Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors

Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors

Certain qualities belong potentially to everyone, but leaders possess these qualities to an exceptional degree. The following is a discussion of 10 qualities that mark a leader and help influence the leadership process—vision, ability, enthusiasm, stability, concern for others, self-confidence, persistence, vitality, charisma, and integrity.33

   VisionThe first requirement for a leader is a strong sense of purpose. A vision of what could and should be is a basic force that enables the leader to recognize what must be done and to do it. Vision inspires others and causes the leader to accept the duties of leadership, whether pleasant or unpleasant. A sense of vision is especially powerful when it embodies a common cause—overcoming tyranny, stamping out hunger, or improving the human condition.

Native Americans believe that the leader should look to the seventh generation when making decisions today, and this will ensure that a vision is sound and just. Antoïne de Saint-Exupéry once commented on the imaginative nature of vision, saying, “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”34


Examples of leadership vision and its power can be seen in computer pioneer Steve Jobs, who foresaw a computer on every desktop and in every home, and in business entrepreneur Bill Gates, who asked the optimistic and compelling question, Where do you want to go today? Jobs of Apple and Gates of Microsoft have altered business and society in irreversible ways.

If you are the leader of a work group or an organization, you should ask, Do I have a plan? What is my vision of what this department or organization should be?

   AbilityThe leader must know the job—or invite loss of respect. It helps if the leader has done the job before and done it well. Employees seldom respect the individual who constantly must rely on others when making decisions, giving guidance, or solving problems. Although employees usually show a great deal of patience with a new leader, they will lose faith in someone who fails to gain an understanding of the job within a reasonable period of time. Also, the leader must keep job knowledge current. Failure to keep up leads to lack of confidence and loss of employee support. Finally, a leader must have a keen mind to understand information, formulate strategies, and make correct decisions.35

Leaders should ask, How competent am I? Am I current in my field? Do I set an example and serve as a resource for my employees because I keep job knowledge current? Mentally, are my perceptions accurate, is my memory good, are my judgments sound?

   EnthusiasmGenuine enthusiasm is an important trait of a good leader. Enthusiasm is a form of persuasiveness that causes others to become interested and willing to accept what the leader is attempting to accomplish. Enthusiasm, like other human emotions—laughter, joy, happiness—is contagious. Enthusiasm shown by a


leader generates enthusiasm in followers. As Harry Truman once said, “The successful man has enthusiasm. Good work is never done in cold blood; heat is needed to forge anything. Every great achievement is the story of a flaming heart.”36

If you are a leader, you must ask, Do I care personally and deeply about what I am doing? Do I show this to my employees? Does my enthusiasm ignite others to take action?

   StabilityThe leader must understand her or his own world and how it relates to the world of others. One cannot solve the equation of others when preoccupied with the equation of self. Empathy for employees cannot be developed if the leader is emotionally involved with personal problems. Problems with alcohol, problems with money, and problems with relationships are fertile fields for emotional instability. A display of emotional instability places the leader in a precarious position with regard to employees, because they will question the leader’s objectivity and judgment. Leaving personal problems at home allows the leader to think more clearly and to perform more effectively on the job. One can see the consequences of loss of stability with examples ranging from the fall of Alexander the Great to the fall of Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny.

The leader must ask, Do I possess objectivity? Do I convey stability to my employees? Do they trust that personal problems will not interfere with my judgment?

   Concern for othersAt the heart of caring leadership is concern for others. The leader must not look down on others or treat them as machines—replaceable and interchangeable. The leader must be sincerely and deeply concerned about the welfare of people. The character of caring stands in clear contrast to the character of bullying. The caring leader never tears down, belittles, or diminishes people. The leader must also possess humility and selflessness to the extent that, whenever possible, others’ interests are considered first. Concern for others requires patience and listening, and the result is trust, the bedrock of loyalty. Loyalty to followers generates loyalty to the leader; and when tasks become truly difficult, loyalty carries the day.

Leaders must question, Do I truly care about my employees as people, or do I view them more as tools to meet my goals? Do I ever demean people, or do I always lift them up? If I value my employees, do they know it?

   Self-confidenceConfidence in one’s ability gives the leader inner strength to overcome difficult tasks. If leaders lack self-confidence, people may question their authority and may even disobey orders. Researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership have found that successful leaders remain calm and confident even during intense situations. By demonstrating grace under pressure, they inspire those around them to stay calm and act intelligently. According to football quarterback Roger Staubach, the key to self-confidence is how hard the leader works: “Confidence comes from hours, days, weeks, and years of preparation and dedication. When I’m in the last two minutes of a December playoff game, I’m drawing confidence from windsprints I did the previous March. It’s just a circle: work and confidence.”

A sign of self-confidence is for the leader to remain calm under pressure. Actor and director Clint Eastwood explains: “If you start yelling, you give the impression of insecurity, and that becomes infectious. It bleeds down into the actors, and they become nervous; then it bleeds down into the crew, and they become nervous, and you don’t get much accomplished that way. You have to set a tone and just demand a certain amount of tranquility.”37

A leader must ask, What is my self-confidence level? Do I show confidence in my actions? Have I done the homework and preparation needed to build self-confidence?

   PersistenceThe leader must have drive and determination to stick with difficult tasks until they are completed. According to Niccolò Machiavelli, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain as to success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”38 Israeli prime minister Golda Meir referred to the quality of persistence when she advised that things do not just occur in one’s life. She encouraged people to believe, be persistent, and struggle to overcome life’s obstacles.39


Abraham Lincoln identified resolution to succeed to be the most important leadership quality. In a speech to Congress June 20, 1848, Lincoln said, “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find a way.” Leaders from Walt Disney to Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, have shown the importance of persistence for business success, and military leaders from Ulysses Grant to George Patton have proved its importance on the battlefield. However, no better example exists to show the importance of fierce resolve as a leadership quality than that of Winston Churchill. Historians agree that this leader, with his bulldog will, was a determining element in the success of the Allied nations in defeating the Axis powers in World War II. In the face of impossible odds and seemingly certain defeat, Churchill rallied his people. Simply, he would not give in; he would not give up.40

If you are the leader, ask, Do I have self-drive and unflagging persistence to overcome adversity even when others lose their strength and their will?

   VitalityEven if the spirit is willing, strength and stamina are needed to fulfill the tasks of leadership. Effective leaders are typically described as electric, vigorous, active, and full of life, no matter how old they are or if they are physically disabled. Consider Franklin Roosevelt, who had polio, and Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf. It is interesting to note that at one point in recent history, the American President Ronald Reagan, the Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II, and the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran were all over 70 years of age—and more vital than many people half their age. At all ages, leaders require tremendous energy and stamina to achieve success. The caring leader must have health and vigor to pursue his or her goals. Physical checkups and physical fitness are commonsense acts. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Leaders must ask, Am I fit for the tasks of leadership? Do I have sufficient energy? Am I doing everything I can to keep physically strong?

   CharismaCharisma is a special personal quality that generates others’ interest and causes them to follow. Napoleon makes the point that great leaders are optimists and merchants of hope.41 Optimism, a sense of adventure, and commitment to a cause are traits found in charismatic leaders. These are qualities that unleash the potential of others and bring forth their energies. Charisma is a Greek word that means “divinely inspired gift.” The result is admiration, enthusiasm, and the loyalty of followers. Charismatic leaders in history include Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and Elizabeth I. Author Jay Conger colorfully states: “Charismatic leaders are meaning makers. They pick and choose from the rough materials of reality and construct pictures of great possibilities. Their persuasion is of the subtlest kind, for they interpret reality to offer images of the future that are irresistible.” Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

As a leader, ask yourself, Do I possess a positive outlook and commitment in my demeanor that transforms followers to new levels of performance as well as personal loyalty to me?

   IntegrityThe most important quality of leadership is integrity, understood as honesty, strength of character, and courage. Without integrity there is no trust, the number one element in the leader–follower equation. Integrity leads to trust, and trust leads to respect, loyalty, and ultimately, action. It is trust coming from integrity that is needed for leading people from the boardroom, to the shop floor, to the battlefield.42 A model of integrity was George Washington, about whom it was written:

Endowed by nature with a sound judgment, and an accurate discriminating mind, he was guided by an unvarying sense of moral right, which would tolerate the employment only of those means that would bear the most rigid examination, by a fairness of intention which neither sought nor required disguise, and by a purity of virtue which was not only untainted but unsuspected.43

Washington’s abilities, his determination, and even his image all furthered his achievements, but his greatest legacy was his integrity. He was respected by everyone. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.


He refused ostentatious titles, insisting that in a republican country, he should be called simply “Mr. President.” When Washington died in 1799, Americans mourned the loss of the man known as “the father of his country.”44

As a leader, ask, Do my people trust me? Do they know that I seek the truth and that I am true to my word? Do they see that I possess strength of character and the courage of my convictions?

How do you rate on the 10 qualities of leadership: vision, ability, enthusiasm, stability, concern for others, self-confidence, persistence, vitality, charisma, and integrity? Do you have the qualities that inspire others to follow? Exercise 3–1will help you evaluate yourself (or a leader you know). Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.


Exercise 3–1 Ten Leadership Qualities—How Do You Rate?

Evaluate yourself (or a leader you know) on the following leadership qualities by circling a number from 1 to 10 (1 is low; 10 is high).

1.Vision: a sense of what could and should be done

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2.Ability: job knowledge and expertise to achieve results

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3.Enthusiasm: personal commitment that invigorates and motivates people

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4.Stability: emotional adjustment and objectivity

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


5.Concern for others: service to followers and interest in their welfare

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6.Self-confidence: inner strength that comes from preparation and competence

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

7.Persistence: determination to see tough tasks through to completion

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8.Vitality: strength and stamina

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9.Charisma: magnetic ability to attract people and cause them to follow

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10.Integrity: honesty, strength of character, and courage that generates trust

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Scoring and Interpretation:

Add all the circled numbers to find the overall score: _______________

    Score Evaluation
    100–90 Excellent; exceptional
      89–80 High; very good
      79–70 Average; needs improvement
      69–60 Low; much work needed
59 and below Deficient; poor

In The Storm of War, the definitive account of World War II, historian Andrew Roberts explains the victory of the Allied forces over the Axis powers traced to five main factors: (1) the ferocity of the Russian soldier fighting on his own soil; (2) the American arsenal of armaments from industrial might; (3) the acquiescence of the German Army to Hitler’s three errors—fighting England and Russia in a two-front war, declaring war on the United States too soon (before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor), perpetuating the holocaust on the Jewish people; (4) U.S. President Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb; and (5) the remarkable leadership of Winston Churchill, whose determination “never to give in” proved to be stronger than the German Reich. In the following quotation, one can see the importance of leadership persistence in determining the course and conclusion of the greatest conflict in history—a World War that spanned the globe and claimed the lives of over 50 million people.45

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. —Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 4 June 1940

“Negative” Leadership

There are some leaders who are not interested in doing good work, or not doing work in a good way. A special issue of the Leadership Quarterly focuses on destructive leadership, often referred to as the “dark side” of leadership.46Destructive leaders have a toxic effect on their workers and their organizations.47 Researcher Barbara Kellerman states valuable insights can be gained by examining qualities of poor leaders. Her analysis has uncovered six negative behaviors or flaws:

1.Incompetence. The leader lacks will or skill (or both) to sustain effective action.

2.Rigidity. The leader is closed-minded to new ideas, new information, or changing times.

3.Intemperance. The leader lacks self-control in personal habits and conduct.

4.Callousness. The leader is uncaring and unkind, discounting the needs of others.

5.Corruption. The leader puts self-interest ahead of public interest, and is willing to lie, cheat, or steal.

6.Cruelty. The leader commits atrocities inflicting physical and/or emotional pain on others.48

Similar findings are reported by Morgan McCall and Michael Lombardo in Off the Track: Why and How Successful Executives Get Derailed, published by The Center for Creative Leadership. Derailed leaders: Use a bullying style that is intimidating and abrasive; are viewed as being cold, aloof, and arrogant; betray personal trust; are viewed as self-centered, overly ambitious, and thinking of the next job; have specific business performance problems; and overmanage and are unable to delegate or build a team.49.  Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

There are consistent findings across studies of leadership promotion (success) and leadership derailment (failure). One finding is that both promoted and derailed leaders are smart, ambitious, and have good technical expertise. A second finding is that derailed leaders exhibit one or more behavioral patterns not evident in leaders who succeed. The following are five derailment patterns:

1.Failure to meet performance objectives.

2.Inability to build and lead a team.

3.Inability to build positive relations with co-workers.


4.Inability to adapt to changing bosses, followers, and situations.

5.Inadequate preparation for promotion.

Most derailed leaders have more than one derailment pattern. The most serious derailment pattern is the failure to meet performance objectives.50 To personalize the subject, consider individuals you have known who have failed or derailed as leaders as the result of negative behaviors or flaws. What were the consequences?

Characteristics of Followers

The word follower is rooted in the Old German word follaziohan, which means to help, serve, and assist. Two characteristics of followers that influence the leadership process are respect for authority and interpersonal trust. People who respect authority figures and have a trusting nature are led more easily than people who disregard authorities and are suspicious of others. (Exercise 3–2 evaluates susceptibility to follow, based on the trust you have in others.). Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors

A general decline is evident in the level of trust employees have in leadership personnel in American society. The tendency to withhold trust and be self-guarded can be traced to a number of factors: (1) breakdown of the traditional family structure; (2) decline of a wide range of social structures, such as schools, churches, and neighborhoods; (3) lack of shared values and a sense of community as the society has focused on individual advantage and self-absorption; and, perhaps most important, (4) case after case in which highly visible and influential leadership figures are discovered putting self-interest over the public good—clear evidence that too many leaders violate the trust that they have been given.51

Attitudes toward authority have been changing in Western society, and effective leadership today requires adjustment to the ideas and expectations of a new generation of followers. In the past, the leader in the work setting typically was a taskmaster who ruled with a strong arm and forced employees to obey or face the consequences. If employees failed to show respect or follow orders, they were threatened with dismissal or other punishment. Over the years, employees have developed defenses to protect themselves. They have organized unions to represent their interests, and labor legislation has been created to protect workers from arbitrary firing or mistreatment. In addition, management has learned that people who feel oppressed usually respond in negative ways—slowing down production, producing poor-quality work, and being uncooperative.52

Today’s effective leaders do not use the power tactics of the past. Modern managers find that the practice of threatening employees is usually counterproductive. Instead, they view their task as one of motivating employees to do their best. In adopting this approach, leaders function as facilitators and teachers as opposed to enforcers and disciplinarians, believing that trust and respect should be earned, not demanded. With this approach, the response of the good follower is in the tradition of the apprentice, disciple, and student—one of reliable effort and loyalty to the leader.53

Effective leaders and effective followers have many common qualities—integrity, ability, commitment, and so on. Two qualities that are necessary for organizational success are high involvement and critical thinking. Leaders and followers who care deeply and think well make a powerful team.54

The Importance of Trust

Management authors Stuart Levine and Michael Crom write about building trust in the workplace. They identify six principles of trust for leadership effectiveness:

1. Deal openly with everyone. Hidden agendas will erode people’s trust in you, while also showing that you don’t trust them. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.


2. Consider all points of view. See situations from the other person’s perspective. Show that although you may not agree with them, you do respect the views of others.

3. Keep promises. Never say you will do one thing and then do another. If you can’t do what you have promised, explain why; don’t try to hide the fact that you couldn’t keep your word. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

4. Give responsibility. As a leader, you have bottom-line expectations. Explain your expectations to employees; then let them use their talent, education, and experience to achieve results.

5. Listen to understand. Situations may arise that at first appear as though someone is untrustworthy. Missed deadlines, unreasonable expenses, and deviations from standard practices are examples. By simply asking what is happening instead of assuming the worst, you will build a trusting relationship. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

6. Care about people. This principle will have a major impact on how people react to you and to situations. If they know you care about them, they will be honest with you and will do all they can to meet your expectations.55


Exercise 3–2 Interpersonal Trust Scale56

The following is a survey of a number of work and social issues. Respond to each item on the basis of your own experience and judgment in dealing with people. Many views are represented in this survey. You may find yourself agreeing strongly with some of the statements, disagreeing with others, and perhaps being undecided about others. Whether you agree or disagree with any statement, you can be sure that many people feel the same as you do. Circle the response that shows the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement.

1.The best way to handle people is to tell them what they want to hear.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

2.It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

3.Anyone who completely trusts someone else is asking for trouble.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

4.When you ask someone to do something for you, it is best to give the real reasons for the request rather than giving reasons that might carry more weight.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

5.It is safest to assume that all people have a vicious streak and that it will come out when they are given a chance to use it.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

6.One should take action only when sure it is morally right.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree


7.Most people are basically good and kind.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

8.There is no valid reason for lying to someone else.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

9.Most people forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their property.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree

10.Generally speaking, people won’t work hard unless they are forced to do so.

a.Strongly disagree




e.Strongly agree


Complete Steps 1 and 2.

Step 1:

In the following key, circle the score that corresponds to your answer for each item of the questionnaire:



















































Step 2:

Add your scores; then divide the total by 10:
Total score _________________ ÷ 10 = _________________



Scores on the Interpersonal Trust Scale, which range from 1.0 to 5.0 (see Figure 3–1), show your tendency to trust people. Typically, the higher the score on the scale, the more trust you have in the inherent decency of others. A high score may also reflect susceptibility to suggestion from others. The lower the score on the scale, the less trusting you would be expected to be of others. A low score may also reflect a tendency to manipulate others in accomplishing goals. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Figure 3–1 Interpersonal Trust Scale


Reprinted with permission from Psychology Today Magazine, copyright 1970, Sussex Publishers, Inc.

Score Characteristics
1.0–2.0 This person believes that most people seek personal advantage, even at the expense of others; thus, the best course of action is self-protection. The 1.0–2.0 individual may manipulate others in interpersonal relations and avoid making personal commitments. Such a person is often difficult to lead.
2.1–3.0 This person is generally suspicious of the motives of others and tends toward skepticism and self-reliance rather than seeking assistance or direction. The 2.1–3.0 individual will usually act independently, rather than ask for help or delegate, believing the best way to get something done is to do it oneself.
3.1–4.0 This person has confidence in the basic decency of others, combined with an evaluation of the merits of the situation. The 3.1–4.0 individual will usually trust others temporarily, yet reserve final judgment.
4.1–5.0 This person believes that people are essentially good and therefore readily trusts others. Such a person may not look below the surface of things. The 4.1–5.0 individual is easily persuaded and should be encouraged to look at all sides of an argument before making a decision.

Review your interpersonal trust scores. What is your tendency? Do you lean toward suspicion and self-reliance? Do you tend to be trusting and suggestible? Or are you, like most people, somewhere in the middle? Given your level of trust, are you typically easy or difficult to lead?


Situational Factors

In addition to qualities of the leader and characteristics of followers, many situational factors influence the leadership process. The following is a discussion of important situational factors, including the size of the organization, the social and psychological climate, patterns of employment, and the type, place, and purpose of work performed. Also included is a discussion of leader–follower compatibility.

   Size of the organization. Studies show that the size of an organization demands a certain type of leadership skill. A small organization needs a leader who is both a salesperson and a production manager. Outside the organization, the leader is the organization’s chief advocate, personally meeting with clients and winning their loyalty. On the inside, the leader organizes the work, assigns tasks, coaches employees, and evaluates progress. In contrast, the leader of a large organization devotes efforts primarily to the organization’s public image and its investment and growth plans. Leaders of large organizations think in broad terms about the community and the marketplace, considering how the organization can be placed best in both.57

   Social and psychological climate. Social and psychological factors such as confusion, anxiety, and despair can also influence the leadership process. Consider pre–World War II Germany, where a great depression and the inactivity of the people seemed intolerable:

The streets of German towns were full of millions of unemployed waiting for the dole, which was scarcely sufficient to provide for the indispensable needs of daily life. These observations were common to everyone who lived in Germany during the years preceding Hitler’s advent to power. The lack of such an important educational factor as compulsory military service on the one hand, and the plague of unemployment on the other, produced their inevitable consequences in the slope of a deplorable moral relaxation and in a not less deplorable decrease of patriotism. In these circumstances that were ripe for leadership, Adolf Hitler came to power.58

   Patterns of employment. In his book The Age of Unreason, management author Charles Handy describes how contemporary patterns of work are changing in fundamental ways. He describes the “shamrock” organization, in which there are three workforces supporting an organization, but only one leaf of the shamrock is permanent and full-time; the other two are (1) part-time or temporary or both, and (2) independent workers and contractors who form alliances with the organization to perform specified tasks. Handy describes how the seemingly unusual work assignments of our day—working at home, flextime, independent contractors, networks of professionals, associations, virtual offices and companies, and the like—are part of a new pattern of work that adds to the challenge of leadership.59

   Type, place, and purpose of work. The type of work to be done is an important factor in the leadership process. Leadership studies show that, in general, when the work to be done is clear-cut, routine, or monotonous, a nondirective and supportive approach is best. If work duties are defined loosely, a directive and task orientation is needed until roles, responsibilities, and relationships are clarified.60

Also important are the contexts of place and purpose. Where is the setting, and what is the goal? Is the place the farm, the factory, or the lab? Is the purpose selling or serving? Is the task shipbuilding or singing? What is the challenge—starting a business or minding the store? Is the organization in the public sector, such as leading a city, county, or state? One can imagine the special challenge of collaboration across public sector and nonprofit organizational entities. All these factors of the situation have tremendous influence on who will light the path and how bright the light will be.

Different Kinds of Intelligence

Intelligence plays a role in the leader–follower–situation equation. Intelligence is defined as cognitive ability, or the ability to perform mental tasks. Intelligence is multidimensional, including both convergent thinking where there is one right answer and divergent thinking where there can be many right answers. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.


Crystallized intelligence represents one’s lifetime of intellectual attainments, as shown by vocabulary, accumulated facts about the world, and ability to solve problems within one’s area of expertise. It includes comprehension of information and the ability to communicate in oral and written forms. Crystallized intelligence can be increased over time.

Fluid intelligence involves mental flexibility, as shown by the ability to process information rapidly, as in solving problems in new areas of endeavor. People draw upon fluid intelligence in novel situations or when conventional solutions fail. It includes reasoning, creative thinking, and memory. One can imagine an ancient mariner who is both sea-wise (crystallized) and people-smart (fluid).61

Fluid intelligence tends to decrease in the twenties and thirties, slowly up to mid-seventies, then more rapidly thereafter, especially after the mid-eighties. With age, we lose, but we win as well. We lose recall memory, but we gain elements of crystallized intelligence, such as vocabulary and knowledge. Despite lesser fluid intelligence, older people show increased social reasoning capacity, understanding of multiple perspectives, appreciation of knowledge limits, and wisdom in social conflict.62

The first formal link between intelligence and leadership was established in China, 1115 bc, when mental ability tests were used to select citizens for leadership roles.63 Research today shows a positive relationship between intelligence and other concerns—physical health, economic well-being, school success, life satisfaction, and leadership effectiveness.64

Although intelligence is positively related to leadership effectiveness, different situations require different kinds of intelligence.65 Once Henry Ford was asked who should lead the band. His answer was, “The one with rhythm.” Exercise 3–3, based on the work of Keith Rogers, Robert Sternberg, and Howard Gardner, measures multiple intelligences that are combinations of both crystallized and fluid mental abilities. This exercise can be used to answer the questions, What kind of intelligence do you possess? In which situations are you likely to lead, and in which are you likely to follow? What is your natural leadership strength?


Exercise 3–3 Indicator of Multiple Intelligences66

For each statement, indicate your most accurate response by placing a checkmark in the appropriate space. Think about your knowledge, beliefs, preferences, behaviors, and experiences. Decide quickly and move on. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad, no expected or desirable response. Focus on the way you really are, not on the way someone else may think you ought to be.

Almost Always
  1. I am careful about the direct and implied meanings of the words I choose. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  2. I appreciate a wide variety of music. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  3. People come to me when they need help with math problems or any other calculations. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  4. In my mind, I can visualize clear, precise, sharp images. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  5. I am physically well coordinated. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  6. I understand why I believe and behave the way I do. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  7. I understand the moods, temperaments, values, and intentions of others. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  8. I confidently express myself well in words, written or spoken. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  9. I understand the basic precepts of music, such as harmony, chords, and keys. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
10. When I have a problem, I use a logical, analytical, step-by-step process to arrive at a solution. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
11. I have a good sense of space and direction. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
12. I have skill in handling objects such as scissors, balls, hammers, scalpels, paintbrushes, knitting needles, and pliers. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
13. My self-understanding helps me make wise decisions for my life. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
14. I am able to influence other individuals to believe and/or behave in response to my own beliefs, preferences, and desires. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
15. I am grammatically accurate. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
16. I like to compose or create music. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
17. I am rigorous and skeptical in accepting facts, reasons, and principles. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
18. I am good at putting together jigsaw puzzles, and reading instructions, patterns, or blueprints. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
19. I excel in physical activities such as dance, sports, or games. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
Almost Always
20. My ability to understand my own emotions helps me decide whether or how to be involved in certain situations. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
21. I would like to be involved in the helping professions, such as teaching, therapy, or counseling, or to do work such as political or religious leadership. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
22. I am able to use spoken or written words to influence or persuade others. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
23. I enjoy performing music, such as singing or playing a musical instrument for an audience. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
24. I require scientific explanations of physical realities. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
25. I can read maps easily and accurately. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
26. I work well with my hands, as would an electrician, plumber, tailor, mechanic, carpenter, or assembler. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
27. I am aware of the complexity of my own feelings, emotions, and beliefs in various circumstances. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
28. I am able to work as an effective intermediary in helping other individuals and groups solve their problems. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
29. I am sensitive to the sounds, rhythms, inflections, and meters of words, especially as found in poetry. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
30. I have a good sense of musical rhythm. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
31. I would like to do the work of people such as chemists, engineers, physicists, astronomers, or mathematicians. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
32. I am able to produce graphic depictions of the spatial world, as in drawing, painting, sculpting, drafting, or mapmaking. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
33. I relieve stress or find fulfillment in physical activities. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
34. My inner self is my ultimate source of strength and renewal. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
35. I understand what motivates others even when they are trying to hide their motivations. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
Almost Always
36. I enjoy reading frequently on a wide variety of topics. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
37. I have a good sense of musical pitch. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
38. I find satisfaction in dealing with numbers. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
39. I like the hands-on approach to learning, when I can experience personally the objects that I’m learning about. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
40. I have quick and accurate physical reflexes and responses. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
41. I am confident in my own opinions and am not easily swayed by others. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
42. I am comfortable and confident with groups of people. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
43. I use writing as a vital method of communication. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
44. I am affected both emotionally and intellectually by music. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
45. I prefer questions that have definite right and wrong answers. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
46. I can accurately estimate distances and other measurements. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
47. I have accurate aim when throwing balls or in archery, shooting, golf, and the like. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
48. My feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions are my own responsibility. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
49. I have many good friends. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____


In the Scoring Matrix on the next page, the numbers in the boxes represent the statement numbers in the preceding survey. You made a rating judgment for each statement. Now place the numbers that correspond to your ratings in the numbered boxes. Then add the columns, and write the totals at the bottom to determine your score for each of the seven intelligence categories.

Once you have calculated your total score for each kind of intelligence, consult the section “Interpretation” to determine the intensity level that corresponds to each total score. Record that number in the final section of the Scoring Matrix.


Scoring Matrix

Verbal-Linguistic Musical-Rhythmic Logical-Mathematical Visual-Spatial Bodily-Kinesthetic Intrapersonal Interpersonal
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40 41 42
43 44 45 46 47 48 49
Intensity of knowledge, beliefs, preferences, behaviors, and experiences: (3) equals low, (2) equals moderate, and (1) equals high


To some degree, everyone possesses all seven kinds of intelligence, and all can be enhanced. We are each a unique blend, however, and we differ in the degree to which we prefer and have competence to use each of the intelligences. Presented below are interpretations for the total scores for each kind of intelligence. Intensity levels range from (3) low, to (2) moderate, to (1) high. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Score Intensity of Knowledge, Beliefs, Preferences, Behaviors, and Experiences
7–15 Tertiary preference (3): Low intensity. You tend to avoid activities in this area. Unless you are unusually motivated, gaining expertise would be frustrating and would likely require great effort. Keep in mind, however, that all intelligences, including this one, can be enhanced throughout your lifetime.
16–26 Secondary preference (2): Moderate intensity. You could take or leave the application of this intelligence. Although you accept it, you do not necessarily prefer to use it. On the other hand, you would not typically avoid using it. Gaining expertise in this area would be satisfying, but would require attention and effort.
27–35 Primary preference (1): High intensity. You enjoy using this intelligence. You are excited and challenged by it, perhaps even fascinated. Given the opportunity, you will usually select it. Becoming an expert in this area would be rewarding and fulfilling, and would probably require little effort compared with the effort required for intelligence in a moderate or low area of preference.

The following are the specific characteristics of each of the seven kinds of intelligence:

1.If you have verbal-linguistic intelligence, you enjoy reading and writing, and have a good memory for names and places. Like the playwright William Shakespeare, you like to tell stories, and you are good at getting your point across. You learn best by seeing, saying, and hearing words. People whose dominant intelligence is in the verbal-linguistic area include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers, and teachers.

2.If you have musical-rhythmic intelligence, you are sensitive to the sounds in your environment, enjoy music, and prefer listening to music when you study or read. Like the composer Ludwig van Beethoven, you appreciate pitch and rhythm, and learn best through melody and music. Musical intelligence is obviously demonstrated by singers, conductors, and composers, but also by those who enjoy, understand, and use various elements of music.

3.If you have logical-mathematical intelligence, you like to work with numbers, perform experiments, and explore patterns and relationships. Like the scientist Marie Curie, you enjoy doing activities in sequential order and learn best by classifying information, engaging in abstract thinking, and looking for basic principles. People with well-developed logical-mathematical abilities include mathematicians, biologists, geologists, engineers, physicists, researchers, and other scientists.

4.If you have visual-spatial intelligence, you are likely to engage in imagining things, sensing spatial changes, and working through mazes and puzzles. Like the artist Michelangelo, you like to draw, build, design, and create things. You learn best by looking at pictures, watching videos or movies, and visualizing. People with well-developed visual-spatial abilities are found in professions such as sculpting, painting, surgery, and engineering.

5.If you have bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, you process knowledge through bodily sensations and use your body in skilled ways. Like the warrior Achilles, you respond best in situations that provide physical activities and hands-on learning experiences, and you are able to manipulate objects with finesse. People who have highly developed bodily-kinesthetic abilities include carpenters, soldiers, mechanics, dancers, gymnasts, swimmers, and other athletes.

6.If you have intrapersonal intelligence, you are a creative and independent thinker. Like the philosopher Spinoza, you are comfortable focusing inward on thoughts and feelings, following personal instincts, and pursuing goals that are original. You may respond with strong opinions when controversial topics are discussed. Pacing your own work is important to you. People with intrapersonal abilities include both philosophers and entrepreneurs. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

7.If you have interpersonal intelligence, you enjoy being with people, like talking with others, and engage in social activities. Like Eleanor Roosevelt, you have the ability to understand people, and people often come to you for help. You learn best by relating, sharing, and participating in cooperative group environments. People with strong interpersonal abilities are found in public service, sales, consulting, community organizing, counseling, teaching, or one of the other helping professions.


The following is an example of selecting technical employees based on logical-mathematical intelligence.

To attract qualified people to apply for a job, Google placed billboards in Silicon Valley and Harvard Square with the brainteaser, “First 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of” (The “e” in the question refers to the transcendental number used as the basis for natural logarithms, and the first 10-digit prime number in this string turns out to be 7427466391.) People who solved the brainteaser went to the website where there was a more difficult brainteaser. Solving that one resulted in Google asking for the person’s resume. The company also developed something called the Google Labs Aptitude Test (GLAT for short) and published it in magazines that smart techies might read. The GLAT is similar to the SAT and includes questions such as, “How many different ways can you color an icosahedron with one of three colors on each face?” Google used the GLAT to attract people who are logically-mathematically smart and who are interested in the types of problems in the test. The people who are ultimately brought in for a job interview typically face 10-person interview panels, and are confronted with very difficult questions. Someone who applies for a technical job might be asked to solve math algorithms and answer technical questions about software and computer networking. It’s also likely that they’ll be asked brainteaser questions that rely upon both general intelligence and the originality facet of reasoning ability. For example, “How many golf balls fit in a school bus,” and “You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?”

Other companies such as Microsoft use a similar approach to hire technical employees, just as employers in the fields of music, art, literature, and sports use special performance tests for employee selection.67

Intelligence is complex and multidimensional. People assign the word intelligence to the qualities that enable success in their own time and in their own culture. In the Amazon rain forest, intelligence may be knowing the medicinal effects of local plants. In a North American college, intelligence may be mastering abstract theories in tough courses. In both places, intelligence is both fluid and crystallized, entailing the ability to learn from experience, apply knowledge, and solve problems.

The concept of multiple intelligences is relevant to successful leadership. You may find that you have strengths in several different kinds of intelligence. When needs for leadership arise in your areas of strength, you can capitalize on these aptitudes for success. Leadership effectiveness is in direct proportion to strength of commitment. Commitment comes from passion and passion comes from within the person. Consider examples such as the leader Walt Disney in entertainment and the leader Steve Jobs in technology.

Although there are many models and ways to describe and express human talent, the idea that there are seven kinds of intelligence is interesting and useful. The force of an idea or action is greatly determined by the style of intelligence of the leader.68

Styles of Leading

An important factor in the leadership process is leader–follower compatibility based on styles of leading. Exercise 3–4 is designed to evaluate your preferred style of leading—directive, participative, or free-rein.69


Exercise 3–4 What Is Your Leadership Style?

Answer the following questions, keeping in mind what you have done, or think you would do, in the situations described.

Yes No
  1. Do you enjoy the authority leadership brings? _____ _____
  2. Generally, do you think it is worth the time and effort for a leader to explain the reasons for a decision or policy before putting the policy into effect? _____ _____
  3. Do you tend to prefer the planning functions of leadership, as opposed to working directly with your employees? _____ _____
  4. A stranger comes into your work area, and you know the person is a new employee. Would you first ask, “What is your name?” rather than introduce yourself? _____ _____
  5. Do you keep employees up-to-date on a regular basis on developments affecting the work group? _____ _____
  6. Do you find that in giving out assignments, you tend to state the goals, leaving the methods up to your employees? _____ _____
  7. Do you think leaders should keep aloof from employees, because in the long run familiarity breeds lessened respect? _____ _____
  8. It comes time to decide about a company event. You have heard that the majority prefer to have it on Wednesday, but you are pretty sure Thursday would be better for all concerned. Would you put the question to a vote rather than make the decision yourself? _____ _____
  9. If you had your way, would you make communication sessions employee-initiated, with personal consultations held only at the employee’s request? _____ _____
10. Do you favor the use of audits and performance evaluations as a way of keeping work standards high? _____ _____
11. Do you feel that you should be friendly with employees? _____ _____
12. After considerable time, you determine the answer to a tough problem. You pass along the solution to your employees, who poke it full of holes. Would you be annoyed that the problem is still unsolved, rather than become upset with the employees? _____ _____
13. Do you agree that one of the best ways to avoid problems of discipline is to provide adequate punishment for violation of rules? _____ _____
14. Your way of handling a situation is being criticized by your employees. Would you try to sell your viewpoint, rather than make it clear that, as supervisor, your decisions are final? _____ _____
15. Do you generally leave it up to your employees to contact you, as far as informal, day-to-day communications are concerned? _____ _____
16. Do you feel that everyone in your work group should have a certain amount of personal loyalty to you? _____ _____
17. Do you favor the practice of using task force teams and committees, rather than making decisions alone? _____ _____
18. Some experts say that difference of opinion within a work group is healthy; others say it indicates basic flaws in the management process. Do you agree with the first view? _____ _____


In the Scoring Matrix below, place a check mark next to each question you answered yes. Add the check marks for each column to find the totals for the leadership styles you prefer.

Scoring Matrix

Directive Participative Free-Rein
  1. _____   2. _____   3. _____
  4. _____   5. _____   6. _____
  7. _____   8. _____   9. _____
10. _____ 11. _____ 12. _____
13. _____ 14. _____ 15. _____
16. _____ 17. _____ 18. _____
Total Total Total


Your highest score indicates your preferred style of leading. A description of each style is presented in Figure 3–2.

Figure 3–2 Continuum of Leadership Styles70



Figure 3–3 shows the different emphases in the use of power for the three styles of leadership.

Figure 3–3 Emphasis in the Use of Power71


According to the ideas of Hollander, Vroom, and Yetton; Tannenbaum and Schmidt; Hersey and Blanchard; Daniel Goleman; and others, there are five points to remember about styles of leading:72

1. People develop preferred styles by modeling others, going through formal training, and learning from personal experience. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne uses the directive style of leadership, saying, “BlackBerrys are divine instruments. My people have access to me 24/7.” Marchionne wants timely information from his employees, and is known for making decisions within minutes, or seconds.73 Robert Selander of MasterCard uses the participative style of leading, saying, “I prefer to do what I call a consensus style of decision making. I try to get more engagement and discussion around topics and avoid what I would call bilateralism.”74 Daniel Amos, CEO and chairman of Aflac, believes in a free-rein style of leading, saying, “My theory is that when you start telling people what to do they no longer are responsible. Requiring them to decide makes them stronger.” Sheila Lirio Marcelo, CEO of, uses a combination style of leading by telling her staff what type of decisions will be made prior to each meeting, saying, “We do Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 decisions. Type 1, the leader decides; Type 2, the staff has input and the leader decides; Type 3, the staff decides.”75

2. An individual usually prefers the same style of leading and style of following. Confusion results when this is not the case. General George Patton was a directive leader and a free-rein follower, causing mixed signals and much controversy in his relations with commanders and soldiers.

3. Leaders have been successful along all points of the continuum: Elizabeth I was directive in her style; Thomas Jefferson chose participative leadership; Dwight Eisenhower preferred the free-rein style. It is interesting to contrast Italian political philosopher Niccoló Machiavelli (1469–1527), who advocated being directive to the point of believing that the ends justify the means, to sixth-century bc Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, who prescribed nondirective leadership to the point of believing in total selflessness: “Of a good leader when his work is done and his aims fulfilled, all will say, ‘we did it ourselves.’” Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

4. There is no universally effective style of leading. Sometimes it is best for the leader to tell employees what to do; sometimes it is best for leaders and subordinates to make decisions together; and sometimes it is best for employees to direct themselves. The best style of leadership depends on qualities of the leader, characteristics of the followers, and the nature of the situation.

Increasingly, the American workplace is becoming faster paced, more culturally diverse, and more global in nature. See Table 3–1, which shows a general shift from directive (command and control) to free-rein (relationship management) focus of leadership, and a shift from a hierarchy to a community nature of work culture, as


Table 3–1 The Changing Character of Work Culture and Changing Focus of Effective Leadership76

Decade Nature of Work Culture image Focus of Leadership
Pre-1950 Hierarchy Command and control
1950s Organization Supervision
1960s Systems Administration
1970s Strategy Management
1980s Innovation Entrepreneurship
1990s Diversity Team building
Post-2000 Community Relationship management

innovative products, quick reaction time, and individual initiative are requirements for success. Research shows that employee participation in decision making usually increases job satisfaction, as well as employee commitment to decisions made. It also helps develop employees’ decision-making skills.77

5. If styles of leading and styles of following conflict, extra patience and communication are needed, especially in the following areas:

   Decision making. Directive leaders may be upset by free-rein followers who insist on challenging decisions and behaving independently. These leaders must remember that free-rein followers usually do their best work on special assignments and independent projects. They respond best to individual treatment and personal freedom.

   Goal setting. Directive followers may be upset by free-rein leaders who provide few details on how to do a job. These leaders must remember that directive followers usually do their best work when job duties are spelled out and direct orders are given.

   Communication. Participative followers usually are upset by leaders who fail to have staff meetings, ignore the open-door policy, and show little concern for people’s feelings. These leaders must remember that participative followers want open communication and active involvement in the decision-making process. They usually perform well on task forces, committees, and other work teams.

To understand the importance of leader–follower compatibility, consider your own experience. Have you ever had a leader who missed the mark in meeting your needs? Do you, yourself, have the range to meet the needs of all three styles—directive, participative, and free-rein?

Leadership Case in the Public Sector

A real-life example of leadership in the public sector is Fiorello LaGuardia, recognized as one of the best mayors in U.S. history. Five feet tall, he was called the “little flower” (Fiorello is Italian for “little flower”). From 1934 to 1945, this colorful and charismatic mayor gained the trust and ignited the energy of the people of New York. The challenge they faced was to create a city, not just any city, but a city that would become the biggest and most vibrant in the world.

LaGuardia personified such leadership qualities as vision, ability, persistence, and integrity. No people in the world were more gifted than New York’s mixture of Anglo-Saxons, Jews, Blacks, and Italian, German, and other ethnics. The geography and times invited the ideas and deeds of a caring leader. The combination was potent and successful.

LaGuardia’s New Yorkers unified the transit system, organized the police and fire forces, defeated the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine, built housing, playgrounds and parks, constructed airports and a World’s Fair, established merit


employment in place of patronage, and restored public faith in city government. In this period, New York became the cultural and financial capital of America.

Research shows that a place (city, region, state) that has talent (education), technology (infrastructure), and tolerance (diversity) will be a magnet and magnifier for human achievement. History provides an ideal case study in the coming together and interplay of the people, circumstances, and “little flower” Fiorello LaGuardia as they created such a place in New York City, 1935–1945.78

Leadership Effectiveness Today

Because there is no universal formula for success, leadership is more art than science and more skill than knowledge. Above all, leadership is difficult. In “No Easy Task,” management author and educator Douglas McGregor, originator of the terms theory X and theory Y, describes how difficult leadership can be.

No Easy Task

Douglas McGregor

I believed (before becoming President of Antioch College) that a leader could operate successfully as a kind of advisor to his organization; I thought I could avoid being a “boss.” Unconsciously, I suspect, I hoped to duck the unpleasant necessity of making difficult decisions, of taking the responsibility for one course of action among many uncertain alternatives, of making mistakes and taking the consequences. I thought that maybe I could operate so that everyone would like me—that “good human relations” would eliminate all discord and argument.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took a couple of years, but I finally began to realize that a leader cannot avoid the exercise of authority any more than he can avoid responsibility for what happens to his organization. In fact, it is a major function of the leader to take on his own shoulders the responsibility for resolving the uncertainties that are always involved in important decisions. Moreover, since no important decision ever pleases everyone in an organization, the leader must also absorb the displeasure, and sometimes the severe hostility, of those who would have taken a different course.79

The role of the leader in today’s high-tech, fast-paced, and ever-changing workplace is increasingly difficult. In dealing with a wide variety of employees along a full range of skills, the leader must add new demands to traditional duties (see Table 3–2):

Table 3–2 Leadership Demands and Duties80

Traditional Duties New Demands
1. Give orders. 1. Empower people.
2. Implement plans. 2. Generate ideas.
3. Manage individuals. 3. Coach teams.
4. Do things right. 4. Do the right things.
5. Organize work. 5. Develop people.

The effective leader today must be a director and motivator, implementer and innovator, mentor and team builder, expert and moral force, organizer and developer of people. These are great challenges that bring both satisfaction and appreciation for caring leaders who are willing and able to meet them.


In general, people resist leaders who rely on manipulation and control. They prefer leaders who are inspiring and empowering. Richard Kerr of United Technologies challenges leaders to move from the first orientation to the second: People don’t want to be managed; they want to be led. Whoever heard of a world manager? World leader, yes. Educational leader. Political leader. Religious leader. Scout leader. Community leader. Labor leader. Business leader. They lead. They don’t manage. The carrot always wins over the stick. Ask your horse. You can lead him to water, but you can’t manage him to drink. If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well, and you will be ready to stop managing and start leading. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Effective leaders generate hope and conviction in followers. They are people others perceive as being able to make things better. Leaders generate: confidence in people who are frightened, certainty in people who are vacillating, action where there is hesitation, strength where there is weakness, expertise where there is floundering, courage where there is cowardice, optimism where there is cynicism, and conviction that the future will be better.

Political Leadership

Most readers will find The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy to be an illuminating account about political leadership. Unique in the leader–follower–situation equation for 12 U.S. presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama have been the personal relationships between the members of this exclusive fraternity. Events in history, moral dilemmas, and persuasion tactics of these American presidents are analyzed. Ambition, competition, and little-known collaborations among them have significantly shaped U.S. history for over 70 years. An interesting question is: Did these leaders put the interest of the country before personal interest? The answer for all of them seems to be the same: sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t. Conflicting drives to serve and drives to be served marked every president; each showed the capacity for unselfish sacrifice, and each demonstrated selfish behavior at different times. New and experienced leaders will gain insight from this educational book featuring the best and worst qualities of political leaders during challenging times.


Part One Summary

After reading Part One, you should know the following key concepts, principles, and terms. Fill in the blanks from memory, or copy the answers listed below. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Historically, the study of leadership has emphasized (a) _______________ theory, focusing on qualities of the leader, and (b) _______________ theory, focusing on leadership actions. Almost always included as important leadership traits are (c) _______________, _______________, and _______________. Leadership behavior theory has included styles of leadership—(d) _______________, _______________, and _______________—studied by (e) _______________, and others, as well as dimensions of leadership—(f) _______________, and _______________—studied by (g) _______________, and others. Leadership (h) _______________ theory holds that the most effective leadership qualities and actions vary from situation to situation, depending on qualities of leaders, characteristics of followers, and the nature of the situation. The term (i) _______________ is used to describe the elevation of the performance of followers beyond previous expectations. Qualities that mark a leader include (j) _______________, _______________, _______________, _______________, _______________, and _______________. Characteristics of followers that influence the leadership process are (k) _______________, and _______________. Principles for developing trust in the workplace include (l) _______________, _______________, _______________, and _______________. Many situational factors influence the leadership process, including (m) _______________, _______________, _______________, and _______________. There is no universal formula for leadership success, so what is effective can change, case by case. Thus, leadership is more (n) _______________ than science.

Answer Key for Part One Summary

a. traitpage 16

b. behaviorpage 16

c. intelligence, values, energypage 16

d. autocratic, democratic, laissez-fairepage 21

e. Kurt Lewinpage 21

f. initiating structure, showing considerationpage 22

g. Ralph Stogdillpage 21

h. contingencypage 27

i. transformational leadershippages 29–31

j. (any six) vision, ability, enthusiasm, stability, concern for others, self-confidence, persistence, vitality, charisma, integritypages 32–34

k. respect for authority, interpersonal trustpage 40

l. (any four) deal openly with everyone, consider all points of view, keep promises, give responsibility, listen to understand, care about peoplepages 40–41

m. size of the organization; social and psychological climate; patterns of employment; type, place, and purpose of workpage 47

n. artpage 61


Reflection Points—personal thoughts on the leadership equation, leadership qualities, characteristics of followers, and situational factors

Complete the following questions and activities to personalize the content of Part One. Space is provided for writing your thoughts.

  Critique the idea that leadership success requires effectiveness on two dimensions: (1) initiating structure—focus on the task and concern for production—as well as (2) showing consideration—employee support and concern for people. Evaluate an actual leader’s effectiveness using these two dimensions.

  Describe an incident or time when the qualities of the leader, the characteristics of followers, and the nature of the situation matched and leadership occurred. What took place, who was involved, and what were the results?

  Consider the qualities that mark a leader—vision, ability, enthusiasm, stability, concern for others, self-confidence, persistence, vitality, charisma, and integrity. On the basis of these 10 qualities, discuss the best leader you have ever had.

  How susceptible to leadership are you? Are you basically a trusting person or a suspicious person when it comes to following others?

  What is your natural intelligence strength? When and where have you provided leadership based on your preferred intelligence area(s)?

  Have you ever clashed with a supervisor or subordinate over leadership style? Discuss dynamics and results.

  What are the differences, if any, between successful leaders in public, private, and nonprofit organizations?

  Discuss the influence of women leaders in American society. What factors account for their emerging roles?

  Some think leadership is a born ability. Some think leadership can be learned. Some think leadership is the product of a need or challenge. What do you think? Cite experience or research to support your view.


Part One Video Case

Toying with Success: The McFarlane Companies

Todd McFarlane, president and CEO of the McFarlane Companies, is an entrepreneur who understands the importance of product development. Comics, sports, toys, and rock-and-roll have all benefited from his creativity. When McFarlane’s dream to play major league baseball didn’t happen, he fell back on another interest he developed as a teenager—drawing superheroes. He faced the same question faced by all other entrepreneurs: Could he make money pursuing his dreams? He sent his sketches to prospective employers, and after 300 rejection letters McFarlane got a job freelancing for Marvel Comics. Working many hours for low pay, he made a name for himself and by 1990 was the highest-paid comic book artist in the industry.

Frustrated over creative differences and his desire to own the rights to his characters, McFarlane quit, took six other artists with him, and started his own company. He went from artist to entrepreneur overnight. While industry experts predicted he would last less than a year, McFarlane didn’t even think about the future. Spawn, his first comic, sold 1.7 million copies.

Entrepreneurship rewards individuals willing to take risks. In Todd McFarlane’s case, the need to control his destiny drove his aspirations. His path is similar to that taken by many others: receiving training at a large company, then leaving when he decided he could provide a better product on his own. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Today’s dynamic business environment has a tremendous effect on the success or failure of entrepreneurs like Todd McFarlane. Economics plays a key role at the McFarlane Companies. The firm must protect the many intellectual properties it creates and licenses. The business uses technology to support and spark creativity in developing new products. The competitive environment drives quality at McFarlane, which produces high-quality products even if they cost more, and thus McFarlane gains an edge over competitors. The CEO uses the Web to interact with his key demographic, or as he puts it, the freaks with long hair and cool tattoos. provides a place where fans can interact with each other and with the company. Finally, the global influence on business has an impact on all the other environments. Knowing he can’t control the global environment, McFarlane focuses on managing what he can control. Our experienced nursing essay writers will handle all your writing needs including. Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors.

Todd McFarlane’s purchase of Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball for $3 million illustrates his willingness to take a risk and focus on what he controls. While many thought he was crazy, McFarlane saw an opportunity. He combined the ball with several others hit by McGwire and Sammy Sosa to create the McFarlane Collection, which was displayed in every major league stadium and garnered enormous publicity. A portion of the proceeds was donated to the Lou Gehrig Foundation. Most significant, McFarlane began a relationship with professional sports that led to his obtaining the exclusive rights to nearly every professional sports team toy license.

Questions for Discussion

1.What personality traits do leaders like Todd McFarlane possess that distinguish them from other individuals?

2.How have global competition and technology advances changed business conditions and leadership challenges?

For more information, see See also:

Academy of Management–Journals—

Academy of Management–Annual Meeting—

Center for Creative Leadership–Homepage—

Fast Company–Homepage—



Harvard Business Review–Homepage—

Harvard Business School–Homepage—

International Leadership Association–Developing and Advancing Leadership

    Knowledge and Practice Worldwide—

Influence at Work–Proven Science for Business Success—

The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute–Homepage—

Meet the Boss–Homepage—

Technology, Education & Design–Homepage—

Action Assignment

As a bridge between learning and doing, complete the following action assignment.

1.What is the most important idea you have learned in Part One?

2.How can you apply what you have learned? What will you do, with whom, where, when, and, most important, why?

Essay Assignment Papers – Leadership Qualities, Characteristics of Followers, and Situational Factors