Management Development Institute Of Singapore Mdis Commerce Essay

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In todays society, leadership exits in every organization and becomes more and more important. To become a good leader, people must develop through process of self-study, education, training, self-assessment, self-improvement and experience. "A leader is someone who can influence others and who has managerial authority. Leadership is what leaders do. It is the process of influencing a group to achieve goals" (Robbins & Coulter, 2007).

Great leaders imagine an ideal future for their organizations that goes beyond the ordinary and beyond what others may have thought possible. They strive to realize significant achievements that others have not. As a leader must studying and improving leadership skills. There is an increasing realization that leadership style affects employee motivation, which in turn determines a firm's long- term performance prospects. People have been interested in leadership since they started coming together in groups to accomplish goals. However, it was not until the early part of the twentieth century that researchers actually began to study it (Balkin, 2011).

Define "Leadership"

Leadership is the process of directing and influencing the task-related activities of members, it is influencing others to achieve organizational goals (Robbins &Coulter, 2007). Leadership is one of the most essential criteria of the nurse manager. It is the process of interaction between the leader and the other staff, influencing them toward workplace goals achievement (Yukl, 1998). Leadership means being able to assess others, evaluate the situation, and select or change behavior to more effectively respond to the demands of the circumstances. Generally accepted leadership theory now suggests that leadership is in fact a process and is not necessarily embodied in an individual. Leadership thus implies something more than mere supervisory responsibility or formal authority. It extends beyond the usual influence that accompanies legitimacy as a supervisor. Therefore, it can be said that leadership is the incremental influence, or additional influence, that a person has beyond his or her formal authority. Leadership may exist on both formal and informal level (Vecchio, 2006).

Bass' (1989&1990) theory of leadership states that there are three basic way to explain how people become leaders. The first two explain the leadership development for a small number of people. These theories are:

Some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. This is the Trait Theory.

A crises or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. This is the Great Events Theory.

People can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills. This is the Transformational Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted theory today and the premise on which this guide is based.

Leadership comes about in a number of different ways:

A manager is appointed to a position of authority within the organization. He relies mainly on the legitimate authority of that position. Leadership is a function of the position he holds.

Some leaders (e.g. in politics or in trade unions) might be elected.

Other leaders might emerge by popular choice and through their personal drive and qualities. Unofficial spokesmen for groups of people are leaders of this style.

Leadership is:

The ability to influence the actions of others.

The ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals.

The process whereby an individual influences other group members towards the attainment of organizational goals (Bartol, 2005).

Differences between "Leadership" and "Management"

"Leadership" and "Management" are two terms that are often confused. We defined management as a process of achieving organizational goals by planning, organizing, leading and controlling. The managers at every level (top, middle or lower) and type (functional, general or project) are involved in these four managerial functions. Leadership is important to managing change, fostering innovation and transforming traditional hierarchical organizations into contemporary organizations such as boundaryless, knowledge management or learning structures. Leaders and managers are very different kinds of people. They differ in motivation, personal history and how they think and act. Managers tend to adopt impersonal/passive attitude towards goals. Leaders take a personal/active attitude. Managers tend to view work as an enabling process involving people and ideas interacting to establish strategies and make decisions. Leaders work from high-risk positions. Managers work with people. Relate to people according to the role they play. Leaders relate to people in intuitive and empathic ways (Zaleznik, 1989).

Leaders are expected to forge a vision, sell that vision to others, and take the necessary steps to support its accomplishment. One critical aspect of effective leadership is inducing subordinates to work harder to accomplish organizational objectives. A manager cannot be an effective leader unless subordinates are willing to do their best to accomplish organizational goals. If managers want to provide strong leadership, they must also be concerned with employee motivation. Leadership is about vision and inspiration, management is about implementation and control. Leaders must have personal characteristics such as charisma, perseverance and strong communication skill, being in the right place at the right time, ability to influence other people, developing a vision, selling the vision to others and working with followers to establish appropriate implementation activities (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2012).

Great leaders are demonstrating emotional stability; they remain composed under all situations. They are not prone to moodiness or being angry during crises. They own up their mistakes and try to correct them. Great leaders should not blame others for their mistakes and must have strong interpersonal skills. Also, they should have maturity and lots of experience that gives them great ability to solve problems. A manager is someone who coordinates the work activities of others aimed at accomplishing organizational goals. It ensures that activities can be completed efficiently and effectively (Robbins & Coulter, 2007).

Leadership is creative process, it includes conceptual, artistic, intuitive, holistic, symbolic and emotional. Management is rational process; it includes mathematical, analytical, logical, technical, controlled and administrative. The implications of leadership are about involved other people, unequal distribution of power between leaders and members (Power is the ability to exert influence to change attitudes/behaviors of people), use different forms of power to influence and is about values (Robbins, 2007).

Not all leaders are managers; not all managers are leaders. While leaders exercise influence in a more informal and unstructured jobs can provide the opportunity for leadership, and managers are more likely to be effective by combining formal authority to make decisions and allocate resources with the ability to motivate subordinates (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 2012)

Porter (2006) portrays leaders as strategists. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell described leadership as the art of accomplishing more than management science says is possible and the focus is to motivate people to get 110 per cent from them.

John Kotter of the Harvard Business School argues that management is about coping with complexity. Good management brings about order and consistency by drawing up formal plans, designing rigid organization structures, and monitoring results against the plans. Leadership, in contrast, is about coping with change (Robbins, 1996).

Leadership is different from management. Management is about coping with complexity. Good manager bring about order and consistency by drawing formal plans, designing rigid organization structures and monitoring results against plans. Leadership is about coping with change. Leaders establish direction by developing a vision; align people by communicating this vision and inspire them to overcome hurdles. Leadership is the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals. Most organizations are under-led and over-managed (Kotter, 1981).








Leading people

Managing work











Sets direction

Plans detail





Personal charisma

Formal authority

Appeal to
















Excitement for work

Money for work











New roads

Existing road




Source: Maxwell, 2005

Traits theory of "Leadership"

Traits are a person's internal qualities or characteristics, such as physical (e.g. height, weight, and energy), personality (e.g. dominance, extroversion and originality), skills and abilities (e.g. intelligence, knowledge, technical competence) and social factors (e.g. interpersonal skills, sociability and socioeconomic position) (Bateman & Snell, 1999).

The trait theories of leadership differentiate leaders from non-leaders by focusing on personal qualities and characteristics. Trait predictors of leadership are centered on the Big Five Personality frameworks that are predictors of leadership. Traits theory on leadership focuses on what the leader is like by emphasizing social, personality and physical traits, e.g. physical stature appearance, social class, emotional stability, fluency of speech, sociability (Baron,2008).

Early theories suggested that there are certain qualities, personality characteristics or traits which make a good leader. These might be aggressiveness, self-assurance, intelligence, initiative, energy, a drive for achievement or power, appearance, interpersonal skills, administrative ability, imagination, a certain upbringing and education, the 'helicopter factor' or the ability to rise above a situation and analyze it objectively, etc. Taylor believed the capacity to 'make others do what you want them to do' was an inherent characteristic of a leader (Powell 2006).

E. E. Ghiselli did show a significant correlation between leadership effectiveness and personal traits of intelligence, initiative, self-assurance and individuality. Jennings (1961) wrote that 'research has produced such a variegated list of traits presumably to describe leadership; at for all practical purposes it describes nothing.

Traits theory, although superficially attractive, is now largely discredited. Although it may be possible to show that, without certain characteristics, it is difficult to be a good leader, it has proved impossible to show that all people with certain characteristics are good leaders ( Greenburg & Baron, 2008)

An example of a leadership trait is "Intelligence". Intelligence is the capacity to make effective use of the intellect. It is the sum total of the mental functions of understanding, thinking, learning, observing, problem-solving and perceptual relationships. It is sometimes called mental ability. Most intelligence tests used in commerce and industry are group written tests, i.e. they may be given if necessary to several candidates simultaneously, and consist of a number of printed questions to which the candidates must give a written reply.

Kirkpatrick &Locke (1991) listed seven traits associated with leadership:

Drive: High effort level. High desire for achievement. Tirelessly persistent. Show initiative.

Desire To Lead: Strong desire to influence and lead others. Willing to take responsibility.

Honesty and Integrity: Trusting relationships. Truthful. Non-deceitful. High consistency in words and deeds.

Self-confidence: Followers look to leaders for absence of self-doubt. Leaders need to show self-confidence to convince followers of rightness of their goals and decisions.

Intelligence: Create visions. Solve problems. Make correct decisions.

Job-relevant knowledge: High degree of knowledge about the company and industry.

Extraversion: Energetic. Lively people. Sociable. Assertive.

If trait theory were right, it would be useful to identify the right person who can be assigned to take up the leadership position. Traits theory ignores the interactions between leaders and members as well as situational factors. Several other traits have also been linked to successful leaders. For example, leaders can be characterized by task persistence, self- confidence, tolerance of interpersonal stress, and the ability to influence others' behavior (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991).

Apply to one leader

Sun Yat-sen was born in Cui-heng Village, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province of China on November 12, 1866. Sun Yat-Sen is a pioneer of modern Chinese democratic revolution who fought to establish the republic of china. He is called "The Father of the Revolution." Three principles (nationalism, democracy, and socialism, which was establish in 1912) was first introduced by Sun Yat-sen, he is a great forerunner of democratic revolution of China. Sun Yat-sen died of cancer in Beijing in 1925 (Vang, 1998).


In 1896, Sun Yat-sen derived a formula for government that would later become the fundamental basis for the government in China. Dr. Sun's western influence can also be observed in the democratic ideology found in the Three People's Principles. The Three People's Principles are essentially: nationalism, the creation of a new state; democracy, the creation of a government upholding democracy; and the people's livelihood, the primary concern being land reform. Sun also advocated a "five power constitution" which included the examination and censorial branches in addition to the executive, legislative and judicial branches, for purpose of control. Sun Yat-sen understood that China was not immediately ready for complete democracy. In outlining the Three People's Principles he had planned for the government to first establish military control. Over a period of time, the people would then be encouraged to participate in government and the election process. The government was also responsible for the economy in China. Unlike other democracies which preferred a policy of "laisse-faire", the economy was not "self-controlled". Sun Yat-sen had originally designed the Three People's Principles to be flexible to changing circumstances. However, this also meant that there could be many different interpretations, and this often served as the source of many conflicts between the political parties in China- the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist party.

Desire to lead:

Guangzhou militarist government

China had become divided between different military leaders without a proper central government. Sun saw the danger of this and returned to China in 1917 to advocate Chinese reunification. In 1921 he started a self-proclaimed military government in Guangzhou and was elected Grand Marshal. Between 1912 and 1927 three governments had been set up in South China: the Provisional government in Nanjing (1912), the Military government in Guangzhou (1921-1925), and the National government in Guangzhou and later Wuhan (1925-1927).The southern separatist government in the South was established to rival the Beiyang government in the north. Yuan Shikai had banned the KMT. The short lived Chinese Revolutionary Party was a temporary replacement for the KMT. On 10 October 1919 Sun resurrected the KMT with the new name Chung-kuo Kuomintang, basically "Chinese Nationalist party".


-1911 revolution (Wuchang Uprising and Xinhai Revolution)

To sponsor more uprisings, Sun made a personal plea for financial aid at the Penang conference held on 13 November 1910 in Malaya.The leaders launched a major drive for donations across the Malay Peninsula.They raised HK$187,000.

On 27 April 1911 revolutionary Huang Xing led a second Guangzhou uprising known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt against the Qing. The revolt failed and ended in disaster; only the bodies of 72 revolutionaries were found.The revolutionaries are remembered as martyrs.

On 10 October 1911 a military uprising at Wuchang took place led again by Huang Xing. At the time Sun had no direct involvement as he was still in exile. Huang was in charge of the revolution that ended over 2000 years of imperial rule in China. When Sun learned of the successful rebellion against the Qing emperor from press reports, he immediately returned to China from the United States accompanied by General Homer Lea on 21 December 1911. The uprising expanded to the Xinhai Revolution also known as the "Chinese Revolution" to overthrow the last Emperor Puyi. After this event 10 October became known as the commemoration of Double Ten Day.


When Ci Xi died in 1908 and a 2 year old boy inherited the throne, China slipped into Chao's. In 1911, uprising in the provinces swiftly spread. Peasant, worker student, local warlords, and even court political helped topple the dynasty and China's 2,000 year old monarchy.

Sun Yat-sen's political party was the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party. From 1911 to 1922, Sun tried to unite China and establish a stable government. Sun believed that nationalism and the creation of a strong central Government, and he believed democracy and the economic security for all Chinese. He believes that all Chinese that were poor or rich could do anything they wanted. His Party adopted a constitution, and Sun became the temporary president of the Chinese republic in 1912.

In Jan 1, 1912 Sun Yat-Sen was the first president of China. Sun's term as a president was short. He was president for only about two months, then some strong northern Chinese took over his place as president. Even though sun was not the president, when the Chinese took over, all of his follower was still with him.

In 1913, Sun Yat-Sen disagrees with yuan's policies and organizes a revolt. He fled to Japan, and the kuomintang member of the parliament was thrown out of the office. Again, the revolutionists assembled to set up a separate government under the 1912 constitution. In 1921, Sun became President of this government in Canton. Sun was driven out of his capital in 1922, and then Sun returns in 1923.

Job- relevant knowledge:

Sun Yat-Sen was a western educated at a mission school in Hong Kong and Honolulu, and he became a doctor. From 1895 to 1911, he travels widely in the United States, Japan, and Europe to organize sympathy for republican principles and to seek financial aid for his revolutionary movement against the Manchu Dynasty. He was aided by the Chinese. Sun Yat-Sen graduate in 1894. Even before he won his medical degree, Sun was working for a majestic goal, then saving souls or lives. His goal was to rebuild China on three Principles of the people.


Leadership is a process through which a person tries to get organizational members to do something the person desires. The leader's influence extends beyond supervisory responsibility and formal authority. Leadership plays a central part in understanding group behavior, for it's the leader who usually provides the direction toward goal attainment. Therefore, a more accurate predictive capability should be valuable in improving group performance.

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

Still, much ink has been spent delineating the differences. The manager's job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader's job is to inspire and motivate (Murray, 2011).

The trait theories of leadership focus on personal characteristics of the leader. Traits may be more closely associated with leadership than earlier reviews lead us to believe. Meanwhile, other researchers suggested it may be possible to isolate leadership traits applying to specific types of situations (House & Baetz, 1979).

Sun Yat-Sen, one of the greatest leaders of republic of china and the greatest forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution. Sun has initiated a number of armed uprisings, developed "The Three Principles of the People and to overthrow of the Ching Dynasty by the revolution of 1911.Sun contributions to the creation of the Republic of China, his revolutionary ideas of removing power from the corrupt government and warlords finally enable to achieve the success of China as a modern nation (Vang, 1998).

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