The Ultimate Leader

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Running Head: ULTIMATE LEADER

The Ultimate Leader
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Leadership
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2/23/2012

The Ultimate Leader

People long to be a part of something that makes a difference; that transcends the ordinary. People need to be led to follow a compelling mission, to find a reason for being, and to discover one’s purpose. A great leader is one who is able to provide a mission, offer motivation, and exude purpose (Hesselbein & Cohen, 1999). The ultimate leader is about the ability to lead followers in a way that provides support, inspiration, and admiration. The following paper will illustrate ultimate leadership with Mohandas Ghandi as the model. Power and influence will be explained as fundamental components of effective leadership. Examples of operative leadership values and traits will be provided. Foundational to leading others is a certain behavior characteristic in the ultimate leader. This paper will explain how followers reacted to Ghandi’s type of leadership, as well as the effects. Ghandi was a spiritual leader of India, yet his leadership penetrated throughout the world. Ghandi, the Ultimate Leader

‘Imitation is the sincerest flattery’ is one of Ghandi’s famous quotes. Honored as the Father of the Nation, Ghandi was a renowned spiritual leader in India and a leading advocate for non-violence. His ability to lead was accomplished using non-violence to achieve his goals. He was an inspirational leader fighting for anti-discrimination. His weapon of choice was his outstanding leadership. His strength shined through innate power and influence, sincere leadership traits, values, and behaviors. Ghandi was known as a man of integrity (Bilgrami, 2001). Ghandi’s innate ability to lead taught the world many valuable lessons. As a transformational leader, Ghandi was able to move people to do extraordinary accomplishments (Bilgrami, 2001). As a man of integrity, his strength was proven not through physical force, but through actions, words, and other non-violent means. The message his actions portrayed were that a true leader does not need to coerce his followers, for his followers want to walk their leader’s path. A prevailing leader tells the truth and offers courage to stand beside his men, not above them. Ghandi’s followers reacted to him because they sensed his sincerity, honesty, and genuine interest in improving their country. Ghandi had an amazing ability to help people understand a vision that does not need physical constraints, rather by sharing a vision that offers values and standards that people may identify with. Ghandi showed people his confidence in them, as well as his admiration for them as human beings (Humphrey, 2002). Ghandi was the ultimate leader because he exuded social responsibility, morality, and proved that he was serving the greater good (Waldman, Balthazard, & Peterson, 2011). Power and Influence

Power and influence create opportunities for growth and are leading elements in effectual leadership. People reacted to Ghandi’s power and influence because of the way he projected power and radiated influence in non-violent methods. While one may assume that power and influence is a process for control, Ghandi saw it as an opportunity for change. The people of India were experiencing harsh discrimination, which Ghandi himself also experienced (Bilgrami, 2001).

As Bass (1990) explained, power and influence strategy are a method used by leaders to offer support. For an example, a leader who creates a powerful and guiding coalition also supports the people, the vision, and the mission. Ghandi exerted power by empowering people; by helping others realize opportunity for positive change. Ghandi was a servant leader and a transformational leader. His natural abilities were to serve others through influential and powerful leadership by transforming the way the people of India were being treated (Huges, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2009)....
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