Leadership Comparison of Sonia Gandhi

Topics: Leadership, Indira Gandhi, Indian National Congress Pages: 6 (2194 words) Published: June 8, 2008
According to Gary Yukl (2007) leadership as “the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives”. Different people define leadership in different way but there are several components central to the phenomenon of leadership. For example: leadership is a process, it involves influencing others, it happens within the context of group, it involves goal attainment and these goals are shared by leaders and their followers. The very act of defining leadership as a process suggests that leadership is not a characteristic or trait with which only a few, certain people are endowed with at birth. Defining leadership as process means that leadership is a transactional event that happens between leaders and followers. Viewing leadership as process means that leaders affect and are affected by their followers directly either positively or negatively. It shows that leadership is two-way, interactive event between leaders and followers rather than a linear, one-way event in which the leader only affects the followers. India is the largest democratic country in the world. It has given some great leaders to the world like Mahatma Gandhi, J.L.Nehru, and Indira Gandhi. But can you imagine a foreign woman can be the main leader of that country. It was not possible before but when Sonia Gandhi took over as the president of the India’s Congress Party in 1999 the whole scenario of the Indian politics changed. At that time, the Indian Congress Party was in deep water; its performance was going downward, the whole morale of the party was low. There was need of some kind of rejuvenation in the party to bring good old days. Transformational leadership is an involved, complex process that binds leaders and followers together in the transformation or changing of followers, organizations or even the whole nations. It involves leaders interacting with followers with respect to their emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long term goals. Sonia Gandhi is a good example of transformational leadership. As she got the extraordinary ability to influence that had encourage the congress party and its followers to achieve something well above what was expected by themselves.

Short Biography
Sonia Gandhi was born as Sonia Maino on December 9, 1947, in the small village of Orbassano, just outside Turin, Italy. Her parents Stefano and Paolo were from the working class and they raised her in traditional Roman Catholic household. While studying English at Cambridge in England she met Rajiv Gandhi, they got married in 1968 and settled in India. Rajiv Gandhi was the grandson of Jawahar Lal Nehru who was the first prime minister of India. When Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 she continued to stay away from the political life until 1998 when she campaigned for the faltering Congress party. It was in 2004 general election that her charisma and popularity gave the Congress party a surprise victory but she chose not to become the prime minister but continued to remain hold the position of leader of the Congress party till today. The Charisma of Sonia Gandhi

“Charisma is special qualities of leader whose purposes, powers, and extraordinary determination differentiate them form others”. The influence exercised by charismatic leaders comes from their personal power, not their position power. Their personal qualities help their personal power to transcend the influence they have from the position of power. According to House (1977) the charismatic leadership is that leadership that linked personality characteristics to leader behaviours and through leader behaviour, effects on followers. In India some social psychologists argue that the dramatic rise of Sonia in national politics as the work of the mass media. But if people look closely, the media can only project a personality that instinctively...
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