Essay on Mary McLeod Bethune

475 Words 2 Pages
     Mary McLeod Bethune was an innovative leader because she took a story which was largely latent in the population, equal education rights for black children, and brought it to national prominence through the creation of the Bethune-Cookman college. She was also a visionary leader because of the incredible success she was able to attain in advancing the cause of equal education.
     Bethune was such an effective leader because both she completely embodied her story and it became completely central to her life and persona. Bethune was able to embark on her incredible quest because of the educational opportunities she was provided by missionary teachers and therefore dedicated her life
…show more content…
This alone would not qualify as cognitive leadership, but because her rise to power was so closely linked with her ideology, she was able to empower the equal education movement on a national level.
     The trait theory of leadership states that leaders often exude certain traits that make them successful. While there isn’t any physical description of Bethune in this biography, it is clear that her intense determination was a very effective leadership trait. This determination led her to pick moss from trees to use as mattress hair and use all the money the school acquired to pay the teacher’s salaries without keeping any of it for herself. This determination also made her very successful at adapting to many different situations or contingencies that arose. For instance, when the capacity of the existing school house was exceeded, she talked the owner of a dumping ground into selling to take a five dollar down payment. This example demonstrates Bethune’s effective balance between her task centered determination and her people skills.
     In addition to cognitive theory, I think that this biographical account reveals another model of leadership. Bethune’s story shows how complete belief in one’s cause can triumph over incredible adversity. Strong belief in the ideological nature of a cause is necessary for one to develop the other leadership traits to be
Open Document