Poor Leadership as a Cause of Employee Turnover Essay

Introduction, poor interactions and relationships, poor leadership, negative personalities.

There are many reasons for the high rates of employee turnover in certain companies and industries. One of the major reasons is bad bosses. In that regard, there are three main classes of bosses that compel employees to quit. They include the bully boss, the micromanager boss, the workaholic boss, the by-the-numbers boss, and the divisive bosses (Adair 2010). Bad bosses increase employee turnover by lowering the motivation, morale, productivity, and performance of workers. They cause disengagement among employees, job dissatisfaction, and unwillingness to cooperate with other employees in the attainment of organisational goals and objectives (Branham 2012). The largest percentage of the people I Interviewed left because of bad bosses. The behaviours of their supervisors lowered their morale and caused pervasive dissatisfaction because of poor leadership, ineffective interactions and relationships, and negative personalities.

Some employees cited poor interactions ad relationships with their bosses as one of the reasons why they left their organizations. Interactions between employees and supervisors are critical because they determine the quality of communication and the responsiveness between the two parties (Adair 2010). According to the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, leaders develop different relationships with their employees (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012). In the out-group, relationships are primarily based on the need to fulfil contractual requirements and get the job done. In contrast, in-group relationships surpass the need to fulfil contractual obligations and incorporate symbiotic interactions that involve aspects such empowerment and mentoring (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012). Leader-employee relationships are usually formed after an employee joins an organisation.

The leader offers opportunities that are aimed at evaluating the performance of the employee. The outcomes determine the type of relationship the leader forms with the employee. The LMX theory suggests that the leadership making process should include fair and equal treatment of all employees (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012). It is important for leaders to create strong relationships with their subordinates based on trust and honesty. Such relationships lead to the creation of strong teams that work together to achieve organisational goals (Adair 2010). In contrast, out-group relationships favour certain employees and discriminate against others thus resulting in a divisive workforce that exhibits low performance and productivity.

Some employees agreed that poor relationships with their bosses originated from actions such as bullying, humiliation, intimidation, ineffective communication, and over management. Certain employees dealt with bosses who played favourites and as a result caused divisions among employees. Some employees were given more responsibilities and duties while others were not. Opportunities for growth and development were given selectively by the supervisors. Equitable assignment of roles and responsibilities as well as formation of high-quality relationships between bosses and employees is important in preventing employee turnover and increasing employee motivation and job satisfaction (Branham 2012). Certain bosses were detached and spent very little assisting employees address the various issues they faced in their jobs.

The quality of leadership exhibited by leaders determines the level of employee motivation and job satisfaction (Branham 2012). Leaders adopt different styles depending on their personality traits, competencies, and experiences. Many employees said that they left their jobs because their bosses exhibited poor leadership that excluded them in decision making and that did not value their commitment and hard work. According to the normative decision model, leaders use three main approaches during decision making. These approaches include autocratic processes, consultative processes, and group processes (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012). Many employees cited the use of autocratic processes by heir leaders during decision making. Autocratic processes involve the collection of information from employees by the leader and its subsequent utilization to make decisions without the involvement of employees (Pless & Maak 2012).

In many cases, leaders do not tell their employees the reasons for collecting certain information. Exclusion of employees from the decision-making process causes dissatisfaction and low morale because consultative and group processes involve the contributions of employees to varying degrees (Branham 2012). In the consultative process, the boss shares the problem with employees and asks for their individual opinions. The decision may or may not reflect the contributions of employees. On the other hand, group process involves the active participation of employees (Pless & Maak 2012). The boss only acts as the coordinator of the discussion that employees participate in to generate solutions to specific problems.

Many employees agreed that they left their jobs because their bosses did not involve them in decision making processes even in situations that had direct effect on their jobs and wellbeing. Certain employees stated that exclusion from decision making made them feel unvalued by their organisation. Employee participation allows bosses to leverage human resources by utilizing the varied skills and experiences possessed by employees (Branham 2012). On the other hand, employees feel that they are valued and respected by their organisation. As a result, they become more committed to their work and perform better. In addition, they become highly motivated because they feel in control of their jobs and careers. It is important for leaders to give employees opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way towards the attainment of organisational goals (Pless & Maak 2012).

Active participation increase motivation, job satisfaction, performance, productivity, and lowers employee turnover (Ikor 2012). It is critical for bosses to make employees feel that their jobs have great impacts toward the growth and development of their organisations. Good leaders allow employees to participate in organisational decision making in order to develop their individual decision-making skills (Sandler 2003). Studies have shown that organisations that involve employees in decision making reported higher rates of decision acceptance among employees than in organisations that exclude them (Ikor 2012). In addition, they report higher quality of decisions due to the incorporation of creative and innovative ideas from different employees.

Another reason that compelled employees to quit their jobs was the personalities exhibited by their bosses and their effects on their jobs. The personalities of leaders determine how they communicate and interact with their subordinate as well as how they treat them (Ikor 2012). Some employees stated that their bosses had bad attitudes and personalities that affected how the communicated and interacted. Certain bosses were supportive and relationship-oriented. On the other hand, others were critical, non supportive, and goal-oriented. Employees who quit cited the latter situation as the cause of their departure from their organisations. According to the contingency model, leaders posses dominant behavioural tendencies that determine how they relate with different employees (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012).

These tendencies are critical to the success of leaders because they are either effective or ineffective in various situations. Relationship-oriented leaders focus on developing good relationships with all their employees because good interactions improve task performance and employee morale (Branham 2012). On the other hand, good relationships enhance the quality of communication between leaders and their subordinates. Poor leaders focus on the achievement of organisational goals and ignore the importance of good leader-follower relationships (Ikor 2012). As a result, they focus on procedures and processes and ignore employee welfare. Employees who encountered this problem stated that the effects of negative personalities in their bosses included increased work-related stress, low performance, absenteeism, low morale due to pervasive negative feedback, and miscommunication.

They found it difficult to talk to their bosses about changes that they experienced while fulfilling their duties. This breakdown of communication led to low quality wok because employees got stuck and could not ask for support from their bosses. In the long term, they lost interest in their jobs because they were no longer motivated to work hard, innovate, and generate creative ideas that could improve their output. Their bosses were not interested in their opinions because they looked at them as mere subordinates whose responsibility was to work and make money for their organisations.

The negative exhibited by leaders also resulted in poor relationships that led to the development of negative attitudes by employees. According to contingency theory, situational favourability is an important aspect that leaders should put into consideration when dealing with employees (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012). Leader-follower relations are critical in determining the favourability of different situations. Cooperation between leaders and their subordinates leads to development of loyalty and trust (Ikor 2012). In contrasts, antagonism between leaders and employees leads to mistrust and lack of loyalty. The employees that left their jobs stated that their bosses were highly critical, unfriendly, and exercised their power over them inappropriately.

The long-term effects of their bosses’ behaviours include lack of loyalty and respect, poor decision making, lack of cooperation, and low performance. The employees did not get any satisfaction from doing their jobs because they were not appreciated and the negative feedback given by their bosses discouraged them and lowered their morale. Good leaders use different styles in dealing with different employees and situations (Branham 2012). They are flexible in the application of their leadership styles. Flexible leaders are more acceptable to employees because modern work environments are dynamic and therefore require constant adjustment to change. According to path-goal theory, there are four leader behaviours namely directive leadership, supportive leadership, participative leadership, and achievement leadership (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2012).

Great leaders incorporate different aspects of these behaviours in their leadership. The theory also suggests that there are two classes of follower variables namely follower satisfaction and follower perception of their capabilities sin relation to their jobs. Employees support leaders whose actions increase their satisfaction with their jobs (Ikor 2012). Leaders who give employees freedom to make decisions and who offer positive feedback increase their employees’ levels of satisfaction because they make them feel in control of their jobs and careers (Sandler 2003).

Many employees leave their jobs because of bad bosses. I interviewed several employees who had left their jobs because of bad bosses and collected information regarding their reasons for leaving. The reasons why they left included poor interactions and relationships, poor leadership, and negative personalities. Their bosses treated the unfairly, looked down on them, offered negative feedback that affected their morale, and exclude the in decision making processes. Their participation in matters that affected their jobs and wellbeing was limited and their bosses made all decisions without contacting them. This led to high levels of dissatisfaction with their jobs because they did not feel valued by their organisations. In addition, they felt that their commitment and hard work was not contributing to the attainment of organisational goals and objectives in a meaningful way.

Adair, J 2010, Strategic Leadership: How to Think and Plan Strategically and Provide Direction , Kogan Publishers, New York.

Branham, L 2012, The 7 Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It’s Too Late , AMACOM Div American Management Association, New York.

Hughes, RL, Ginnett, RC, & Curphy, GJ 2012, Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience , McGraw Hill/Irwin, New York.

Ikor, F 2012, Leadership Styles and Employee Performance: The Impact of Leadership Styles on Employee Performance , Lap Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH KG, new York.

Pless, NM, & Maak, T 2012, Responsible Leadership , Springer Science & Business Media.

Sandler, P 2003, Leadership , Kogan Page Publishers, New York.

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Leadership Essay

27 August, 2020

12 minutes read

Author:  Richard Pircher

As a college student, you must write essays on a regular basis since the latter is one of the most common types of home assignments. All this means is that in order to get good grades and be successful with writing the papers, you need to have a sound understanding of the structure. Additionally, what you should never neglect is the variety of essay types. Indeed, your essay will significantly differ from one type to another: description essay will most likely have a structure that is slightly different from an argumentative one.

Leadership Essays

What you may have already encountered in your academic life is the work on a leadership essay. Although it sounds pretty complicated and vague, it is mostly possible to master an essay on leadership. Below is a guide for you to get an insight into this particular essay type.

What is a good leadership essay?

A good leadership essay is the one in which the essay writer has fully covered the topic of leadership and understood its core ideas. More specifically, to end up with a flawless leadership essay, you will need to indicate what makes a person a good leader. For achieving the latter, you will most likely need to conduct research and trace how a particular person reaches his or her goals. In other words, the task is to discover which actions the person undertakes, what their followers say about him or her, and how the person organizes the work. So, a leadership essay implies providing real-life success examples and further revealing them.

Above all, a good leadership essay is the one that follows a precise, clear, comprehensive structure. Structuring your essay about leadership in the most coherent way leads to a win-win situation: you have fewer troubles and barriers to writing a brilliant essay, and your teacher is able to comprehend the essay easily. This guide is what you will need to refer to to get an insight into how the flawless structure for a leadership essay looks like and how it will let you take a benefit.

How to write a Leadership essay?

To write a leadership essay that stands out, you first need to brainstorm all the ideas that you have and come up with a topic for your essay. If you are struggling with this step, you may think of some of the most influential people, read about them, and find out what makes them unique. Or, you can pick any topic which is mentioned at the end of this article. After you have chosen an issue, it is time to structure your essay appropriately.

how to write a leadership essay example

As you already know, an essay constitutes three essential sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion. Below is the more detailed description of each of the parts.


Of course, your leadership essay introduction will always vary depending on the topic of the essay. However, you can always begin by stating your vision of leadership regardless of the topic. Additionally, to motivate the reader and instantly catch his or her attention, you may use a quote of a famous leader, or simply a quote which you find relevant to the topic. Be aware that you should avoid outlining the essence and the role of the leadership in your introduction; leave it for the body paragraphs.

What you may also do in your leadership essay is ask a question, which will most likely intrigue the leader. Or it will at least give your reader an overview of what you will dwell on  in your essay.

Body Paragraphs

You will need to divide the main body into 3-5 paragraphs to make the structure more comprehensive. What you have to do at this point  is  give your reader a sound understanding of your ideas. Therefore, try to fit each idea in a single body paragraph so that you do not confuse your reader. Do not hesitate to indicate your examples to strengthen your arguments. For instance, you may explain a fact that makes a particular person you are writing about a real leader.

Also, always stick to your thesis statement and don’t forget that the body paragraphs should reveal the parts of your thesis statement.

As you may already know, you need to restate your opinion and briefly summarize all the points from the main body in conclusion. For instance, if you wrote your essay on qualities of an effective leader, state the most fundamental qualities and indicate why they matter the most. Besides, try not to copy what you have already written in the body – it is better to restate your opinion using different words. And, of course, beware adding any new and extra information; indicate only those points that you have already outlined in the text. Finally, keep in mind that it is always favorable to keep your concluding remarks short.

leadership essay

Leadership Essay Examples

Writing a leadership essay requires some research and time. In case you feel the necessity to go through an essay example, below is a leadership essay sample you can refer to.

Is leadership an inborn or an acquired feature?

Is everyone capable of becoming a leader, or is this ability innate? A lot of researchers have been struggling to answer this question. One assumption about leadership implies that the leader is the person who possesses particular characteristics. Another assumption claims that leaders are capable of acquiring specific features over their life span. As the evidence shows, leaders own many features that distinguish them among others and make more and more people become their followers. These might be cognitive abilities, psychological traits, professional qualities, and a lot more, and all of them will be either acquired or innate. Based on the importance of leadership qualities, such as commitment, stress resistance, and the ability to make quality decisions, it is reasonable to claim that leaders are made, not born. 

One can deem commitment as one of the top fundamental qualities of the leader. In essence, such a feature indicates that a person is passionate about the common goal, strives to be a team player, and makes every effort to reach a shared goal. As the history shows, none of the successful companies was uncoordinated by an influential, committed leader: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft – all of these companies are examples of dominant teams led by a dedicated leader. A committed leader also inspires his or her team to achieve common goals and put more effort into the shared activity. Besides, commitment is unlikely to be an innate feature; it instead comes with experience. This is so, since commitment implies dedicating oneself to the shared task, and one can reach it only via learning and continuous self-improvement.

Stress resistance is another incredibly important feature that every good leader should possess. This is because only a stress-resistant leader has sufficient capabilities to overcome any complexity and not let the anxiety and stress prevent him or her from making proper decisions. Besides, such a leader will most likely have a positive influence on the team, as long as leading by example will motivate the team members to attain the same emotional stability. What is so far familiar about stress resistance as an effective leader’s feature is that it can be either innate or attained. However, although some researchers admit that emotional stability is something one is born with, it is not entirely true; many people still put a great effort into self-improvement, changing the attitude to unfortunate situations, and so on. Therefore, being resistant to stress can be mostly attributed to a personality.

An ability to make high-quality decisions most likely determines the chances for an enterprise’s success. In particular, such quality is incredibly fundamental for a company of any size and professional orientation. Additionally, it is one of the top tasks of a good leader to make final decisions. What he or she should do implies brainstorming, discussing various opinions in the group, making forecasts, analyzing all the pros and cons. However, the leader is the one to make a final decision. Thereby, he is in charge of researching the market, discovering all the hidden truths, and analyzing the organization’s potential and capabilities to result in the most effective decision. As it flows logically from the latter, an ability to make sound quality decisions is purely a professional quality. This leads to the conclusion that one has to work hard to become a genuine leader and master the skill of making effective decisions. 

Overall, the leader may possess a multitude of different skills and master them perfectly. However, what has so far become transparent is that any leader, regardless of which team he leads, must possess three essential qualities. These qualities are commitment to the common goal, ability to handle and resist stress, and, finally, an ability to make effective decisions. All of the three qualities are most likely to be acquired over a lifetime. The statement below leads to the conclusion that even though some qualities can be innate, most are not the ones that leaders are born with. Hence, this answers an essential question: leadership feature is acquired, and not necessarily inborn.  

20 leadership essay topics

When coming up with your next leadership essay topic, it is imperative to brainstorm ideas and think of what leadership might be related to. If you are struggling with a topic of the importance of leadership essay or any relevant type of essay, you may quickly take a look at some of the possible topics we prepared for you:

  • What are the main qualities of the leader?
  • Successful Time Management as a feature of an effective leader
  • The role that rhetoric plays in leadership
  • The most exceptional leader in the history of the 20-th century
  • The role of female leadership
  • What are the challenges of the leader of the 21-st century?
  • How college helps students develop leadership skills?
  • Qualities of the leader that motivate people to follow them 
  • Top things to avoid doing to become a team leader
  • Examples of effective and ineffective leadership in the history
  • Top techniques for developing leadership skills
  • The interconnection of creativity and leadership 
  • Is a university’s role fundamental in developing leadership skills?
  • Dictatorship as an anti-example of leadership
  • Liberal vs Authoritative leadership: which one works better?
  • The influence of the leader’s role model on the followers’ mindset
  • Main difficulties that the new leader may face in a new team
  • Leadership of today vs leadership of the past: what has changed?
  • Reasons why I want to become a member if the leadership program
  • The role of cognitive abilities for the leader 

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Essays About Effective Leadership: Top 6 Examples and Prompts

Effective leadership is an essential trait that all people should strive to develop; here are 6 examples and topic ideas essays about effective leadership .

Many qualities make an inspiring and effective leader, such as vision, focus, and motivation. Like other skills, effective leadership can be innate or learned and practiced. When writing about leadership, include the strengths of an effective leader and how these qualities positively impact their team. You can also discuss weaknesses that can make a poor leader and how to combat these issues.

Here are 6 examples and 10 essay prompts to get you started on your next essay.

1. What Makes an Effective Leader? by Tony Gill

2. a guide to becoming an effective leader by yashi srivastava , 3. leadership: 5 practices of effective leaders by yvette gyles, 4. 6 characteristics of an effective leader by lauren landry, 5. six leadership lessons by order of the peaky blinders by andrew denton mbe, 6. leadership and the quest for certainty by keith grint,  1. what is effective leadership, 2. what does effective leadership look like in the corporate industry, 3. what to avoid to become an effective leader, 4. habits of an effective leader, 5. studying the mindsets of effective leaders, 6. effective leadership and its benefits to an organization, 7. indicators of strong and effective leadership, 8. poor leadership vs. effective leadership, 9. real-life examples of effective leadership, 10. how perception creates effective leadership.

“Work at using leadership styles that do not come naturally, styles that you find difficult. By becoming a well-rounded leader, it is easier to adapt your leadership technique for different situations.”

Gill uses a research-based approach to answer the central question of his essay. He looks at various sources that tackle the topic of effective leadership and stitch them together to make a comprehensive guide to effective leadership.

“Leadership is not a mystical quality, and anyone can become a more effective leader by developing some important skills.”

The author, Yashi Srivastava, defines what differentiates leaders from managers first. Then, she provides some dos and don’ts of an effective leader and how people could apply them in different situations. 

“Whereas as leaders, we need to be concerned about creativity and innovation, making positive changes, and seeking to challenge and push boundaries.”

Gyles specializes in leadership training for companies, so her approach to the essay is geared more toward company leaders. Nevertheless, it’s highly educational for all those interested in learning effective leadership meant for dealing with various people and guiding people to a direction or goal.

“Effective leaders don’t avoid the hard truths. Instead, they take responsibility for their decisions, maintain optimism, and focus on charting a new course of action.”

Landry’s essay focuses on her six top characteristics of an effective leader. Some of these characteristics are what you’d expect to see in an essay like this. Entries like transparency are less common but equally important in practicing effective leadership.

“Rolling your sleeves up with everyone else not only sets an example, it makes people want to follow you.”

Fiction mirrors life, and it’s one of the best sources to learn lessons that are otherwise too complex or vague to see in real life. Despite his penchant for crime and violence, Thomas Shelby is undeniably one of the most influential leaders on TV. This essay details the leadership skills used by a 1920s gangster character and how you can use them in modern life to become an effective and inspiring leader.

“Leadership is often associated with certainty; indeed, it is sometimes reduced to the decision-making process such that anything which smacks of uncertainty is categorized as weakness or a failure of leadership.”  

Grint’s essay on leadership explores the factors around leaders’ certainty or confidence. Of course, not all leaders have a clear answer to a problem, which is fine. The important thing is that they have a mindset to look for solutions and a modicum of honesty about their lack of uncertainty.

10 Essay Prompts on Effective Leadership

It’s your turn to express and explore your view of effective leadership. Use these prompts to work out your approach or steps to effective leadership. Here are ten prompts about effective leadership to help you get started on your essay.

Defining effective leadership is one way to explore your understanding of the idea. Remember that your definition of effective leadership could vastly differ from the other essays you’ve read. It’s also a great starting point for new people who want to warm up to the habit of writing essays about leadership.

Essay writing tip: If you’re new to writing essays, consider simplifying your essay. Try shortening it down to a five-paragraph essay .

Essays about effective leadership prompts: What does effective leadership look like in the corporate industry?

You can find many leaders in the corporate industry, but some are more effective than others. Use this prompt to work out how you envision effective leadership in the corporate world. You can also apply the same idea to other fields, like at school, among friends or peer groups, or in the family. Consider carefully the field or organization you’d like to use for the essay.

You may have personal experience with a person who could have been an effective leader if not for their bad habits. You might have been that person and realized how your bad habits had held you back from practicing effective leadership. This is your chance to write about your experience, whether via observing someone else or through personal growth.

Practicing effective leadership goes beyond having direction and a vision for the organization. Becoming an effective leader also takes time and patience. Use this prompt to discuss the habits of great leaders and how these habits make them effective in their leadership.

Get into the mind of a leader and explore how such a person might become more effective in their leadership. This topic may involve discussing various people, whether real-life persons or fictional characters. Research how they think, handle their role and manage the people they lead.

Understanding the benefits of effective leadership is one of the best ways to drive someone to practice and adopt it. Use this prompt to detail how an effective leader boosts morale, productivity, motivation, communication quality, and confidence in the people they lead. It applies to all organizations, like businesses, teams, and networks.

How do you know whether a person’s leadership style and approach are effective or not? Use this essay topic to discover the different methods of measuring effective leadership. Read about the different measurements and indicators of leadership used in corporations and organizations.

Leaders can be good, mediocre, or bad in their leadership approaches and styles. This essay prompt will push you to compare bad leadership and effective leadership. You can also add methods of improving one’s leadership style to become more effective.

You can find a lot of excellent leaders throughout history. This idea focuses on discussing different leaders, their leadership styles, and levels of effectiveness.

Interpersonal skills are vital to great leadership. Perception of others’ feelings and thoughts can help you become an even better and more effective leader. Discuss how intuitiveness positively affects one’s leadership style. 

Check out our list of great essay writing topics for students for more topics to improve your writing.

essay about poor leadership

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Anyone Can Learn to Be a Better Leader

  • Monique Valcour

essay about poor leadership

You just have to put in the work.

Occupying a leadership position is not the same thing as leading. To lead, you must be able to connect, motivate, and inspire a sense of ownership of shared objectives. Heightening your capacity to lead others requires being able to see how you think and act, and how your behavior affects others. Leading well requires a continuous journey of personal development. Yet people in leadership roles often eschew the long and challenging work of deepening self-insight in favor of chasing after management “tools”— preferably the “quick ’n’ easy” kind, such as personality type assessments that reduce employees to a few simplistic behavioral tendencies. Tools can be handy aids to good leadership. But none of them can take the place of fearless introspection, feedback seeking, and committed efforts to behavioral change for greater effectiveness and increased positive impact on others.

When you’re an individual contributor, your ability to use your technical expertise to deliver results is paramount. Once you’ve advanced into a leadership role, however, the toolkit that you relied on to deliver individual results rarely equips you to succeed through others. Beware of falling into the logical trap of “if I can do this work well, I should be able to lead a team of people who do this work.” This would be true if leading others were akin to operating a more powerful version of the same machinery you operated previously. But it’s not; machinery doesn’t perform better or worse based on what it thinks about you and how you make it feel, while humans do .

essay about poor leadership

  • MV Monique Valcour is an executive coach, keynote speaker, and management professor. She helps clients create and sustain fulfilling and high-performance jobs, careers, workplaces, and lives. moniquevalcour

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Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations

Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations

Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations

Head of Executive Assessment

Personnel research psychologist

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Leadership impacts the lives of billions of people around the world. In healthy organizations, leadership is a productive force that inspires cooperation and builds cultures that give people meaning and purpose in their lives. In dysfunctional organizations, in contrast, leadership can perpetuate the misery of thousands of people by being the primary source of low morale, disengagement, enduring stress, stress-associated health problems, and poor organizational results. The history of the world is the history of tyrannical leadership, usually in the form of dictatorships, and the future of organizational life depends on a deep understanding of the causes and consequences of dysfunction and strategies for mitigating its deleterious effects. Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations brings together the foremost experts on the dark side of leadership to offer groundbreaking insights to leaders, talent management professionals, and psychologists who work in organizations. The goal is to confront reality head on, to shed the idea that leadership is always good, and to increase our understanding of the perils of dysfunctional leadership. With this knowledge, readers are well positioned to improve their own leadership style, consult with organizations to ameliorate abusive and dysfunctional leadership, hold bad actors accountable, and unleash good leadership around the world. This comprehensive book represents an ideal one-stop shop for talent management professionals, psychologists in the workplace, and students of leadership.

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Best Leadership Essay Examples

Poor leadership and the problems it causes.

1091 words | 4 page(s)

The ability to run an organization begins with the ability of the leadership team to actually lead the organization to success. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. The biggest differentiating factor between leaders is the strategy that they use to actually lead a group of people or team. However, one fact remains the same, if a leader does not encompass the ability to lead and inspire others the results will be disastrous for business organizations. There are many internal causes for poor leadership within a business. It is all in how the business handles those causes that helps bring the business up on top.

One of the internal causes of poor leadership within a business is lack of character. Without the ability to have strong character traits that include ethics, a leader lacks the ability to lead with trust, confidence in their skills as a leader, and loyalty that is critical from employees. It is important to remember that a leader represents the team as a whole. So, when a leader lacks the character to bring the team in a positive light, the whole team suffers.

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Another internal cause of poor leadership is lack of vision. The leader of a brand must be able to accurately, and efficiently, define and explain the vision for the organization. When a vision is lacking that clear definition and communication to the workers of the organization the executive leadership will end up having issues of compliance within the organization. Even more so, without a vision a business cannot strive towards developed strategies or targets. The lack of vision can also lead to poor branding. With poor branding, it is a reflection of the leadership team because that shows that the leadership of the organization did not take the time necessary to spread the vision to all workers and ensure that they understood what the company is striving for.

When looking at lack of execution, poor leadership is almost synonymous. When someone is in a leadership position, they must be able to follow through with their commitments and execute them to the level necessary to showcase efficiency. When employing leadership in execution, it is key to remember that leadership focuses on using the required tools to solidify that the largest of errors are correctly manage and the largest of opportunities are taken advantage of to avoid failure. Then, on top of poor execution, if the organization has a flawed strategy to begin with there is already a weakness evident within the leadership.

The foundation of an organization is built off of proper management skills, which usually stems from the human resources department. The human resources department typically handles all of the recruiting, training, retaining employees, and ensuring that everyone is completing their job correctly. So, if human resources, or a manager in charge, is failing to correct those mistakes that are detrimental to the company, how is the company supposed to grow in the face of negativity? With lack of proper management skills, the organization may start to breed a toxic culture within the work environment. When looking at businesses, the core to building a productive environment is to keep the culture positive. The leaders of the business must be able to identify those people, or team members, that are creating that negative environment and talk to them or decided whether or not to keep them on the team. It is also important to determine if actual cultures coming from prospective employee’s backgrounds will work well together.

When examining poor leadership it is also important to look at what type of advice is being provided to the leaders and team members of the business. It is key for leaders to recognize that they are not the expert, or end all be all, to an organization. As a leader, one must always be willing to learn and accept constructive criticism. When a leader shuts off outside input, they are shutting off their ability to grow as leaders. Just as well, as a leader, it is one’s ability to reach down the ladder and pull those below them up to their level in order to help others grow. Many times, especially when one reaches a CEO Positon, they forget that they once were at the bottom of the organization. Also, the higher the rank, the more likely the leader tends to forget how important every person is to the success of the organization. As a leader, it is important to recognize every link that comprises the anchor that holds the organization down and stabilized. Without doing so, team members begin to feel devalued and like they are not appreciated with all of the work that they accomplish. With that type of attitude, team members will be less likely to put their full effort into helping the business maintain their progress and potentially grow into something bigger than itself.

When running a business with several employees, it is important to delegate the work equally amongst everyone. As a leader, one does not want one employee to feel more overwhelmed than the employee sitting next to him or her. With this type of work environment, it can create uncalled for overtime and overworking of each team member. Again, this leads to an employee feeling underappreciated, and ultimately, like they are not a vital part of the business.

Each component mentioned above touches on an aspect that calls for poor leadership effecting a business negatively. Without proper leadership in a business, it is evident that a business will not be able to run properly. When looking at a business, it can be viewed as a machine. Without all of the working parts, the machine does not run well or in some cases at all. Then, the machine needs continuous oiling to keep it running smoothly. The actual machine is the leader of the business. The parts of the machine signify the team members, the employees and their importance to the proper workings of a business. The oil is the organizations ability to keep building on current employee’s skills that make the business what it is, in addition to, bringing new people on board to keep the company growing in a positive direction. The act of leadership can tricky. Some people have the ability to lead others while other people would rather follow. It is up to the business to identify the leaders with excellent leadership and find jobs that suit those people with poor leadership skills. Without doing so, the business runs the risk of falling apart.

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Leadership Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on leadership.

First of all, Leadership refers to the quality of leading people. Probably, it is one of the most important aspects of life. Above all, Leadership has led to the progress of human civilization . Without good Leadership, no organization or group can succeed. Furthermore, not everyone has this quality. This is because effective Leadership requires certain important characteristics.

Leadership Essay

Qualities of a Good Leader

First of all, confidence is the most quality. A leader must have strong self-confidence. A person lacking in confidence can never be a good leader. A person must be confident enough to ensure others follow him. The leader must have confidence in his decisions and actions. If he is unsure, then how can people have the desire to follow him.

A good leader must certainly inspire others. A leader must be a role model for his followers. Furthermore, he must motivate them whenever possible. Also, in difficult situations, a leader must not lose hope. How can a leader inspire people if he himself is hopeless?

Honesty is another notable quality of a leader. Honesty and Integrity are important to earn the love of followers. Above all, honesty is essential to win the trust of the people. Probably, every Leadership which loses trust is bound to fail. People will not work with full effort due to an immoral leader.

Good communication is a must for a good leader. This is because poor communication means the wrong message to followers. Furthermore, good communication will increase the rate of work. Also, the chances of mistakes by followers will reduce.

Another important quality is decision making. Above all, if a leader makes poor decisions then other qualities will not matter. Furthermore, good decision making ensures the success of the entire group. If the leader makes poor decisions, then the efforts of followers won’t matter.

A good leader must be an excellent innovator. He must display a creative attitude in his work. Most noteworthy, innovation is a guarantee of survival of a group or innovation. Without creative thinking, progress is not possible.

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Real-Life Examples of Good Leadership

Mahatma Gandhi was an excellent example of a good leader. He was a staunch believer in non-violence. With his brilliant Leadership skills, he made the British leave India. Probably, this was the most unique independence struggle. This is because Gandhi got freedom without any violence.

Abraham Lincoln was another notable leader. Most noteworthy, he ended the slavery system in the United States. Consequently, he made many enemies. However, he was a man of massive self-confidence. His struggle against slavery certainly became an inspiration.

Sir Winston Churchill was a great patriotic Englishman. Most noteworthy, he led Britain in the 2nd World War. Furthermore, he was extremely inspirational. He inspired Britain to fight against Nazi Germany. His great communication motivated the entire country at a time of hopelessness.

To conclude, Leadership is required in probably every sphere of life. Good leadership is the door to success. In contrast, bad leadership is a guarantee of failure. Consequently, good leaders are what make the world go round.

FAQs on Leadership

Q.1 Which is the most important quality for being a good leader? A.1 The most important quality for being a good leader is self-confidence.

Q.2 Why Sir Winston Churchill is a good leader? A.2 Sir Winston Churchill is a good leader because he inspired Britain to fight in 2nd World War. Furthermore, his excellent communication also raised the motivation of his people.

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Feb 15, 2023

Essays on Leadership for Students | 200 - 500 Word Essays

Are you writing an essay about leadership? Check out these examples!

Leadership is often defined as "the action of inspiring others to act in concert to achieve a particular goal." It signifies the harmony in actions that lead to a common objective. A genuine leader not only exudes confidence but also paves the way for their followers towards triumph. Over the years, various leadership styles have been identified and discussed by psychologists.

 Qualities such as intelligence, adaptability, extroversion, innate self-awareness, and social competence often emerge as the hallmarks of impactful leaders. There's a consensus that these traits mold an individual into an effective leader. Interestingly, some theories suggest that extraordinary situations can thrust an ordinary individual into the spotlight, bestowing upon them the mantle of leadership. It's also believed that leadership isn't a static trait but an evolving journey. It underscores the belief that with dedication and the right resources, anyone can hone their leadership abilities.

 True leadership goes beyond merely advocating for a cause. It involves taking responsibility, igniting motivation in others, and differentiating oneself from just being a 'boss'. A leader's essence lies in their ability to inspire and propel people towards grand visions, whereas a manager typically focuses on oversight and operational aspects.

What Is a Leadership Essay?

A leadership essay falls under the category of student application essays and serves to provide student admissions officers with insight into your past leadership experiences. Despite appearing to be very specific, this type of essay acknowledges that the nature and perception of leadership can vary significantly depending on the individual and the context.

 If you find yourself in need of further insights or a unique angle for your leadership essay, consider exploring an expert essay-writing tool designed to assist students in crafting compelling narratives by analyzing vast data and generating fresh ideas within minutes. In this article, we'll also delve into various leadership essay examples to offer a clearer understanding of the genre and inspire your writing journey.

4 Examples of Leadership Essays

Qualities of a good leader, introduction.

Confidence is the most important attribute first of all. One of the most important qualities in a leader is confidence in one's own abilities. A lack of self-assurance is fatal to a person's leadership potential. If you want others to follow you, you need to exude self-assurance. It's imperative for a leader to have faith in his own judgment and actions. How can people want to follow him if he doesn't even know what he's doing?

Every effective leader knows that they need to be an inspiration to their followers. A leader needs to set an example for his team. In addition, he ought to inspire them whenever feasible. A leader must also maintain optimism in trying times.

What qualities a good leader must have?

Leadership is the ability to influence and guide individuals or groups toward a common goal. A leader must possess several qualities to be effective, including:

Communication skills: A leader must be able to communicate their vision and goals clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. This requires excellent listening skills, empathy, and the ability to adapt to different communication styles.

Emotional intelligence: A leader must be able to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of their team members. This includes being able to understand and respond to the emotions of others, and handling conflicts in a constructive manner.

Visionary: A leader must have a clear and inspiring vision of the future, and be able to articulate this vision in a way that motivates others to work towards it.

Strategic thinking: A leader must be able to think critically and creatively to identify and solve problems, make decisions, and develop plans and strategies to achieve their goals.

Flexibility: A leader must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and be open to new ideas and perspectives. This requires the ability to embrace change, be innovative, and continuously learn and grow.

Integrity: A leader must have strong ethics and values, and be willing to make difficult decisions that are consistent with their beliefs. This requires honesty, transparency, and accountability.

Decisiveness: A leader must be able to make tough decisions quickly, without undue hesitation or procrastination. This requires courage and the ability to take calculated risks.

Empowerment: A leader must be able to delegate responsibilities, give team members the resources they need to succeed, and foster a sense of ownership and accountability among their team.


These qualities are essential for effective leadership, and when combined with hard work, determination, and a commitment to excellence, can help leaders to achieve great things.

How one can be a Great Leader?

Leadership is the act of performing the duties of a leader. In the business world, for instance, it is essential to have someone in charge of a team to ensure everything runs well. Effective leadership is essential for any group that wants to maximize its prospects of success.

Leadership Comes from Experience

As we've shown, leadership can be innate in some cases but is more often learned through practice and exposure. Sometimes the best traits of a leader must be learned over a lengthy period of time, so that one can become a notable one, proving that leadership is not always about a person's innate qualities. Leaders should continuously be on the lookout for opportunities to grow their leadership skills.

Nobody can disagree that experience is a key component of leadership. Numerous examples exist to back up this claim, such as:

Instance 1:

Our school's head boy or girl has traditionally been an older student who has been around for a while and thus has a better grasp of the ins and outs of school politics.

Instance 2:

When there is a vacancy for a team leader, it is common practice for the employee who has consistently put in the most effort and attention to the office job to receive a higher number of votes than their coworkers. 

“The best teacher for a leader is evaluated experience.” - John C. Maxwell

How one can be a Great Leader/Skills to be a Great Leader?

Effective leadership is a skill that develops through time. Developing into a leader with all the qualities that are needed takes a lot of hard work and potential. Being a prominent leader calls for a wide variety of traits. Some of these characteristics are addressed in further detail below:

One should be a Good Communicator

To be an effective leader, one must be able to convey his thoughts clearly to his/her/its subordinates.

Should have Confidence

The individual should have faith in what he says and does.

Give Credit to other Team Members too

A leader not only needs to impose his viewpoints and opinions instead he must also hear to the suggestions of other members of the team and offer them credit if their concept is appropriate.

Good Bond with the Team

A leader's ability to command respect from his team members depends on his ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with them.

Leads with Responsibility

A leader needs to be completely committed to his position. It's important that he takes on responsibility so that he can effectively deal with the various challenges he will inevitably face.

Any group or organization needs a leader above all else. Leadership development takes time and effort. One needs to have lived through a lot to be an effective leader. It's not enough to simply have years of experience in the field; one must also have the traits that make one an effective leader. You can't be a great leader unless you possess certain traits.

What makes a Good Leader?

Trying one's hand as a leader appears easy when viewed through this lens. Is that so tough? Of course not; leading is difficult, and not everyone aspires to be a leader. The vast majority of us have settled into well-established careers where we report to superiors and make a living. Still, not everyone is content to go along with the crowd. They become leaders in whatever field they pursue. A leader is an example to followers and will prioritize the needs of those around them.

Some Unique Qualities of a Leader

Many individuals resort to their leaders to vent their frustrations, therefore it's important for them to be good listeners.

A leader ought to be completely forthright; they can't play favorites or give anyone preferential treatment. One of the most essential qualities of a strong leader is the ability to make decisions with integrity.

They need to be aware of the bigger picture and understand what makes an individual stand out or become a leader. It's their expertise in addition to other distinguishing traits. Their awareness of current events and the results of recent studies is essential. In many ways, this is helpful, and it's the leader's responsibility to stay current.

Since some might not understand them, they should utilize straightforward, easily comprehended language. Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively at all times. In reality, what sets them apart is their exceptional communication skills. Adolf Hitler was such a gifted orator that his followers believed every word he said.

No matter how you're feeling or what's going on in the world, if you listen to a leader, they may make you feel energized. Since leaders are in charge of inspiring confidence in their followers, they can't afford to be wary or unsure of themselves. People tend to blindly follow their leaders.

Whether you're a leader or a doctor, you should devote yourself completely to your chosen field. Everything we do is for the benefit of others; engineers, for example, spend much of their time designing and constructing buildings for other people. So, take pride in what you do, and if you possess the aforementioned traits, you are also a leader who doesn't have to rely on others to succeed. No matter what you do, aspiring to leadership positions will always benefit others.

What is Leadership in Management and what are the weaknesses and strengths of a Leader?

Simply said, leadership is acting as a supervisor or manager of a group. Different mental pictures pop up when we hear the word "leadership" used in conversation. One might think of a political leader, team leader, corporate leader, school leader, etc. Leaders facilitate order and efficiency in the workplace. Teamwork and success are fundamental to effective leadership. Leaders utilize their managerial abilities to establish courses and guide their teams to success.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Leadership

Able to express oneself more clearly

Growth of character.


Possession of teamwork skills.

Gain assurance in yourself.


Acting favorably toward one's teammates.

Having no faith in the leader.

Thinks they're better than everyone else, but act hypocritically.

Not living up to the promised standard.

Insufficient morals.

Leadership and Management

Management and leadership are inextricably linked to one another. Leadership and management are both vital to the efficient operation of an organization; but, they accomplish very different things in the process. Leadership is a necessary skill for anyone aspiring to be an effective manager. The terms management and leadership are synonymous with one another. In this manner, we are able to draw the conclusion that a manager who demonstrates the traits of a successful leader is, in fact, a manager who is effective.

Leadership in School

Leadership is essential in nearly every group, as we've seen above. That group includes one's educational institution. Every school needs an outstanding figure to serve as its head of school. Class monitor, assembly captain, cultural leader, etc. are all examples of leadership roles that can be taken on at school, but this raises the question of what makes a person a successful school leader.

Any student hoping to be chosen as a student body leader will need to demonstrate a wide range of competencies. He or she needs to be a consistent student who pays attention in class and does well in extracurricular activities. For the simple reason that no intelligent and hardworking kid would ever be considered for leadership. Student leaders are most often selected from among those who participate fully in all activities.

Leadership in Organization

Leadership in an organization, also known as organizational leadership, is the process of establishing long-term objectives that further the company's mission and help it reach its ultimate destination. This is a classic illustration of how Bill Gates often works with his team: they agree on a strategy, and Gates implements it. To the same extent, it is the responsibility of the leader in each given organization to determine what it is that the group is trying to accomplish.

Leadership in Politics

Leadership in politics, also known as political leadership, is the process of becoming actively involved in a political party in the role of a party leader. Knowledge of political processes, their outcomes, and the political agenda is central to the idea of political leadership.

An effective leader can be developed in anyone who has the determination and drives to do so. Both the strengths and the areas for improvement should be nurtured. Whether in the classroom, the workplace, or the political arena, leadership is always necessary. Therefore, one can exercise leadership anywhere they like inside their own organization.

What are the types of Leadership?

The ability to lead is a rare trait that not everyone possesses. The ability to do so is a gift, so count your blessings if you possess it. It's recommended that you hone it even more so that you can propel your career forward and serve as an example to people around you. However, it is crucial to grasp the various leadership styles before you go ahead and polish your skills.

Types of Leadership Styles

Democratic Leadership

In this style of management, subordinates are given a voice in decision-making. Although the subordinates' efforts are highlighted, the leader is ultimately held responsible for the group's actions. Many people find this type of leadership to be effective.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders motivate and inspire others to adopt new behaviors and ways of thinking in order to improve their own performance and that of their teams and organizations. A transformational leader is someone who encourages their team to strive for greater things and works to boost morale and output.

Team Leadership

A good leader fully incorporates his team into the task at hand. Members of the team are motivated to reach their goals and advance in their careers thanks to the leadership of the group.

Strategic Leadership

It requires a chief executive who doesn't restrict himself to brainstorming sessions with his superiors. He contributes on every level of the team. He is well-liked for his ability to unite the need for fresh ideas with the necessity of grounding them in reality.

Autocratic Leadership

The leader in a command and control structure is the center of attention. The chief executive has absolute power in this setting. He decides things on his own, without polling his staff. He relays this information to his staff and stresses the importance of swift action. The buck stops with him, and he alone must answer for his actions. Not much room for negotiation exists. It's no secret that this method of leading has its detractors.

Visionary Leadership

This kind of leader appreciates the abilities and requirements of his team members. He describes his ideal outcome and the teamwork that will be necessary to attain it.

Coaching Leadership

Leaders who coach their teams do so regularly in an effort to raise output. He inspires his employees to do better and works to keep them motivated. This approach to leadership has been much praised.

Facilitative Leadership

With occasional guidance, a facilitative leader ensures that the process runs smoothly for his team. As a precaution in case his team is ineffective. If the team is highly effective, the leader will take a hands-off approach.

Cross-Cultural Leadership

The leadership of this type is necessary when interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds. Because of the wide variety of cultures represented in the workforce across the United States, many managers and executives hold cross-cultural positions.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

The members of the team are given responsibility in this style of management. They are free to choose how they spend their time at work, with minimal oversight from the boss. It's not a good way to lead, according to experts.

Transactional Leadership

An interactive approach is integral to this kind of leadership. When team members successfully implement their leader's ideas and choices, they are rewarded with immediate, material benefits.

Charismatic Leadership

In order to bring out the best in his followers, this kind of leader makes the effort to change their attitudes, values, and actions.

This article should dispel the notion that leadership qualities can't be further subdivided. It should also assist you in pinpointing your own personal brand of leadership so you can perfect it over time.

Final Words

In conclusion, leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept that involves various qualities and skills. Effective leaders possess traits such as integrity, vision, empathy, decisiveness, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. They are able to navigate challenges, make difficult decisions, and lead their team toward success. Leadership also involves continuous learning and self-improvement, as leaders must adapt to changing circumstances and remain relevant. Effective leadership can have a positive impact on both individuals and organizations, fostering growth and creating a culture of success.

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Effects of Poor Leadership

Introduction, leadership in an organizational context, annotated bibliography.

In the modern-day business environment, organizations are constantly forced to exhibit innovation and enhanced performance so as to remain relevant and profitable in an ever-increasingly competitive arena. The input of both the individuals and groups in the organization is invaluable to the achievement of organizational goals. Whereas the potential of groups and teams is monumental and crucial and as such indispensable to the organization, there comes a time when the fate of the organization may hang on the very shoulders of an individual.

This study shall be based on the argument that the dysfunction of leadership at the head of a company can bring a multimillion-dollar company to its knees. The study shall begin by giving a brief outlook of the environment in which leaders are to function. It shall then proceed to define the aspects that may make these leaders turn around the fate of the organization. A discussion articulating the conditions under which the person may fail in his attempts to impact the organization positively shall also be given. This shall be in an effort to elaborate that good leadership ability is mandatory for an organization to achieve maximum potential.

Management often refers to the effective and efficient utilization of resources that are available to an organization to achieve organizational goals and objectives. It involves planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the organization’s activities and resources. Leadership on the other hand most often refers to a process through which one person uses the help and support of others towards achieving a particular goal or task. In the article by Warren Bennis “The Leadership Advantage”, the author aims at highlighting the factors and characteristics that complement a good leader and consequently, effective leadership. He descriptively states that several core attributes make for a good leader. They include being a knowledgeable professional in the field of expertise, having a proven track record of achieving set goals and objectives, and the ability to motivate and delegate effectively. Leaders also ought to be able to cultivate and identify talent and exhibit sound judgment even under pressure (22).

Bennis further contends that the success of any organization depends mainly on the effectiveness and ability to inspire its leaders (20). Studies have it that the stock prices of well-led companies increased by over 900% in 10 years as opposed to a bare 74% growth recorded by those companies that lacked good leadership. This fact effectively underscores the importance of good leadership in any organization.

The article however does caution that a leader is deemed worthless if he lacks the backing and support of a team. It is therefore important that all leaders work towards cultivating and generating intellectual capital for their firms. This duly gives them a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market. In most organizations, only a fraction of the capability of the workforce is utilized. Bennis acknowledges that managers cannot gain much by coercing the employees to work harder. Instead, an increase in productivity can be achieved if the leaders invest highly in retraining programs, ensure availability of essential resources, and provide motivational attributes like bonuses, promotions, and even pay increments to act as incentives (23).

An exemplary leader should ensure that his organization has a sense of purpose and is working towards the achievement of some organizational goals. He/she should also set out to generate and sustain trust between the administration, employees and clients. Such endeavors heighten the levels of optimism within the organization all the while boosting employee’s morale and guarantee future success in all organizational endeavors.

Creativity is one of the skills in a leader that can be used to make a difference in the organization. Over the last decades, creativity and innovation have progressively become the defining factor of successful and failing organizations. Shavinina asserts that this innovation has become paramount to the survival of organizations(607). She goes on to note that on most occasions, innovation springs from an individual’s initiative. It can thus be argued out that an individual possessing creativity and innovation can use this ability to positively impact the organization. However, many organizations still fail to grasp the whole concept which in turn fails in their organizations. Rick Wagoner reflected a lack of strategic oversight in his term as the CEO of General Motors. This flaw saw the stocks prices of this organization fall by 90%. This incident was highly attributed to the fact that his strategies were simply not forward-looking and as a result, “GM lagged behind in terms of competition as regarding cutting costs and innovativeness” (Ellington, 27).

In certain circumstances, the preservation of the corporate culture of the organization can make a difference in the organization. This is especially so when the culture has been responsible for the successful execution of tasks in the organization over a long time. This being the case, it is obvious that the success of an organization can be jeopardized by any move that threatens to weaken the corporate culture of the organization. Morgan states that corporate cultures develop “as an ethos created and sustained by social processes so as to bury out differences (128).” This means that the culture is a means by which the various disparate members of the organization can forge some form of alliance and thus work towards it. Jenster and Hussey assert that a strong culture may be further reinforced in an organization by a strong charismatic figure (201). Andrew Carnegie stated that “you do not have to be expert in your company’s field to be able to lead a company brilliantly”. He openly gave credit to his management team claiming that they had more knowledge in the steel manufacturing process than he did. His honesty as a leader played a pivotal role in motivating his team. In addition to this, it fostered an organizational culture that reflected on his own respect towards his employees.

During the past recessionary period, the world witnessed as major financial institutions especially in the United States failed. Business analysts were quick to diffuse the situation claiming that it was due to poor regulatory policies in the banking sector. However, George states that poor leadership was the main cause of this demise (96). He claims that up to date, many of the bank leaders still avoid taking responsibility for their actions which led to the failure of the businesses. It is a known fact that most banks prior to the financial crisis were involved in hazardous business practices. In an audit report presented by the World Bank, “Lehman Brothers investment bank failed due to bank management’s lack of oversight and failure to control risk in its loan portfolio.” Richard Fuld the CEO of Lehman Brothers investment bank took excessive risks and exercised poor management which consequently pulled the bank down to its knees. Sahskin articulates that actions that produce a feeling of charisma towards a leader figure will invariably lead to an increase in the likelihood of the followers to ape the actions of the leader (178). In this case, the employees would have easily followed the footsteps of their leaders no matter how risky they were which consequently led to the closure of this bank.

At the present, most economies in the world are working towards recovering from the credit crunch that hit almost all countries in the world. It is a reasonable assumption that most organizations were forced to make changes that included cutting on costs or laying off employees so as to remain profitable. In such times, there is need for a flame of optimism to be fanned in the organization. Bolden et. al state that an optimistic nature is one of the defining behaviors associated with a transformational leader (16). A person who can enthusiastically talk about the needs of the organization and draw a compelling image of the bright future that all in the organization can look forward to is capable of making a difference in the organization. In all organizations, there arise contentious issues which elicit different reactions at some point in time. How these issues are diffused may spell out the difference between the subsequent success or failure of the organization. The presence of a leader who can diplomatically manage the crises may be crucial to the success of the organization. Diplomacy entails the using of power and authority carefully to achieve positive outcomes by being unanimous or arriving at a consensus (London, 259).

It should be noted that leaders are first of all human and as such, they too are subjected to making mistakes. However, there are situations whereby some leaders have overstepped their organizational boundaries regarding their duties and responsibilities. Pfeffer and Sutton state that “Most corporate disasters and financial scandals, including those perpetrated by Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow at Enron, Al Dunlap at Sunbeam, Hank Greenberg at the large insurer AIG, and Dennis Kozlowski at Tyco, happened not simply because these people were greedy, immoral, or unethical, but because such people were in leadership positions with so much control that no one could challenge them” (107). Such assumptions from leaders not only frustrate the employees but consequently cost the organizations that these leaders represent hefty losses.

On the same note, such problems often arise due to the fact that these leaders have excessive control over the decision-making processes as well as the operational procedures established by an organization. Pfeffer and Sutton acclaim that when such leaders make decisions, they assume that their decisions are better than the rest. As a result, the employees lack that sense of involvement in the organization and at times may not follow through with such decisions leading to the failure of the organization. Therefore, giving too much control to leaders may lead to fallouts during the implementation of business prospects causing losses or even less productivity.

In addition to this, ignorance, lack of proper communication channels as well as failure to address diversity in any business environment can be detrimental to the results and subsequently the success of an organization. In a recent case in Penang, the chief Minister admitted to turning down a multimillion-dollar investment in his country due to the fact that he feared that he could not provide the investor with the 1,000 engineers that the investment required to kick off its operations in the region. A good and effective leader would never let such an opportunity pass by due to such a flimsy excuse. This decision made by Lim Guan Eng showed a lack of oversight from the leader as well as ignorance since other companies related in the same field such as Intel, AMD, Bosch among others have invested in Penang and have employed tens of thousands of engineers. In addition to this, the universities in the region also produce a lot of engineers not to mention the fact that he would have simply liaison with the human resources ministry in order to find the necessary engineering resources required.

Reflectively, Motorola recorded losses of over $345 million at the end of 2008 due to poor decision-making by the financial managers. Instead of working on new products like smartphones which are high in demand, they decided to invest in Sigma Finance Corporation. This investment has been costing Motorola a lot of money with no hope of returns especially now that most people have lost confidence in the money market and are still recovering from the recession. The decision to invest in the financial sector especially during the recession shows a lot of ignorance from the leaders and also indicates that the company might soon head into financial constraints due to poor performance in the electronics industry. Also, it shows that the managers in the Company are subjecting the fate of the company to poor decisions which may in the end lead to its failure. It is therefore imperative that the leaders in all organizations ensure that they are well versed with the current economic trends in a global context. This is because lack of insight on how the competition works, resource allocation and distribution, and financial bearings by leaders may have devastating effects on the success and survival of the company; attributes which may see an organization fail.

This study has argued that the role of a leader can make a difference in the organization if properly directed. The paper has discussed the prominent aspects in present-day organizations that make the role of such individuals more pronounced as compared to past times. It has been proposed that an individual possessing certain character traits that are mostly attributed to leaders can make a difference in an organization. However, it has been articulated that some of these traits can be detrimental to the organization’s beings. As such, a compromise should be struck to ensure that those skills and traits which yield positive trends are capitalized on while the negative traits are minimized. From the discussions presented in this paper, it can be authoritatively stated that while the role of the leaders is crucial to the success of the organization, it should always be looked at with respect to its effect on the entire team since the organizational goals can only be effectively achieved with the support of all the members of the organization.

Bennis, Warren “The Leadership Advantage.” Leader to Leader. 12 (1999): 18-23. Print.

In this article, the author brings out the various advantages that are accrued to leaders. He claims that leadership in any organization commands a high amount of respect from the subordinate staff. He explains the characteristics that an effective leader should posses. Further on, he reiterates that these attributes enable the leader to be rational, reasonable and interactive; aspects which contributes highly to the success of any organization.

Bolden, Gosling et al. “A Review of Leadership Theory and Competency Frameworks.” Leadership-Studies. Web.

Bolden et al have in detail reviewed the concept of leadership through this article. They have highlighted the various theories developed that best explain what leadership entails. Also, they have given advice on how leaders ought to handle the workforce in order to sustain competence in the organization. From this article, it is evident that the success of any organization lies behind its leader’s ability to forecast, organize the workforce and plan activities.

Ellington, Jelani, H. “The optimization of General Motors’ warranty system by reducing mean time to discover failure.” 2005. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Print.

The author of this book embarks on the issues that faced General Motors in their production processes. This is one of the many issues that led to the troubles that GM faced and is still facing. Such problems occurred due to poor leadership and lack of adequate supervision during the manufacturing of these products. She claims that most vehicles produced by GM took time to manifest their shortcomings and as a result, this led to increased losses to the corporation as clients complained and demanded for compensations. This book elaborates on the techniques GM adopted in order to ensure that such glitches are minimized.

George, Bill. “Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis.” 2009. USA: John Wiley and Sons. Print.

This book discusses the various traits that leaders should employ while dealing with a crisis. The author suggests that in troubled times, many leaders are bound to make mistakes due to pressure and limitedness of time. As such, the author gives detailed instructions as to how leaders should behave through such times in order to either salvage the situation or recover from the negative effects that might have arisen during such times.

Jenster, Per, V and Hussey, David. “Company Analysis: Determining Strategic Capability.” 2001. Chicago: Wiley. Print.

The authors state that for effective leadership, every leader must have a strategy which guides the workers towards achieving the organizational goals. They have given various examples in which lack of a strategy has led to the failure of businesses. In addition to this, they claim that a good leader must ensure that the strategies they employ cover all aspects of the business. They state that having multiple strategies act as a failsafe in times of crisis.

London, Manuel. “Leadership Development: Paths to Self-insight and Professional Growth.” 2002. USA: Routledge. Print.

The author in this book has effectively elaborated the techniques through which an individual can use to discover the leader within. He states that leadership should not be viewed as a role but as a process which requires self dedication and commitment. In addition to this, he mentions all the prerequisites that an individual must posses in order to realize full professional growth within the organization.

Morgan, Gareth. “Images of Organization.” 2006. USA: Sage. Print.

Morgan insists that the image that an organization projects to the public determines whether it will succeed or fail. In this book, he explains that a leader’s traits are reflected on how the employees behave as they represent the organization in the public arenas. He insists that a charismatic leader develops a great image of the organization through the establishment of an organizational culture based on integrity and ethical behaviors. He also warns advices the leaders to be precautious when handling the workers because dissatisfaction in the working place can affect the way in which employees interact with the clients leading to devastating results.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey and Sutton, Robert, I. “Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense: profiting from evidence-based management.” 2006. USA: Harvard Business Press. Print.

The book talks about different organizations and their ability to accept responsibilities in times of crisis. The authors explain how different organizational leaders lead their organizations into turmoil and use excuses to justify their actions. In addition to this, they explain how some leaders make profits for their organizations through dubious and hazardous means of operation. They dwell on the repercussions of such poor leadership to the lives of the employees and the total welfare of the organization.

Sashkin, marshall. “Leadership that matters: the critical factors for making a difference in people’s lives and organizations’ success.” 2003. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Print.

It is a useful guide to leaders who aspire to succeed in their endeavors. The book discusses the various types of leaders that exist in the world. It then categorizes them according to the situations that would best fit their leadership style. The author explains how leaders can influence the lives of their workers as well as their perceptions in order to facilitate success of the organization.

Shavinina, Larisa, V. “The International Handbook on Innovation.” 2003. LA: Elsevier. Print.

The author attributes the success and continual growth of any organization to innovation and creativity. She asserts that an innovative leader has the ability to foster the same attribute to his/her workers. She further claims that innovation is key to success in the ever so competitive business environment. Also, lack of innovation among other attributes in any business only spells doom.

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What to know about the crisis of violence, politics and hunger engulfing Haiti

A woman carrying two bags of rice walks past burning tires

A long-simmering crisis over Haiti’s ability to govern itself, particularly after a series of natural disasters and an increasingly dire humanitarian emergency, has come to a head in the Caribbean nation, as its de facto president remains stranded in Puerto Rico and its people starve and live in fear of rampant violence. 

The chaos engulfing the country has been bubbling for more than a year, only for it to spill over on the global stage on Monday night, as Haiti’s unpopular prime minister, Ariel Henry, agreed to resign once a transitional government is brokered by other Caribbean nations and parties, including the U.S.

But the very idea of a transitional government brokered not by Haitians but by outsiders is one of the main reasons Haiti, a nation of 11 million, is on the brink, according to humanitarian workers and residents who have called for Haitian-led solutions. 

“What we’re seeing in Haiti has been building since the 2010 earthquake,” said Greg Beckett, an associate professor of anthropology at Western University in Canada. 

Haitians take shelter in the Delmas 4 Olympic Boxing Arena

What is happening in Haiti and why?

In the power vacuum that followed the assassination of democratically elected President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, Henry, who was prime minister under Moïse, assumed power, with the support of several nations, including the U.S. 

When Haiti failed to hold elections multiple times — Henry said it was due to logistical problems or violence — protests rang out against him. By the time Henry announced last year that elections would be postponed again, to 2025, armed groups that were already active in Port-au-Prince, the capital, dialed up the violence.

Even before Moïse’s assassination, these militias and armed groups existed alongside politicians who used them to do their bidding, including everything from intimidating the opposition to collecting votes . With the dwindling of the country’s elected officials, though, many of these rebel forces have engaged in excessively violent acts, and have taken control of at least 80% of the capital, according to a United Nations estimate. 

Those groups, which include paramilitary and former police officers who pose as community leaders, have been responsible for the increase in killings, kidnappings and rapes since Moïse’s death, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program at Uppsala University in Sweden. According to a report from the U.N . released in January, more than 8,400 people were killed, injured or kidnapped in 2023, an increase of 122% increase from 2022.

“January and February have been the most violent months in the recent crisis, with thousands of people killed, or injured, or raped,” Beckett said.

Image: Ariel Henry

Armed groups who had been calling for Henry’s resignation have already attacked airports, police stations, sea ports, the Central Bank and the country’s national soccer stadium. The situation reached critical mass earlier this month when the country’s two main prisons were raided , leading to the escape of about 4,000 prisoners. The beleaguered government called a 72-hour state of emergency, including a night-time curfew — but its authority had evaporated by then.

Aside from human-made catastrophes, Haiti still has not fully recovered from the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed about 220,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless, many of them living in poorly built and exposed housing. More earthquakes, hurricanes and floods have followed, exacerbating efforts to rebuild infrastructure and a sense of national unity.

Since the earthquake, “there have been groups in Haiti trying to control that reconstruction process and the funding, the billions of dollars coming into the country to rebuild it,” said Beckett, who specializes in the Caribbean, particularly Haiti. 

Beckett said that control initially came from politicians and subsequently from armed groups supported by those politicians. Political “parties that controlled the government used the government for corruption to steal that money. We’re seeing the fallout from that.”

Haiti Experiences Surge Of Gang Violence

Many armed groups have formed in recent years claiming to be community groups carrying out essential work in underprivileged neighborhoods, but they have instead been accused of violence, even murder . One of the two main groups, G-9, is led by a former elite police officer, Jimmy Chérizier — also known as “Barbecue” — who has become the public face of the unrest and claimed credit for various attacks on public institutions. He has openly called for Henry to step down and called his campaign an “armed revolution.”

But caught in the crossfire are the residents of Haiti. In just one week, 15,000 people have been displaced from Port-au-Prince, according to a U.N. estimate. But people have been trying to flee the capital for well over a year, with one woman telling NBC News that she is currently hiding in a church with her three children and another family with eight children. The U.N. said about 160,000 people have left Port-au-Prince because of the swell of violence in the last several months. 

Deep poverty and famine are also a serious danger. Gangs have cut off access to the country’s largest port, Autorité Portuaire Nationale, and food could soon become scarce.

Haiti's uncertain future

A new transitional government may dismay the Haitians and their supporters who call for Haitian-led solutions to the crisis. 

But the creation of such a government would come after years of democratic disruption and the crumbling of Haiti’s political leadership. The country hasn’t held an election in eight years. 

Haitian advocates and scholars like Jemima Pierre, a professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, say foreign intervention, including from the U.S., is partially to blame for Haiti’s turmoil. The U.S. has routinely sent thousands of troops to Haiti , intervened in its government and supported unpopular leaders like Henry.

“What you have over the last 20 years is the consistent dismantling of the Haitian state,” Pierre said. “What intervention means for Haiti, what it has always meant, is death and destruction.”

Image: Workers unload humanitarian aid from a U.S. helicopter at Les Cayes airport in Haiti, Aug. 18, 2021.

In fact, the country’s situation was so dire that Henry was forced to travel abroad in the hope of securing a U.N. peacekeeping deal. He went to Kenya, which agreed to send 1,000 troops to coordinate an East African and U.N.-backed alliance to help restore order in Haiti, but the plan is now on hold . Kenya agreed last October to send a U.N.-sanctioned security force to Haiti, but Kenya’s courts decided it was unconstitutional. The result has been Haiti fending for itself. 

“A force like Kenya, they don’t speak Kreyòl, they don’t speak French,” Pierre said. “The Kenyan police are known for human rights abuses . So what does it tell us as Haitians that the only thing that you see that we deserve are not schools, not reparations for the cholera the U.N. brought , but more military with the mandate to use all kinds of force on our population? That is unacceptable.”  

Henry was forced to announce his planned resignation from Puerto Rico, as threats of violence — and armed groups taking over the airports — have prevented him from returning to his country.  

An elderly woman runs in front of the damaged police station building with tires burning in front of it

Now that Henry is to stand down, it is far from clear what the armed groups will do or demand next, aside from the right to govern. 

“It’s the Haitian people who know what they’re going through. It’s the Haitian people who are going to take destiny into their own hands. Haitian people will choose who will govern them,” Chérizier said recently, according to The Associated Press .

Haitians and their supporters have put forth their own solutions over the years, holding that foreign intervention routinely ignores the voices and desires of Haitians. 

In 2021, both Haitian and non-Haitian church leaders, women’s rights groups, lawyers, humanitarian workers, the Voodoo Sector and more created the Commission to Search for a Haitian Solution to the Crisis . The commission has proposed the “ Montana Accord ,” outlining a two-year interim government with oversight committees tasked with restoring order, eradicating corruption and establishing fair elections. 

For more from NBC BLK, sign up for our weekly newsletter .

CORRECTION (March 15, 2024, 9:58 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated which university Jemima Pierre is affiliated with. She is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, not the University of California, Los Angeles, (or Columbia University, as an earlier correction misstated).

essay about poor leadership

Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

essay about poor leadership

Char Adams is a reporter for NBC BLK who writes about race.


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