The Great Man By Martin Luther King, Jr., And Winston Churchill

2364 Words10 Pages
Analyzing Leadership
From the vantage point of the present, it is easy to look back at the tenure of any great leader and draw conclusions about just what it was that made him/her great. We can examine the circumstances under which their leadership flourished; piece together what we know of their character and personality traits; delve into the factors that may have driven them; and dissect their leadership style all in an effort to pinpoint the source of their success. The ‘Great Man’ theory, popular in the 19th century and now thoroughly debunked, held that leaders are born, not made; suggesting that men like George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., and Winston Churchill were born with the innate capacity to change the world (Landis,
…show more content…
However, some of the greatest leaders possess qualities from more than one framework.
VanKoughnett (2014) discusses leadership qualities commonly taught in the United States military. These courses focus on which qualities make a leader great, but also the qualities and circumstances that cause leaders to fail. Though there are many characteristics of a leader, VanKoughnett (2014) regards personal integrity as the essential quality upon which all others are built. Integrity means being honest and selfless, and having a moral compass; all necessary “in order to maintain the respect, trust, and performance of subordinates” (VanKoughnett, 2014, p. 10). Nelson Mandela exemplified integrity while pursuing the end of apartheid in South Africa. Mandela was thought to possess all of the skills, values, and principles of a leader: integrity, honor, commitment, vision, justness, wisdom, and effective communication (VanKoughnett, 2014).
Those that follow a transformational leadership framework believe that leaders possess many of the aforementioned qualities, but the focus is on one’s ability to inspire and empower others (Ross, Fitzpatrick, Click, Krouse, & Clavelle, 2014). These leaders literally ‘transform’ their followers by inspiring enthusiasm and performance towards a

More about The Great Man By Martin Luther King, Jr., And Winston Churchill

Get Access