Essay on To Be Loved or Feared as a Leader?

1722 Words Sep 5th, 2014 7 Pages
TO BE LOVED OR FEARED AS A LEADER?
Leaders in fields ranging from military and politics to business and even education have been posed with the choice of instilling love or fear among their respective followers. Traits like warmth and trustworthiness of a leader instill love among followers and fear of a leader originates mostly from his strength and competence. Although there are numerous other traits in a leader, warmth and strength are the most influential. According to psychology, a major part of other people's perception about a person is determined by these two dimensions of personality (Cuddy, Kohut and Neffinger, 2013, p. 56).
The dilemma of the choice between these two is inherently present in the nature of the two extremes
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Contrasting Bobby Knight's example with Mike Kerzyzewski (Coach K) of Duke, we see that both of them commanded respect and following but their coaching approaches were pole apart. Coach K's leadership style was based on open communication and compassion as opposed to Bobby Knight's fierce approach (Snook, 2008, p.18). Similarly, India's reverent leader, Mahatma Gandhi is another example of commanding respect and following through love and warmth. Furthermore, there's the story of the General who went way beyond the call of duty to personally know all of the officers training under him (Cohen, 2008, p.149). The General's gesture was one of pure warmth. This could be seen as an argument in favor of applicability of the love model in any organization regardless of its function and dynamics. Lastly, I would refer to the discussion in class where it was established that interpersonal skills that come from emotional intelligence and emotional quotient are much important for managers than technical skills that use academic intelligence and intelligence quotient. Based on the arguments so far, it would be safe to say that leadership can have much more to do with warmth and empathy than it is accredited for. And that the love model, like the fear model cuts across culture, fields and time.
There is ample evidence to support both of the models of leadership under various circumstances. What…

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