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Date Created: 02/23/16
Paige Martin Political Science 107002 February 18, 2016 Writing Assignment 1 Writing Assignment 1 During unit one we not only got to understand what a leader was, why having followers was important, the leaders light or shadow they casted, and how to step out of the shadow of the leader, but also if the gender matters. The definition of leadership according to Koehane is, “providing solutions to common or offering ideas about how to accomplish collective purposes, and mobilizing the energies of other to follow these courses of action. (Koehane, 19). What I took out of this statement is that a person no matter who they are could hold the potential to motivate people to work towards a common goal, male or female. Even though there are many stereotypes on men and women, women get a harsher backlash of criticism and judgement when they are in the leading position. In Koehane’s chapter, Does Gender Matter, one paragraph states that not only do ordinary people and political philosophers think that females are incapable of leading for numerous reasons. In class we discussed reasons as to why we thought that women do not have a good reputation as being leaders. Many people said that women were petty, emotional, incapable of actually resolving important issues, not strong enough, etc. The only female leaders I can think of are Supreme Court Justices. In my opinion, even if the parties were taken away from the politics, females would still have more of a hard time getting a high up position. I feel this way because we have always been taught that this is a man’s world and women are here to just plainly entertain men. I believe that women would still have a hard time holding higher up positions is because even though not every single female or male can lead in the exact same way, people will still try to stereotype females into the same category on how they lead (Koehane, 128). Not every person is the same, or grew up the exact same way. Some female leaders might lead very stern and hard but others might be more relaxed and cooperative. Unfortunately, though female leaders still will not get elected as easily as males will for leadership positions. The seven types of bad leaders are: incompetent, rigid, intemperate, callous, corrupt, insular, and evil. An incompetent leader, “… [does not] have the motivation or the ability to sustain effective action…lack[s] emotional or academic intelligence (Johnson, 3). With this being said, when I think of an incompetent leader, I think of my one of my first managers at the gas station I worked at in high school. This individual did not complete high school, was trying to become the day manager of a small gas station but simply did not have the motivation to actually work towards going higher up in work force. She was careless with her work but was also quick to blame all of us lower payed employees. I learned from this leader that in order to be a good leader, you need to put in the time and work and also to let yourself be the one to be blamed when something goes wrong. A rigid leader is competent but do not let new ideas in and are not subject to change (Johnson, 3). The person that stands out the most for me is sixth grade teacher. Mr. Allison was a strict teacher who would not change how he taught or what he taught. His beliefs and morals never changed. He held all of us up to high standards that were more equivalent to a high schooler. Something that I learned was that even though he was a teacher, he was still the leader of the class. He did not try to change his teaching ways to be acceptable for grade school. An intemperate leader does not have selfcontrol (Johnson, 5). One leader that comes to mind for me is one of the basketball captains from high school. This particular girl was constantly getting in trouble on an off the court. She would be in trouble for going to parties as well as doing poorly in the classrooms but since she was a one of the better players she was chosen to be a leader. The way she would carry herself and how she talked made her an intemperate leader. One thing that I learned from her was to have a lot of selfcontrol in every situation I am put up against. A callous leader is a leader that ignores what is at stake, is uncaring of situations, and is unkind (Johnson, 5). A leader that I came across that acts like this is one of the presidents in my sorority. This president was in term when I was a sophomore and she did not care at all what the chapter did. She never told us the truth about how bad everything pertaining the chapter was doing. All she cared about was going out and getting drunk and being able to say she was the president of an organization. What I learned from her is that no matter what if I was chosen to be a leader, then I will make sure I lead to the best of my ability and put one hundred percent effort into it. A corrupt leader has some followers that help them with lying, cheating, stealing (Johnson, 5). I have never come across a leader like this in my lifetime and I really hope that in my future I do not have a leader like this. From the outside looking in, I believe that what I could learn from a leader like this is to make sure I am able to be trusted. I do not ever want to harm my credibility with people. Insular leaders are leaders that draw boundaries between social classes (Johnson, 5). Again, I have not been in contact with a leader like this. I believe that Johnson gave a good example with former president Bill Clinton and the Rwandan genocide project that took place in 1994. I do believe that after what happened he handled himself greatly and apologized for his mistake. If I were a leader and I accidently acted like this, the most that I could do was own up to my mistakes and take the blame for it. Last but not least is an evil leader. An evil leader is classified as someone who, “commits atrocities, using their power to inflict severe physical or psychological harm (Johnson, 5).” On a very distance scale he only person that comes to mind that was evil that I had as a leader in my life is one of my managers. This was downright mean and told me to my face that I was too fat to being wearing the uniform that I was in and that my nose ring was unprofessional. I understand that at the company there was a formal rule to not have any facial piercings but I also did not see the public at all, I could not remove my nose ring before work to put in a clear one because my nose was swollen up, and there was a girl that I worked with that had a very big and attention grabbing lip ring in. Needless to say I did not work for that company much longer. The main thing that I took from this leader is that if I wanted followers, there is no need to be evil. Be nicer when saying certain things and most definitely make sure that everyone is held to the same standards and rules. From a follower’s perspective it is very hard to stop following someone once they become toxic or bad. “Toxic leaders [are] described [by] those who engage in destructive behaviors and who exhibit dysfunctional personal characteristics (Johnson, 3). The fear of being shunned or even punished from not following a leader anymore is scary. One way to spot toxic leaders though is by looking at their followers. One way I judge a leader is by who the followers tend to be. If I can look at the followers and see that they are all shady and will do everything and anything the leader says without questioning then I find that, that lead is toxic. The followers should have some input into what is being done. The final say still comes from the leader but if a leader is solely just leading and not changing decisions around to better fit the situation or followers then I would classify that as a toxic leader. If I can tell that a leader is being toxic and abusing their power then I will automatically not even try to follow them. I know what my morals are and I will only follow someone that has similar morals and ideas about life. Works cited Class lecture notes from Unit 1 Johnson, Craig E. Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001. Print. Keohane, Nannerl O. Thinking about Leadership. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2010. Print.
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