A Personal Model of Leadership Essay

2337 Words Jan 3rd, 2011 10 Pages
A Personal Model of Leadership Leadership is a fascinating concept. The term conjures up ideas of powerful, triumphant heroes with a group of followers defeating some evil enemy. Perhaps the enormous allure to leadership is because of the influence it has on practically everyone's life. Stories of heroic leadership go back to biblical times with Moses leading his people out of Egypt. After surveying numerous articles on the evolution of leadership, it appeared that most of the articles were concerned with the concept of style of leadership and how leadership influences the organization. We began the twentieth century focused more or less solely on a leader-dominant theory of leadership that assumed a low opinion of the …show more content…
This interest led Greenleaf (1977) to propose a new type of top leadership in organizations called primus inter pares (first among equals). This concept suggests that the top leader would intentionally limit his/her power by serving as the "first" of a leadership team. This model addressed the critical issues of unrestrained power, team building, and empowering others. Other writings of Greenleaf took his message to the trustees of organizations, seminaries, universities, and churches. Being an effective, authentic leader requires being true to who you are and what you believe in as a person, understanding your purpose as a leader, being trustworthy, and practicing your values consistently, even under pressure (George, 2007). Mumford, Zaccaro, Connelly, & Marks (2000) suggest that leadership may sometimes be an indirect phenomenon where influence is exercised through cognitive as well as skills performance embedded in a social context. Since leadership is practiced in a social context, the most critical skills an effective leader can possess are communication and listening skills (Ambler, 2006). Being able to read body language, ask questions, provide and receive feedback as well as generate effective two-way communication to help build trust with followers and to prevent future problems are essential skills of an effective leader. As Trevino, Hartman, & Brown (2000) put it, being open, approachable, and a good listener

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