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a.Discuss the characteritics of a courageous leader based on the article.

b.Provide critical comparisons between courageous leadership and THREE (3) other leadership styles found in the managerial grid.

c.Assess yourself as a courageous leader. Justify with your own personal information and examples.

Courageous Leadership Characteristics

Courage is the most important quality in individuals and more so in case of leaders. Courage helps individuals overcome any situation they might encounter with confidence and helps them gain over many others in the competitive world of today. It is also necessary to understand that leaders lead their companies and their decisions are crucial which can either make or break an organisation. In many cases the decisions which courageous leaders take have the power to make or break a particular company. Nevertheless instead of being afraid of challenges and taking risks the courageous manager should tackle problems head on and pave the way for his or her organisation reaching a stage of global dominance.

Courageous leaders need to embrace reality head on. It is necessary for any leader to get rid of any sort of rose-tinted glasses which does not allow them to see the future and thus face the real state of their organisation and business. In is only by proper knowledge and understanding of the present state of affairs that the company can be led to a state of invincibility or at least into a better place than it was before (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2012).  


Courageous leaders also need to say what needs to be said at any particular point in time. There might be situations where the necessary conversations might become awkward and uncomfortable but nevertheless they need to be arranged in cases specially where some amount of conflict is involved (Sethuraman & Suresh, 2014).

Leaders will face situations where they might not receive the complete support of their subordinates, peers or even supervisors. They might be criticised for taking decisions which according to those who critique them, are bound to fail even before they have been implemented. In such situations the managers have to remain calm and have faith in their decisions which will lead the organisation to success (Antonakis & House, 2014).

Courageous leaders need to keep taking decisions and move forward, more so in case of situations where fear for extreme change or transformation is involved. Even if it feels unsafe to take a particular decision, leaders need to ensure that what has to be done is actually done.

The leaders should have the proper guts to take ownership of their decisions and accept their mistakes. They must hold themselves accountable even for certain unforeseen circumstances. Despite having faith in their team and giving them ample space whenever necessary, they also need to be followed up on and informed when they are not fulfilling their duties to the fullest. It is also true that the leaders need to be the most accountable for whatever mistakes they might commit.

Embrace Reality Head On

Leaders also need to confront issues of performance, before they become big enough not to remain worth neglecting any longer. In case the individuals concerned are not faced and warned beforehand it might lead to severe problems for the company which might catapult out of control. Leaders in this regard also need to be properly communicative. In case they fall short in that particular aspect it becomes difficult for them to make it understood to their subordinates what needs to be done under any circumstances (Allio, 2012).

All in all the courageous leaders should not be afraid to lead change under any costs. They should have trust in their instincts and faithfully and resolutely take their decisions forward. In case the above characteristics are embodied by leaders, they are bound to taste success either sooner or later.

According to (Sweeny, 2013), in the Huff Post, updated on November 27, 2013, it has been stated that, “CEO’s cannot afford to always show their anger or their madness of any sort as their position of authority cannot be used as a way for venting frustration. Therefore the leaders need to put up to their name and therefore pave the way for successful establishment of their company.”

On a personal note it has been stated that, “Alan Mullaly was not only courageous but also helped in turning the company around. So the argument which has been put forward is not actually applicable in this case. This is because there has been valid proof of what he has contributed and done as a leader.”, according to Kraemer and Kraemer (Kraemer, 2018).

In light of the previous two arguments, the quotes cannot be included.

Leadership is an area of management which is critical for the improvement of staff morale and productivity. There are different leadership styles which can be implemented. It just needs to be chosen which style works best for a particular company and a specific scenario. Leadership for many comes naturally and the instinct of leading and encouraging the company towards success in inbuilt within them (Van Wart, 2014).

In the managerial grid provided apart from the courageous leadership style the three most important leadership styles which have been discussed are charismatic leadership, transformational leadership and situational leadership. The situational leadership style is concerned with a good relationship with employees and also keeping in tune with the needs of the customers. In this case there is also a high task orientation and the leader is tough on his or her own self in addition to raising the standard for everybody.

Speak up when Necessary

Situational leadership is an adaptive style of leadership and it encourages leaders to take stock of their team members, consider the many variables in the workplace and also choose the leadership style that best fits their goals and circumstances. It is a good leadership style as it is not based only on a specific skill of a leader but his or her style is modified to suit the requirements of the organisation. The most important keys to the situational leadership is that of adaptability. In this case the leaders who adopt the situational styles should be able to meet the changing needs of the organisation. The style of managing the organisation is suited to the needs of the people. The situational leadership style is involved with leaders taking up many roles in order to suit the needs of the organisation. The situational leadership theory involves coaching leaders, who work on an individual’s personal development and the skills related to the job, it also involves pacesetting leaders who set very high expectations for their followers. The style is extremely appropriate for self-starters who are also hard on themselves and their own achievements. There are also situations where the employees need to be put first even before any other person in the organisation. This is at the time when the morale of the workers are extremely low. In this situation the leader uses praise and helpfulness in order to build up the confidence of the team (Northouse, 2015).

Often in real situations which involve the organisation’s face off with the outer world scenario only applying the courageous style of leadership and concept of helping the people is not enough. The leaders need to analyse the situation at first and then understand the needs of the situation. In this particular scenario, it is helpful to apply the situational theory concepts for helping the people work towards the task at hand successfully. This theory of leadership therefore is useful in all types of situations as risk taking is only possible when there is a relatable understanding of the entire situation. In unforeseen circumstances it is the situational theory of leadership which proves to be helpful and makes the leaders face any situation with ease (Chemers, 2014).

Transformational leadership is another very important style of leadership which helps the leaders achieve their desired goals which they have set for their companies. In case of any situation, transformational leadership most often yields positive results. Transformational leaders need to understand what they have to embody in order to receive the results which they want from their subordinates and the organisation as a whole (Daft, 2014). It is usually common for companies desirable of success to perform better each year in comparison to the previous year. This kind of leadership helps the leaders to fulfil their responsibilities to the fullest. However there is still a huge amount of difference from change which is gradually incrementing versus the change which is transformational. In order to transform the companies and help them fulfil more than the goals which they have set for themselves, it is necessary that the companies have leaders who are transformational (McCleskey, 2014). 

Remain Calm in the Face of Criticism

Transformational leadership comprises of identifying the areas which need to be changed and properly developed for transformation to happen. True transformational leaders understand the need for proper talent and get the suitable amount of talent on board (Prindle, 2012). These leaders are extremely clear about the kind of attributes that the employees need to embody. After this realisation the leaders need to choose the employees in such a way that they fulfil all the characteristics of the desired team that is required for the best possible performance under any situation (Fairhurst & Connaughton, 2014). For this it is necessary to have team members who are best fit for their roles. After having a perfect team the transformational leaders need to motivate their teams for transformation. The transformational leaders need to have the qualities of self-management and should not be dependent on others. They are also highly intrinsically motivated and utilize this sort of motivation, to direct the company always on the right path (Van Wart, 2014).

In addition to this the leaders also take the right kind of risks as a key feature of transformational leader. These leaders trust their instinct and use the intelligence gathered by the team members in order to make informed decisions. It is also necessary that a transformational leader shares and understands the organisational consciousness of the total organisation (Daft, 2014). This also is responsible for making the people attuned to the feelings of the team members. These leaders are also inspirational as they need to have the ability to motivate others to rise to the occasion. This is not just related to formal acknowledgement but rather to the treatment of each employee as a valued individual and also takes the time to motivate them (Bolman & Deal, 2017).

The transformational leaders also need to have an achievable and realistic mission for the organisation. This mission also needs to be effectively communication to the followers. It is also necessary that the leaders get every person to inspire a set of commitment and purpose. These leaders have to be inherently courageous and inspire others to take up their work with a mission as well (Giltinane, 2013).

Another style of leadership which have been mentioned in the article is that of charismatic leadership. Charismatic leaders have a natural flair, style and confidence of doing their work. They implement their powerful personalities which draws individuals to them. The attraction stems from the fact that they exude confidence in everything which they do (Wilderom,  van den Berg & Wiersma, 2012). They are much more comfortable in their own skin. Another important aspect of charismatic leaders is that of optimism (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2013). In order to practice the concept of self-confidence the characteristics of second guessing and feeling shy at the times of confrontation needs to be avoided at any costs. It is also characteristic of the charismatic leaders to show creativity and think out of the box. The leaders at the time of problems should not see the difficulties, but should rise to the challenge and see it as an opportunity. In this case this sort of creativity can lead to powerful change and transformation (Avolio, & Yammarino, 2013).

Take Ownership of Decisions

The charismatic leaders also have a proper vision and a sort of innovation they need to be focussed on the future. They need to have a dream and a direction which motivates as well as inspires others. It is a vision that does not exist and the ability to communicate it. The leaders also have a powerful source of determination. The vision is the drive and the main purpose for many leaders. They also need to make their vision a reality. The leaders also focus on getting the job done for accomplishing what they desire to do. They also develop an organisational strategy for the performance of the organisation (Connelly, Gaddis & Helton-Fauth, 2013).

Another important factor of the leaders is that of communication. These leaders show proper amount of confidence and charisma. These leaders are clear and articulate with their words and ensure that each statement is a purpose. Contrary to popular opinion the charismatic leaders also place a huge amount of value on the practice of humility (McCleskey, 2014). They do not always convince the employees but they give importance to their needs. These leaders are also compassionate and this is because charisma alone is not enough. These leaders also have the possibility of disintegration into mere hero worship. It needs to be taken care that these leaders do not cause that sort of possibility (Avolio, & Yammarino, 2013). 

Courage is essential for every individual to prosper in their daily lives. It is not always that an individual gets everything which he or she aspires for. Rather people are more likely to get confronted by challenges which they might not like. In these situations it is necessary for people to show their strength of character and courage in order to be fearless in any situation which they might have to encounter. I make it a point to abide by the principles of courageousness in my life so that no setback deters me.

Initially in my life I was not completely courageous and the level or the seeming size of the difficulties in my life governed my capabilities of solving them. Slowly and gradually I came to realize that situations of different nature would contribute to the development of my personality. The implementation of courage in my life started from my school days.

At the time of high school, there were certain classmates and seniors, or let’s call them for what they were, bullies, who tried to lower my morale and destroyed my textbooks and class notes of my final examinations in order to lower my grade for the examinations. This was their tactic to ensure that I get frightened and underperform. They had also created some sort of reptile similar to a snake from plasticine and put in inside my shirt at the time of recess just before the examinations. At first I was extremely hurt and moved to tears at such a sort of activity. I was so disturbed that I felt that I would not give the exams. After a few minutes elapsed I calmed myself, went to the chapel, prayed to God and asked him to give me the courage to forget such petty issues and focus on my examination. I went ahead and gave my exams. Only after the exams got over did I go to my teachers and mentioned to them that my classmates and seniors had done such acts with me. My teachers applauded me for my courage and even thoughtfulness in informing them only after the exams were over. In case I wanted I could hamper the exams of those students who had hurt me but I did not do anything of the sort. I ensured that I concentrated on my exams and give them well. After the results came out, I received good marks and my results spoke for itself and I did not have to clarify anything to anybody.

Confront Issues of Performance

There was another instance in my college where the students were facing problems with their teacher who was teaching them but he was not being reported to the authorities as he was a trustee of the college and it was common perception that any sort of complaint against him will not be paid any heed to. I took it upon myself to arrange a meeting of the first year students, in the meeting I explained that we all could write an email where everyone would attach their signatures and clearly mention their problems in detail so that they were looked into as soon as possible. After the mail was send to the principal and the chancellor, the teacher was given a time of one month to mend his methods of teaching and get rid of ways by which the students would feel threatened or intimidated in any way. The teacher mended his ways and bettered his teaching. This was an effective and mature way in which the entire situation was handled.


In case of the annual performance and result assessment of my college, it was found that in particular my section was not performing well and therefore had to hear insensitive remarks from other sections that they were hampering the overall educational performance of the college. After hearing this I sat down with the representatives of the class and asked them what actually was wrong. I was surprised to hear that they were extremely good in mathematics and physics and several of them were good in extra-curricular activities but in certain cases their marks were deteriorating in chemistry and in some situations they were asked to perform at the time of several programmes which hampered their scores. Hearing this I suggested that they take the help of the chemistry tutor for help in their examinations and make it a point to mention the arrangers of different programmes that they will not be available for performing at the time of their examinations. After 3 months it was found that the performance of my section was the best with significantly increased scores in chemistry. Even the students were happy with their performances.

In light of the above mentioned situations and some other cases I feel that I have the courageous quality imbibed in me. I try to keep the important issues first in my life as well as in the lives of the people who matter. In certain cases I fall short and my sensitive nature comes into the picture, but in majority of the cases I listen, give the necessary feedback and listen to constructive solutions. I always believe in leading change as I believe that someone or the other has to possess the initiative of change. I have always tried to take action on performance related issues. Taking proper amount of action on the concerns related to the performance are important. It is also necessary to for communication to occur frequently as open and informal communication is often helpful in unearthing solutions which might otherwise not contribute to positive development in a particular person.  

All in all it can be said that in order to be true leaders, individuals need to apply a proper mix of all the leadership styles depending on the situations which they have to encounter. Only then can they emerge successful and lead their company to success.

References:

Aaker, D. A., & Joachimsthaler, E. (2012). Brand leadership. Simon and Schuster.

Allio, R. J. (2012). Leaders and leadership–many theories, but what advice is reliable?. Strategy & Leadership, 41(1), 4-14.

Antonakis, J., & House, R. J. (2014). Instrumental leadership: Measurement and extension of transformational–transactional leadership theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(4), 746-771.

Avolio, B. J., & Yammarino, F. J. (Eds.). (2013). Introduction to, and overview of, transformational and charismatic leadership. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (pp. xxvii-xxxiii). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Chemers, M. (2014). An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press.

Connelly, S., Gaddis, B., & Helton-Fauth, W. (2013). A closer look at the role of emotions in transformational and charismatic leadership. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (pp. 299-327). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

Fairhurst, G. T., & Connaughton, S. L. (2014). Leadership: A communicative perspective. Leadership, 10(1), 7-35.

Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard (through 2013), 27(41), 35.

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press.

Kraemer, H., & Kraemer, H. (2018). How Ford CEO Alan Mullaly turned a broken company into the industry’s comeback kid. Quartz. Retrieved 19 February 2018, from https://qz.com/431078/how-ford-ceo-alan-mullaly-turned-a-broken-company-into-the- industrys-comeback-kid/

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

Prindle, R. (2012). Purposeful resistance leadership theory. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(15).

Sethuraman, K., & Suresh, J. (2014). Effective leadership styles. International Business Research, 7(9), 165.

Sweeny, D. (2013). Can CEOs Afford to Be Angry. Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 March 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-sweeney/can-ceos-afford-to-be- angry_b_4002491.htmlhttps://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-sweeney/can-ceos-afford-to-be- angry_b_4002491.html

Van Wart, M. (2014). Dynamics of leadership in public service: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Wilderom, C. P., van den Berg, P. T., & Wiersma, U. J. (2012). A longitudinal study of the effects of charismatic leadership and organizational culture on objective and perceived corporate performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), 835-848.

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