Leadership Assignment

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Two Business Leaders, Two Philanthropist, who is more effective?

OR

Assignment Topic
Compare and Contrast two leaders, at least one of whom must be a business leader. Which of the two was the more effective leader? Why? What skills did they demonstrate?

Word Count: 1982

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Achieving effective leadership is a process. This paper considers the different attributes to becoming an effective leader. The paper firstly defines leadership, and then introduces two modern day business leaders Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, giving brief biographies on their lives and leadership qualities. It then outlines characteristics of an effective leader and compares and contrasts the two leaders as such. The paper concludes by showing the more effective leader and why that conclusion was made.

INTRODUCTION

LEADERSHIP: “… The process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals” C.F Roach and O. Behling, “Functionalism: Basis for an Alternative Approach to the Study of Leadership”, in Leaders and Managers: International Perspectives on Managerial Behavior and Leadership, eds. J.G Hunt, D.M Hosking, C.A. Schriesheim, and R. Stewar (Elmsford, N.Y: Pergamon, 1984). Leadership involves interaction between the leader, the followers and the situation. This is called the Interactional Framework, this framework describes leadership as a function of three elements the leader, the followers of this leader and the particular situation they are found in and the interactions between these three elements. E.P Hollander, Leadership Dynamics: A Practical Guide to Effective Relationships (New York: Free Press, 1978). Leader - The person in the group with the combination of personality, skills, and experience that makes others want to follow his or her direction. Leaders should possess the following competencies; Integrity, Visionary, Continuous Learning, Business Acumen; achieves results, able to Building relationships, possess excellent communication skills, be accountable for their actions, have the ability to influence and be a problem solver. Poor Leaders possess the following qualities: No integrity, Authoritarian, Poor interpersonal skills, change resistant, inability to build and lead team, overly ambitious, lack of accountability, excessive ego and incompetence. This paper seeks to illustrate the leader within this framework, showing comparisons and contrasting between Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, two pertinent business leaders, to determine which of the two the more effective leader is.

It has been observed in recent years that the leadership role has evolved; one aspect in which it has changed significantly is from men dominating the highest leadership roles within organizations to an increase in women taking on leadership roles in greater numbers. One of the most influential self-made business leaders of today is a woman. (Scott Tester professor of business administration at Cibrini College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Oprah Gail Winfrey

Celebrity, Host of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Magazine publisher, President of Harpo Production Company, Co-founder of Oxygen TV Network, Philanthropist. * Oprah was born on 29th January, 1954 in Mississippi, USA. * Should leader qualities from an early age: Oprah was an honors student & voted Most Popular Girl, At East Nashville High School * She was awarded full scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she studied communications. * In 1976, she became the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV. * In 1983, Winfrey hosts WLS-TV's low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. * Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest rated talk show in Chicago. – This illustrates her ability to emerge as a leader within a given situation. * The show was then named The Oprah Winfrey Show, based on broader topics...
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