“Critically analyse and review the leadership capabilities of an actual leader– either someone you know or an historical or current leader and clearly identify and link those attributes and processes that identify this person as an effective leader.”
To enable critical analysis, the leader that you choose should be a business or political leader and not a religious figure.
You should provide a very brief overview of the leader, and examples of the type of leadership behaviour demonstrated. These examples should come from a variety of sources including those who worked with the leader. You should examine a specific leadership theory that most closely represents the style of leadership demonstrated by the leader you have chosen to write about. This exploration of theory should focus on one leadership theory and should explore it in detail and depth and not merely describe it. It should explore the research literature conducted into this theory and therefore describe how the particular leadership style/behaviour under discussion should ideally match the circumstances and needs of the group and how it ideally should be conducted. You should critically compare the leadership of the leader that you have chosen with the ideal theory that you have explored in research.
A suggested structure would include:
Context and background of the leader under study
This section should be relatively brief. It is a common mistake for students to spend a lot of time writing a detailed biography. This is not the purpose of the assignment. You are advised to write about a section of the leader’s career rather than attempt a whole life story. This is a relatively short assignment so you must not waste words on a lengthy biography.
Key capabilities of the leader
You must provide evidence of the leader’s leadership style and behaviour and make a link between this and a specific theory of leadership. It is important to include the negative as well as the positive aspects of the leader’s behaviour. You do not want to write a biography of a saint. You obtain evidence of the leader’s style from newspapers and magazines, using the University’s digital library. Don’t forget to references your sources of data/evidence.
Analysis and discussion of a specific leadership theory
This must be related to academic theory. It is vital that you select one particular theory (this must be the same as the leadership theory that you have attributed to your chosen leader). This must be explored in depth and detail and make use of appropriate academic sources and research.
Critical benchmark of your chosen leader against the theory
You should critically compare the leadership demonstrated by your chosen leader to that described in the theory section. As an example if you have decided that your leader is a Transformational Leadership you must explain the theory in some depth and detail (in the previous section of your report) and then provide evidence of how the leader exhibited the attributes of a Transformational leader and benchmark his or her leadership against the theory that you have described. Clearly you need to bring a variety of evidence to this task and the leader’s own opinion is not adequate. You should bring in objective evidence (from newspapers and magazines in the University’s digital library) from those who have studied this leader and where possible those who have been led by the leader.
Some conclusions that enable us to learn about wider approaches to leadership
This section explores the wider context of leadership. Here you should consider the lessons learned about leadership generally. As you should know by now there is no single, universal view of leadership. In this section therefore, you could discuss when and why different leadership approaches (remember to use academic theory again) may be appropriate in different circumstances and with different sets of followers.
Do not attempt to write a literature review of all leadership theory. This will lead to a very shallow and unfocused piece of work. You do not have a large enough word limit to do this. Remember the emphasis is on integrating academic theory with an analysis on your chosen
• It seems that some leaders are very popular choices with students. Steve Jobs and Gandhi have attracted a number of admirers. This is OK, but take care not to collaborate too closely with each other when writing your assignments. The University takes a very poor view of plagiarism (passing off someone else’s work as your own). Ensure that you write your assignment in your own words, and put the words of other people in quotes. Read the guidelines on plagiarism very carefully.
Don’t forget to use the University’s digital library to access newspapers/magazines
for your leader and academic journals for your theory. You will find help on accessing the library in the Frequently Asked Questions file on this Breo site.
Please do not use books or the internet for this assignment.
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