Leadership - Charismatic Individuals or Contingent Characteristics

2677 Words Apr 10th, 2013 11 Pages
Leadership - Charismatic Individuals or Contingent Characteristics?
A brief analysis of charismatic and situational leaders, leadership and styles.
Linesh Palayadan, Cass Business School, City university London, UK.

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better” - Harry S. Truman

It goes without saying that human beings couldn’t have achieved what they have achieved if they had not worked in groups. Teamwork is probably one of the most important “inventions” of mankind which does not get explicitly mentioned when one refers about the tools and evolution of human
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(Gardner, 1995, p. 334)He was a wonderful orator who could mesmerise his audience with his speech through which he was successful in convincing the people of Germany that he was their only hope and only he could catapult Germany to the realms of success and prosperity. His charisma in motivating the masses(John Dreijmanis, 2005) through speeches, vision and aggressive nationalism led to mass hysteria, hope and a sense of pride and nationalism in the people, which in turn catapulted him to the highest realms of power. His leadership notwithstanding the ultimate failures he had was instrumental in uniting German people and hence can be classed under strong Charismatic leadership. One of the most recent, remarkable and widely reported event in India was the movement against corruption by a common man named Mr Anna Hazare (NY times, Oct 2011). Until recently little was known about the man nationwide and in a span of about 6 months almost every household in India knew about him because of his protest against corruption and his demands to bring a corruption prevention watchdog with unprecedented sweeping powers which had the potential to put many corrupt politicians and officials behind bars (Reuters Aug 2011). A social worker and an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi(N Y times August 18, 2011), Mr Hazare is a 74 year old man, who is not a mesmerising orator, but

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