “Leadership” Leadership is something very crucial to any group or organization. What a leader does Is usually very difficult to describe In words. John Martin defined leadership as a process In which the leader Is able to Influence the behaviors and actions of those eyeing led (Martin, 2005).

While Keith Grant simply described leadership as “having followers”. Most of the definition is close to that of power, drawn from Webber and Dahlia’s original idea that power (and thus leadership) was the ability to get someone to do something they wouldn’t otherwise have done (Grant, 2010). Many are based on autobiographical or biographical accounts-relate leadership to the person regarded as leader. Others define leadership as a process-this may be the style that leaders adopt, or a process such as sense-making, or the practices of leaders.

Some define dervish by simply considering what those in authority do-a positional approach. This approach tends to lock leadership into monopolizing a group or community to achieve a purpose-a result approach. Leadership vs.. Management The terms management and leadership are frequently used Interchangeably. But are they really the same? What are the differences between these two terms and what similarities they have In common? Both of leadership and management Involve groups of people and specific functions in relation to the group and its activities. It unless the group was in a specific context.

An informal, friendship or trade union rope would not usually be described as having a manager, but there would inevitably be a formal or informal leader of such groups. A department would, however, have a manager as the formal leader of that particular group. The two terms therefore have aspects in common, but are synonymous only up to point. Leaders are said to be the ones with vision who are capable of getting the best performance out of their team, whereas managers are the ones who by concentrating on organizing, planning and controlling activity (Martin, 2005).

Management What It Is complexity. Clear Job definitions. What It Produces… Deals with Seeks to create order and discipline. Authority commensurate with responsibility Is all about doing things right. Careful integration of plans and effort. An emphasis on formal structures and systems. Leadership Flexible Job definitions. Deals with change. Seeks to create new approaches, breaks with the normal, stimulates innovation. Constant adaptation and accommodation to shifts in roles. Is more about doing the right things. Reliance on open dialogue and mutual trust to resolve conflicts. An emphasis on informal networks. Table 1 The difference between management and leadership Source: Stringer (2002) As far as I am concerned, leadership is setting a new vision or direction for a group while management commands or directs a group according to principles or targets that already existed before. Leadership and management are complementary and necessarily linked. Both of them are very important in the organizations.

As the world has come to the knowledge era, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, management now is not Just to assign tasks but also to define purpose. 3. Charismatic Theory Charisma is a “divinely bestowed power or talent” and its etymological origins lie in he Greek word Charisma, from Sharks: “divine grace” or “favor” (Grant, 2010). Weber defined the term charisma as “certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. House (1977) characterized charismatic leaders as full of self-confidence, with a high level of confidence in subordinates and high expectations for results. They also have a clear vision of the goal to be achieved, are able to communicate this effectively and lead by example. Charismatic leaders are with exceptional qualities which made them almost god-like for their followers. They inspire followers to transcend their own self-interest for the good of the organization and are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on his or her followers (Robbins, 2005).

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs are the examples of charismatic leaders. After having described what is charisma and charismatic the attributes that charismatic leaders possess or what are the traits which make someone a potential charismatic leader? According to charismatic leadership theory, lowers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors (Conger & Kananga, 1988).

After studying on this issue for a long period of time, Conger and Kananga (1998) then described five behavioral attributes of Charismatic Leaders- they have a vision, are willing to take risks to achieve that vision, are sensitive to both environmental constraints and follower needs, and exhibit behaviors that are out of the ordinary-that differentiate charismatic leaders from uncharismatic ones. Vision and articulation Has a vision-expressed as an idealized goal-that proposes a future better than the tutus quo; and is able to clarify the importance of the vision in terms that are understandable to others (Conger & Kananga, 1988).

Vision is the key characteristic of charismatic leaders. They offer a vision (or lofty goal) of where the organization is headed and how it can get there (plan) (Dublin & Young, 2007). A sense of vision inspires employees to perform well. It encourages people to work, to strive for its attainment. For example, the vision set by Bill Gates for Microsoft is “Empower people through great software, anyplace, any time and on any device”. Personal risk Willing to take on high personal risk, incur high costs, and engage in self-sacrifice to achieve the vision (Conger & Kananga, 1988).

A leader that isn’t willing to step outside his/her comfort zone is losing out on the most important aspect of leading. They need to be willing to push the envelope in every direction. Sometimes, leaders need to break new ground that no one has done before and so there are always risks involved. Leaders who are unwilling to take risks will become stagnant with no ability to innovate or change. Environmental sensitivity Able to make realistic assessments of the environmental constraints and resources added to bring about change (Conger & Kananga, 1988). Realistic about the constraints imposed upon them.

They know what they can and cannot do. This sensitivity to both social economic, cultural and political environment enables them to quickly identify and recognize the barriers, hindrances, and opportunities that affect the organization or people (Conger & Kananga, 1992). Leadership that is highly sensitive to the environment is quite entrepreneurial because it readily recognizes and exploits new opportunities in the environment such as social and physical conditions that may facilitate the achievement of organizational objectives (Conger Kananga, 1992).

Sensitivity to follower needs Perceptive of other’s abilities and responsive to their needs and feelings (Conger & Kananga, 1988). Charismatic leaders are sensitive to member output which is a result of motivation. Motivation results from satisfying member needs and it is as a measure of the extent of a leader’s influence (House, 1995). These outcomes will result in Job satisfaction and reduce dissatisfaction include high Job output and organizational performance. Examples of this attribute include being open and receptive to complaints and new ideas, sensitivity to personal and develop follower’s rationality and improve their welfare.

Unconventional behavior Engages in behaviors that are perceived as novel and counter to norms (Conger & Kananga, 1988). Their ways, when successful, elicit admiration. An example would be everything into a game where having fun is on top of his agenda. So he enjoys mixing work with pleasure and has successfully created an easy-going and fun-loving culture at Virgin. 4. Application of the theory to Steve Jobs Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.

He was widely recognized as a harmonistic leader and a pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming one industry after another, from computers and smoothness to music and movies. “There’s something going on here, something that is changing the world. And this is the epicenter. ” Said Steve Jobs during his initial Apple Computers start-up. A ‘visionary’ is how he is most often described. He is considered by many to be the number one visionary of Silicon Valley. One of his visions is to make Paxar Animation as successful as Disney studios.

His earlier visions for Apple Computer may have changed personal computing. Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox Para’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of Macintosh. He also played a role in introducing the Illustrates, one of the first widely available laser printers, to the market. He is not only able to dream big visions, but also can articulate it. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”, said Jobs. The very nature of innovation requires a departure from the status quo and deviation from the norm.

The best leaders are risk takers who understand that fact and the tenacity to lead an organization to that future state despite organizational inertia and resistance. It is because his willing to take on risk, Jobs has transformed seven industries and belongs in the pantheon of America’s great innovators, along with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney In 1985, Jobs got fired from Apple. During this time, Jobs were still looking for opportunities and took on new challenges. He bought Paxar, transforming it from a tiny animation house to an industry leader. He also started up computing firm NeXT which was later bought by Apple.

Jobs is a charismatic leader who is able to make realistic assessments of the environmental constraints and resources needed to bring about change. “So when a good idea comes, part of my Job is to move it around, Just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and?Just explore things”. Jobs enjoys working with people who are competent, smart, and “loved” Apple. He also exchanged ideas with them, and had inspired many of them.

Steve Jobs is a good leader who is sensitive to his follower’s needs. The Company’s success, high employee retention and consistent recognition as one of “best places to work” are proof of this. Steve Jobs was an unconventional leader. He wasn’t known for his consultative approach. He demanded excellence from his staff and was known for his impatience, tough with work with only the best. Despite all these, Steve Jobs still remained popular among his co-workers. And during his battle against his final illness, Jobs was surrounded by an intensely loyal cadre of colleagues. Steve Jobs is a charismatic business leader.

His personal traits are characteristics of charismatic leaders: he is a man of vision and a risk taker to achieve that vision. He is sensitivity to follower needs, perceptive of others’ abilities and responsive to their needs and feelings and has demonstrated unconventional behavior, engages in behaviors that are perceived as novel and counter to norms. 5. Conclusion This essay explains enough information about the charismatic leadership. There are some questions about the charismatic leadership which have still remained unanswered. After describing the attributes of the charismatic leader and identifying

Steve Jobs as one example, it remains unknown that what makes a charismatic leader a “hero” and what makes him a “villain”. Are there any specific attributes that make charismatic leader as a “hero” or a Milan”? The second question is regarding the “making of charismatic leaders”. After establishing that the charismatic leaders have certain characteristics, it remains to see that if everyone having those attributes can become a successful leader. And this question gives rise to yet another question that whether a charismatic leader can be “made”. Is it possible to “create” charismatic leaders by formal education?

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