You have been encouraged by a colleague to write an article about “CEOs and presidents” for a management journal. You have decided to compare the leadership styles of three leaders. Using the Library, the Internet, and your course materials, write a 8-10 page report that elaborates on the following:
In your article, provide the following:
An introduction to the concept of influence processes
An explanation of the role of influence in contemporary leadership
A discussion of the various types of influence processes and the factors that can affect them
The methodology used to identify and research the leaders selected for this report
An analysis of the influence processes used by the three leaders. Identify the processes that the leaders and top management team are using or have used to impact their organization.
A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the influence processes used by the three leaders relative to current and future challenges facing leaders in global organizations.
A summary of the key attributes of the influence processes employed by these leaders to effect positive organizational change or improved performance.
Use the Library or other Web resources to support your argument. Be sure to cite your sources using APA Style 6th edition guidelines.
Your report MUST include a reference list. All research should be cited in the body of the paper. Individual Projects without references and citations may not earn any higher grade than a ‘C’ letter grade. Your report should contain an abstract, an introduction, and conclusion in addition to the body of the paper. Please note that if you have a source in your reference section, you need to cite it in the body of the paper per APA guidelines and vice-versa.
Strategic Leadership and Future Leaders/Influence Processes
Over the years, different leaders have employed different leadership styles and skills to lead and influence their followers. Leaders are known to exert a force on their followers to induce a change or encourage a certain behavior. Leadership involves creating and developing a worthy vision and the ability, skills, and knowledge to accomplish the set vision and target. Leadership and influence go hand in hand considering that the most successful leaders in history had the abilities and capabilities of influencing their followers toward achieving the goals and objectives of their teams. To influence the followers, the leaders must have power. Therefore power and leadership go hand in hand. As a result, an individual can wield and use power to influence others without being a leader, but a person cannot be a leader without power. On a large scale, leadership involves establishing a clear vision for an organization or a team, sharing the vision with the group and team members, providing information and techniques on how to realize the vision and finally coordinating and balancing the conflict of interests between team members and other stakeholders (Burns, 2012,). Thus, influence is a necessary ingredient of leadership. This assignment will attempt to explore various types of leaderships that have been successfully utilized by famous leaders in the world.
For centuries and decades, different leaders have utilized different influence processes to get their followers on board so that they can work as a team to achieve already set goals and objectives. The influences processes are often and highly influenced by the demands of events, circumstances, and situations. The influence process encompasses the five techniques and methods the leaders use to organization and company variables such as people and resources. These influences processes include direct decisions, allocation of resources, reward system, selection and promotion of employees and other leaders from one position to another as well as role modeling. Over the years, leaders have used influenced to create and show directions through which other members of the organization should respectively follow for them to realize the objectives of their course. Moreover, influence has also been widely used to discourage a behavior, attitude, goals, needs, opinions and values that the leader of a team may feel as distraction preventing his team members from achieving the overall price. Below are the five influence processes that are widely adoption by leaders all over the universe:
- Direct decisions – by giving a direct decision to their followers, leaders often take away the ability and chance of making choices from their followers. Direct decisions give the leaders the ultimate power to formulate the mission and the vision of the team which enables them to influence the variables that affect their followers (Nye, 2010,).
- Allocation of resources – leaders can show their power by significantly influencing the distribution of important resources in an organization such as technology, employees and money to get things done in the right manner and at the right time.
- The reward system – the leader of an organization may use rewards such as promotion, monetary rewards or vacation to encourage and influence a positive behavior and attitude in the organization. On the other hand, the same leader can also use punishments to discourage negative attitudes and behaviors in the organization.
- Selection and promotion – often promotion and selection come as a reward to an employee who plays an important part in the realization or individual and organizational objectives. As a result, a leader might use promotion to influence his followers to behave in a particular way that will enable the team to achieve their overall goals and objectives.
- Role modeling – being a role model is the best and cheapest way a leader can influence his followers. Leaders are known to influence and inspire most of their followers. Therefore, through role modeling a leader can mold the behavior and attitude of his followers. If the leader has high moral and ethical standards and that he is hardworking, there is a high chance that the followers will emulate his characters, moral and ethical standards (Geithner, American College of Sports Medicine, Monterey Bay Video Production Co, & Healthy Learning Videos, 2007).
For any given research and study, the scholars use different to research and identify their respondents as well as obtain key data to be used in the research. However, there is no one single research methodology that is best and perfect to be used in all studies. Therefore, the scholar has to choose the best methodology based on the nature of the study, nature of the respondents and the nature of the data being extracted. To identify the leaders to be used in this study, the scholar selected 1000 respondents spread across the country which comprised of all races, all ages and different social and economic background and interviewed them while at the same time distributing some questionnaires to them. The main purpose of this activity was to pick three of the most famous and loved leaders in the world to be used in the study. The respondents were required, to be honest, and justify their selections by giving a short explanation regarding why they feel and think their selected leader was the best. At the end of the exercise, the scholar was able to come up with three famous leaders in the world’s history that include Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, and Abraham Lincoln.
Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, and Abraham Lincoln used different leadership styles and influence processes to encourage their followers into doing what their felt was good and would lead to the realization of the objectives of their course.
Nelson Mandela is regarded as one of all times great leaders around the globe. After being imprisoned for twenty-seven years by the colonial government, he came out of prison and oversaw the transformation of his country from the apartheid regime to democracy although most of his tribesmen cried for revenge. As the president of South Africa, Mandela displayed remarkable leadership qualities that influenced his followers into achieving democracy and economic growth (Schiffer, Shorr, & Stanley Foundation, 2009,). Some of the great influence processes used by Mandela include:
- Direct decision – Mandela was had earned quite a reputation in prison and to the entire world as a man of great integrity and vision for his country. However, to rally his people behind him after he became the president, Mandela had to make decisions and ask his followers to follow his directives for them to achieve a better world. In 1993 after his release from prison, a white settler assassinated then the leader and president of South African Communist Party Chris Hani. This assassination triggered countrywide demonstration from Africans demanding for revenge and bloodshed against the then colonial government. However, as the leader of his people, Mandela was brave enough to issue directions to his people to stand down and call for peace when the Africans were ready to fight for their rights. Mandela clearly knew that they could not afford to go to war at that time and this one action changed the face of South African politics. Moreover, Mandela decided and asked his people to use sports as a way of healing, believing and united his people for greater good.
- Role modeling – since his prison days, Mandela was known to be courageous and intelligent and often challenged the apartheid system whenever he felt that things were not okay. Mandela popular among prisoners and guards as a person who was driven by personal principles and dignity and who was ready to sacrifice his life for what he believed to be right. Moreover, Mandela had the ability to look and see the future which enabled him to anticipate and strategically plan his moves and reactions. His high ethical and moral standards acted as an inspiration to the people, and his followers worked tirelessly to emulate him. He always led by example despite his old age (Schiffer, Shorr, & Stanley Foundation, 2009,). After taking over the presidency, he decided to rule for only one term and give space to other young and visionary leaders setting an example to his followers.
Barack Obama became famous in 2008 when he was elected as the first black American president of United States beating all odds and obstacles. During his two-term presidency, he tried to main his cool despite challenges especially from the white community and worked in the best interest of the country. However, it is worth noting that he may not have been popular among all Americans, but he did his best to initiate developments that would raise their standard of living. Some of the influence processes employed by Obama include:
- Allocation of resources – Barack Obama will go down in history as the president who oversaw the hunt and killing of Osama Bin Laden and who oversaw the end of dictatorship in Libya. The United States is known to have the largest and well-equipped armies in the world. With the allocation of extra resources, technology, money and workforce, the United States Army successfully hunted down Osama Bin Laden and killed him after he killed dozens of American in 9/11 terrorist attacks. Moreover, during his reign, he helped Libyans to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled the country for decades furthering the idea that America is the world’s policemen.
- Rewards system – President Obama used to award best performers with Medal of Freedom to some of the country’s best know people who performed exemplary (Posner, n.d.,). The Medal of Freedom is the highest American civilian honor that is awarded to any civilian who strived and courageously succeed against all the odds. The award is meant to encourage civilians to pull up their socks and work for the best of their country and fellow citizens. During his reign, he awarded this medal to high performers such as Joe Bidden, Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks and Michael Jordan.
President Abraham Lincoln is a leader who embodies the attributes of leadership absent in most leaders in the world today. To many, Lincoln is a model for leadership. Some of the influence processes used by Lincoln include:
- Selection and promotion – President Lincoln goes down in history as the president who chose a cabinet of which the members were so independent, had so much following and were so inharmonious. After he had become the president, Lincoln chose his major rivals for the Republican nomination for president in 1860. (“Regional Leadership in the Global System,” 2010, )This move proved to be a masterstroke and effective as he was able to influence them and his followers to follow his visions for the country.
- Role modeling- Abraham Lincoln became famous among his peers and the country when he campaigned against slavery and the slave trade. His moral standard prompted him to oppose the sale of fellow human beings and mistreatment of the black community in the firms of white settlers. His dream was to have an equal nation where all people were equal before the law. He greatly affected the slave trade which eventually came to an end.
The five named influence processes used by these leaders have their strengths and weaknesses as well as advantages and disadvantages. The direct decision process is known to trigger resistance from some regions of the followers since some may feel their leader is turning into a dictator. On the other hand, direct decisions help to save time that would have rather been used to debate on the best action to take. On the other hand, allocation of resources helps to prioritize needs and objectives in their order of urgency. On the other side, allocation of resource, selection and promotion and the reward system may lead to favoritism in the community which can lead to resistance. Role modeling works the best as it appeals to the personal appeal of the follower as well as his ethical and moral standards forming the basis for success (“Regional Leadership in the Global System,” 2010,). However, given the fact that people have different perspectives and attitudes toward different phenomena, it is hard to appeal to all people.
All the three leaders named above had common traits that made them popular among their followers. All of them were good public speakers that possessed good communications skills making it easy for them to appeal to their followers. Moreover, their ability to lead their followers and country through difficult times and bring them into prosperous times greatly appealed to their followers making them ultimate leaders.
Burns, J. M. (2012). Leadership. New York, NY: Open Road Integrated Media.
Geithner, C. A., American College of Sports Medicine, Monterey Bay Video Production Co, & Healthy Learning Videos. (2007). Understanding leadership styles. Monterey, CA: Healthy Learning.
Nye, J. S. (2010). The powers to lead. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Posner, E. A. (n.d.). Presidential Leadership and the Separation of Powers. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2664409
Regional Leadership in the Global System. (2010). doi:10.4324/9781315604428
Schiffer, M., Shorr, D., & Stanley Foundation. (2009). Powers and principles: International leadership in a shrinking world. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.