Gardner’s book

  1. An individual written essay of max 1500 words. The essay is to be written about two leaders from Gardner’s book (one could be, but must not be, the one that you have been part of presenting orally) and concerning the following question: “Based on the description of the two leaders as persons and their leadership, what have I learned myself that I would like to bring with me in my following career as a potential leader?”

The essay should be very well thought through, clearly stated and with a well developed and readable structure and in the best possible language. It is to be an account of Your own sense making regarding leadership in practice and its relevance for You and Your future. It is therefore to be seen as a statement also to yourselves about what type of leader You aspire to be in the future and what you might have to develop in order to be that leader. Thereby this task follows other related tasks that you have done in earlier courses in line with the program motto of learning to lead Others through learning to lead Yourself. This endeavor should be seen as a process of self reflection and self development throughout the whole program and it is therefore advisable to take a look at what you wrote and studied before regarding such matters as “How do you measure your life?” as well as “Authentic leadership”. I and my colleagues therefore urge You to treat this essay as an opportunity in line with the program motto. To lead is to engage in a serious social and moral activity and this is yet another time to reflect and express yourselves about what this activity means to You

As proposed by Cooper, leadership realm in the present day globalization of the market has changed the meaning to an aspect that is far beyond having a title with the ability to influence workers or team members to achieve exemplary or better results within an organization (473).  I have chosen two leaders, Alfred Sloan, and Martin Luther King Jr., explored by Gardner to serve as the benchmarks and mapmakers as I prepare to be a leader.

Alfred Sloan

I have learned a lot of lessons from the leader regarding idea-selling and the application of convincing power, rather than forceful power to the followers. It is the skill that I have longed to acquire since it is all ingrained in the social aptitude that defines the relationship with followers. Social pioneers advocate change within an organization by evaluating the weaknesses and strengths of workers or followers with an aim of structuring the possible ways of assisting them to exploit their skills and aptitudes to their level best.  According to Thorpe, as the employees exploit their full potential, the achievement of the organization’s objectives, mission and vision are made possible.

As described by Gardner, Sloan is known to have brought changes in GM regarding decentralization principle, measurements of systematic planning and organization (127). From the lesson I have learned, I can now consider Sloan as one of my role models, role architect and designer of leadership and management. Drawing on the lesson from Sloan professional biography in GM, I can use the lessons to transform the knowledge and skills that I have acquired so far into the real profession by using them as the yardstick. The Sloan’s mode of leadership has taught me that as a future professional manager, it will be my duty-bound to place the business interests ahead of mine. Sloan’s leadership as portrayed by Gardner has taught me that the main function of a professional manager does not entail changing people, neither does it involve liking people. However, the Sloan’s way is based on the fact that leadership entail putting workers’ or followers’ strength on the action. Performance counts regardless of the approval on how they conduct their tasks (Sloan 190)….

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