World Leaders And Their Leadership Styles History Essay

2566 words (10 pages) Essay in History

5/12/16 History Reference this

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Adolf Hitler is recognized worldwide for his leadership in the Nazi Party and also as the chancellor of Germany during the early period of 1930s. His leadership style was autocratic leadership as he believed in acting like a dictator and focused on making decisions on his own. He never trusted his generals and felt no need of having two-way communication as he wanted to have complete legitimate power in everything. Hitler believed that the ultimate authority resides with him and it should never be extended downward. He made decisions that were supportive in enhancing his legitimate power. Any mistake made by the followers was unacceptable and punishments were given for wrong doings (Megargee, 14).

Since Hitler was reluctant to take advice from anyone and made all decisions on his own, his followers did not like this attitude and started developing ill-feelings towards him. From the analysis of Adolf Hitler’s leadership style, the leaders of the today’s world have realized that they cannot be a dictator and cannot get the work done by forcing their followers (Popper, 64). The modern leaders and managers in organizations have ensured that they implement collaborative methods so that the followers and subordinates are part of the team and the joint efforts will ultimately produce positive results. The leaders who have adopted this style of leadership have faced strong resistance from their followers and even received less support from them in accomplishing the ideal objectives.

Mahatma Gandhi is among the favorite personality of most of the leaders worldwide and majority of them want to follow the leadership style followed by such an inspirational man (Barnabas and Paul, 135). Mahatma Gandhi had a servant style of leadership which is described as the style in which a leader takes care of his followers even before they start taking care of themselves on their own. This inspirational leader emphasized that the struggle should be done in non-violent manners without using any harmful weapons; the leader had to face severe problems such as beating by the British police and getting locked up in the prison when he started fighting with British for independence of India.

Gandhi had a clear vision about the independence of Hindus and was able to communicate this vision effectively to dispersed people by using simple and inspiring language. One aspect that was stressed by the leader was never to accept defeat and keep on striving hard because success will eventually; the moral is that people should never lose hope and continue the efforts until the goal is attained (Nojeim, 30). His personality is a source of inspiration for the leaders and managers of today’s world that no matter how challenging the situation gets it is important to boost the morale of oneself and the followers. As a leader, the person should motivate his/her subordinates until the victory is gained in the particular mission.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln had the desire of serving his country so that he could bring revolutionary changes that will be beneficial for its people in the long-run. Abraham Lincoln had a servant leadership style; one of the vital components of this form of leadership is the importance of ethical values i.e. working for the benefits of the people and this aspect was evident in the leadership style of Lincoln (Hubbard, 21). The servant leader wants to lead the people because he/she has internal desire of serving the people; the person does not need any legitimate power to bring the changes.

Abraham Lincoln focused on the sustainability element which meant producing a lasting change that will finally lead to the transformation of others. The leader was provided the opportunity of demonstrating his leadership traits during the American Civil War; he had two lasting impacts on the world i.e. freeing the slaves and preservation of the Union (Polelle, 40). During his Presidency, Lincoln followed a prudent and careful leadership to bring about mandatory reforms in the United States of America.

The leader also set the example of the paramount democracy in the world and even extended the liberty opportunity to every American. In present times, Americans have been given the full liberty of expressing their feelings and fighting for their rights and it has revolutionized the way in which democracy should be implemented by the leaders so that projected results are successfully accomplished. Even in organizations, the work culture has been changed i.e. employees are motivated to share their ideas and claim their rights as the organization is compelled to fulfill all the requirements of its workforce.

Alexander the Great

At the age of twenty, Alexander became the king and in eleven years of his journey he fought more that seventy battles and never lost any one of them. The leadership style of Alexander the Great is visionary leadership as he shared the vision with his people to motivate them to inspire them in achieving the well-set goals (Polelle, 23).

From the analysis of the leadership traits of Alexander the Great, it is evident that he had set certain set of principles to inspire his followers such as show people that they are considered to be valuable and are given importance in every decision by seeking their opinions, lead by example so that people are inspired to follow the leader, innovation should be encouraged so that something new can be done and every action should be taken after creating a vision so that there is clarity about the goal that will be achieved (Cartledge, 14).

In today’s world, the leaders have realized that they need to first follow what they tell their followers so that the leaders can gain their trust. When any decision is made, it should be done on a consensus manner so that everyone agrees to it and they can see the big picture clearly. A visionary leader communicates to his followers the effectiveness of the entire process and their importance in this process so that their production level gets accelerated.

Julius Ceasar

Julius Ceasar was an exceptional general and one of the important leaders in ancient Rome. In his life, he held almost every vital title in the Roman Republic such as tribune of the Roman people, consul, well-known priest and high positioned commander of the army (Freeman, 32). He dared to introduce new laws that were easily approved by the Senate and he is recognized globally for improving the ways in which the provinces were governed and he even developed his own army.

After conquering the Rome, he became the master and started ruling the place like a dictator. Caesar used his power for carrying out the needed reforms, relieving huge amount of debt, revised the calendar and enlarged the Senate. He was assassinated by his enemies in 44 B.C. (Popper, 70). It shows that a dictator has less chances of gaining appreciation by the followers as all other leaders who have followed the dictatorship style of leadership have never been able to get the support of their people and have faced unfortunate deaths in the form of assassination. Hence, the dictatorship leadership is not acceptable by people as the leaders tend to focus on their own benefits rather than on the followers’ needs.


Napolean was among the best conquerors of the world and his efforts are recognized globally. During the French Revolution period, the leader took various important decisions that proved to be harmful for his followers (Blaufarb, 42). Although the positive aspects of his personality were that he had a clear vision about his goal, had the ability of motivating the people to achieve the desired goals and ensured that he took proper care of his people. However, his followers believed that the leader made decisions that were beneficial for himself and cared less for them.

Napolean has received a lot of criticism for being a dictator as many wrong decisions were taken by him that severely impacted the lives of people. Since he was an ambitious person, he started making decisions without taking consent of his followers and started giving commands to his army (Polelle, 62). When he got carried away in the lust of power, he had to face defeat by the Russian Army on his way back to Austria; it shows that the dictators or autocratic style of leadership is among the least preferred styles of the leader. When a leader becomes a dictator, his/her relationship with the followers starts to get deteriorated and eventually it breaks. Napoleon is still considered to be the best conqueror in the world as he had the highly exceptional intellectual capabilities.

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan was among the noteworthy leaders of Mongolia who conquered most of the Asian and European areas; his style of leadership is classified as a combination of autocratic leadership and participative leadership. Genghis Khan was considered a dictator because whenever he conquered any of the regions he would give only two options i.e. either surrender or get killed. However, when working with his army, he used to take their opinion and share his ideas with them so that they can develop a strategy for the implementation of the plan successfully (Ratchnevsky, 26).

Genghis Khan moved to the loyalty to himself and he even started to deal with his adversaries in an inappropriate manner. Anyone who opposed to his conquest and power had to suffer from an extreme blow. Since Genghis Khan started treating people in a brutal way, he was assassinated later by his enemies (Man, 51).

It has become important for today’s leaders to realize that they can be successful only when they have cordial relations with their followers and they try to incorporate their demands so that a healthy relationship is created which will last for a long period. The autocratic leaders will face strong resistance from their followers so it is advisable to use it to minimal extent to ensure control within the organization or legal body but it should not be followed excessively as it will create problems such as retaliation from subordinates in the long-run.

George Washington

George Washington had a servant leadership style as he had the vision of revolutionizing everything in US during his presidency. He knew that he can motivate the people only by developing an inspirational personality and he did extensive efforts for creating the desired image. He even motivated his people to provide him support in attainment of the goals so that the set vision can be accomplished (Northouse, 72). The main characteristics of his personality as a leader were that he was willing to accept any challenge and face it; he was persistent in achieving the set targets; and was brave enough to handle all the issues and provided help to his people in resolving them.

Since he had no lust for power and wanted to work for the benefits of his people, he always ensured that the decisions made by him were in accordance with the requirements of the country. As he was a trustworthy president, people started showing their loyalty to him and provided their complete assistance so that they could successfully implement any necessary change in the country effectively (Bongilla, 35). The leaders who want to gain the support of their followers have to develop their personality that has certain key traits such as confidence, integrity, courage, self-discipline and clear vision. George Washington is the best example for all those leaders who want to do something beneficial for the country and get the support of its people.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt is recognized for helping U.S. to get out of the Great Depression period in 1930s by helping the people in rebuilding their self-confidence. His leadership style is a combination of charismatic leadership and transformational leadership as he inspired the people to get back on their feet and initiate the activities to help the country get out of the dark times. Roosevelt provided his people various avenues to do a lot of creative thinking but with a focused approach; he first set out the vision so that everyone was aware of the final goal that has to be attained (Greenstein, 45).

The best lesson learnt from the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt is that fear is something that needs to be conquered and there is nothing to fear about. The leaders can take inspiration from such an extraordinary leader who taught people how to maintain their focus on specific vision and face the challenges with courage and bravery. It is mandatory for every leader to accept the challenge of life and work and be prepared to handle them with confidence and will power to counter the challenge. Since the changes happen at a fast pace these days, the leaders have to remain alert all the time for the problems that can arise and they should react to them in a calm and an organized way.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill leadership style is classified as transformational and charismatic leadership; he was among those leaders who always kept the people motivated by delivering inspirational speeches. During the World War II, Winston Churchill provided immense support and guidance to the Great Britain by developing strength and courage among the people (Nordquist, 2). As a leader, he focused on three important aspects for developing a charismatic personality that comprised of elements such as excellent communication skills, creating a vision so that everyone is able to keep a focus on single goal and developing trust so that people are willing to provide their support to the leaders.

From the leadership style of Winston Churchill, it is evident that the leaders have to develop a charismatic leadership by strengthening the bond with their followers so that everyone is part of the team (Axelord, 34). When the entire team shares a common vision, only then conflicts, problems and issues can be resolved. As most of the organizations have to undergo changes, they will face resistance from the people; communication is the key to resolving this issue by sharing with them the purpose of the change along with showing them the vision. Hence, excellent communication and well-designed vision can inspire people to work hard and support their leaders in achieving the desired goals.


The world leaders have demonstrated different leaderships and they have been successful in accomplishing various challenging tasks. Regardless of the dictatorship style, some of the common features that are important for the leaders and organization in today’s world are creating a vision so that everyone has an idea about the goal that will be achieved in the long-run, motivating people to make valuable contributions and developing excellent communication skills so that a clear, concise and right message can be communicated to everyone.

Therefore, the leaders and managers have to realize that they can achieve their objectives by getting support from their followers and subordinates and showing them appreciation for making valuable additions by offering them excellent rewards. The leaders have to develop a charismatic personality so that they can inspire their followers and should lead by example so that positive results can be attained.

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