Hamlet Leadrship Essay
Hamlet is an indecisive leader, who lacks focus and the ability to delegate effectively. His inability to act showcases the numerous flaws in his character exposing him as a poor leader and an ineffective strategist.
His main character flaw is his indecisiveness. Throughout the play he chooses to procrastinate instead of making firm decisions. This is first illustrated when he sees his father's ghost in the opening Act. Following his conversation with the ghost, he confirms with his best friend Horatio that the ghost is his father's spirit.
Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
And much offence too. Touching this vision here,
It is an honest ghost let me tell you:
(Act 1, Scene 5, line 138)
Hamlet is confirming that the ghost is real and validating the information as credible. Based on this and the fact that the ghost instructed him to avenge him, Hamlet should have taken decisive action to eliminate his uncle and restore order to his country. A good leader follows his instincts and more importantly acts on credible information, Hamlet fails to do both (Theta 1995).
After continually making excuses for his inability to act throughout the first two scenes, Hamlet comes up with an elaborate plan to expose the king and to confirm his suspicions regarding his father's murder. The prince uses a group of traveling actors to perform a play to act out the murder of his father. Hamlet invites his mother and Claudius to watch. As the play draws to an end, Claudius begins to act very suspiciously, rushing off after watching the murder scene:
Give me some light-away!
(Act 3 Scene 2, lines 240)
His actions once more point towards his obvious guilt.
Shortly afterwards on his way to his mothers quarters, Hamlet comes across Claudius in prayer. This is the first time that Hamlet has seen Claudius alone and he is given a perfect opportunity to finally dispose of the king. By this stage he is convinced of the king's guilt, but once more fails to act:
And now I'll do't and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I revenged. That would be scanned.
A villain kills my father, and for that
I his sole son do the same villain send
To heaven (Act 3, Scene 3, lines 74-78)
Hamlet is trying to justify his inability to act based on his religious concerns that if he kills Claudius in prayer, Claudius will go to heaven. Hamlet uses his religious beliefs as a cover for the fact that he cannot follow through with his planned intentions, once more justifying his lack of action.
His inability to stick to his convictions underlines his indecisiveness, exposing him as a poor leader and strategist and one who would never been able to rule Denmark effectively. In the business world if the boss was aware of an employee who had broken the company rules, he would be fired.
By comparing Hamlet to the great business leader Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE (General Electric), it quickly becomes apparent that Hamlet lacks almost all the qualities of a good leader.
When Jack Welsh took over the CEO position of GE he was forced to layoff of thousands of workers. It was a difficult decision to make, but one which needed to be made in order for the company to succeed. Welsh needed to get rid of the old to make way for the new (BusinessWeek 1998). Hamlet should have looked at the murder of Claudius as a difficult, but necessary decision which was required for the future success of Denmark.
If you wish to succeed as a leader in the business world, you must be able to make tough decisions for the benefit of the company as a whole (BusinessWeek 1998). If you are the CEO of the company and there is a Claudius type figure in your business, it would be best for both you and the business to get rid of him.
Welsh did not become one of the greatest business leaders of our time by avoiding confrontation and making tough decisions. He has maintained order by...
Bibliography: BusinessWeek 1998, ‘How Jack Welsh runs GE ' [Online] Accessed 1 May 2006, Available at http://www.businessweek.com/1998/23/b.3581001.htm
Philosophy pages 2001, ‘Machiavelli: Principality and Republic ' [Online] Accessed 30 April 2006, Available at http://www.philosphypages.com/members/journals/journal_spr0109.asp
Shakespeare, W. 1992, Hamlet, 11th edition, Maskew Miller Longman, Cape Town.
Theta, P. 1995, ‘The Importance of Delegation ' [Online] Accessed 29 April 2006, Available at http://websrv.ewu.edu/groups/studentlife/Delegation.pdf
Thompson, D. 2004, ‘Business Erratic Behavior Worries White House ', [Online] Accessed 20 April 2006, Available at http://www.capitalblue.com/artman/publish/article_4636.shtml
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