Leadership and Martin Luther King

Topics: Leadership, Enron, Kenneth Lay Pages: 13 (3483 words) Published: April 14, 2013
www.biography.com www.graychampion.com Dr. KENNETH LAY Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr.

Word Count: 2689

These two world renowned disparate leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Kenneth Lay, add credence to the statement “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time” (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy, 2012. p, 3). Their backgrounds, personalities, followers, situations and vocations were divergent, yet both have left a lasting impact on millions of people and institutions world wide.

This paper compares and contrasts these two leaders utilising a number of leadership theories, models and principles, to critically analyse the relative effectiveness of these two leaders and assent to the more effective leader.

Recommendations are proffered as to those attributes that would enable both leaders to be more effective.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction1
2. Biography: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Dr. Kenneth Lay2 2.1 Brief biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.2
2.2 Brief biography of Dr. Kenneth Lay3
3. Comparative analysis of both leaders, utilising the theories on leadership4 3.1 Bass’s theory of transformational and transactional leadership4 3.2 Values, ethics and morals4
3.3 Rocket model of team effectiveness5
3.4 Dark - side personality traits6
3.5 Power and influence7
4. Conclusion8
Figure 1. The interactional framework for analysing leadership12 Figure 2. The rocket model of team performance13
Figure 3. Dark-side personality traits14

1. Introduction

A proficuous and symbiotic relationship between leader and followers in an environment conducive to the vagaries of change spewed forth leaders of the calibre of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Kenneth Lay. They are spoken of as leaders because they fit into several well enunciated definitions of leadership. Leadership has been defined in the following ways, (Powell) “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible”, (Bennis, 1995) “The process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner”, (Merton, 1959; Hogan, Curphy and Hogan, 1994) “An interpersonal relationship in which others comply because they want to, not because they have to” (Bass, 1985; Tichy and Devanna,1986) “Transforming followers, creating visions of the goals they may obtain, and articulating the ways they may obtain those goals”, (Fielder, 1967) “Directing and coordinating the work of group members”, (Roach and Behling, 1984) “The process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goal” (University of Houston’s Center for Applied Leadership). The two leaders analysed in this report exhibit, all the qualities stated in the various definitions, but are not limited by the definitions of the authors quoted above. According to the definitions above it can be summarised that leadership is about an agent transforming the behaviour of followers given the situation they are addressing, to achieve an objective that is above and beyond the capability of either party.

The Interactional Framework for analysing leadership (Appendix Figure 1.) is adopted in this paper and highlights the aspect of the complex set of interactions among the leader, the followers and the situation (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012, p.15). A number of leadership theories, models and principles, referenced in this paper also allow us, in hindsight, to critically analyse the relative effectiveness of these two world renowned leaders and assent to the more effective leader.

This paper begins with a brief biography of both leaders and is followed by an analytical examination of their leadership skills. The biographies cited describe Dr. Kenneth...

References: Aldridge, M, Johnson, C, Stoltzfus, J, 2003, ‘Leadership development at 3M: New process, new techniques, new growth’, Human Resource Planning, vol. 6, no. 3, pp.45- 55.
Bass, B.M. (1985), Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations, Free Press, New York.
Huges, R., Ginnett, R., Curphy G., (2012), Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience, 7th edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.
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