To Be Loved or Feared as a Leader? Essay

1710 Words Aug 20th, 2014 7 Pages
TO BE LOVED OR FEARED AS A LEADER? Leaders in fields ranging from military and politics to business and even education have been posed with the choice of instilling love or fear among their respective followers. Traits like warmth and trustworthiness of a leader instill love among followers and fear of a leader originates mostly from his strength and competence. Although there are numerous other traits in a leader, warmth and strength are the most influential. According to psychology, a major part of other people's perception about a person is determined by these two dimensions of personality (Cuddy, Kohut and Neffinger, 2013, p. 56). The dilemma of the choice between these two is inherently present in the nature of the two extremes …show more content…
For instance, has the change from autocratic to democratic societies and the change from vertical to horizontal style of management in organizations affected the mindset of people including the leaders and followers? From what I have observed while assisting my father in politics and overseeing my family business in Pakistan is that people are more responsive to a leader who demonstrates strength as opposed to a leader who shows warmth. The first thing that came to my mind was that this reaction is probably due to the fact that Pakistan is a developing country evolving into a enlightened society. I justified the fear model with backwardness of the area and attributed it partly to cultural norms. But it was rather surprising to learn that this model is still practiced quite frequently in the developed world as well. Taking the example of Texas Tech's coach, Bobby Knight, who is widely respected for his leadership, had adopted the same fear model. His harshness dragged him into many controversies including the one where he allegedly choked a player in practice (Snook, 2008, p.18). It can be argued that some fields like organized sports, military or manufacturing industry require such strict leadership as maintaining the chain of command is of utmost importance. However, knowledge industry has no such restrictions but the same model has been applied there in various cases. I personally know a few successful business owners in the US who rely on a