There are many different ways of how leadership is defined. However, the majority of researchers and theorists have adopted Chemers’ definition of leadership. In his book entitled An Integrative Theory of Leadership, he defines leadership as “a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task" (Chemers, 1997). As for my personal consideration of this term, I strongly believe that my own cultural beliefs and values actually influence how I view leadership. The main objective of this essay is to discuss my cultural beliefs and practices, and how they affect my view on leadership.
One strong cultural trait that I cling to is my belief in the positive traits of others. When I first get acquainted with someone, I tend to have a positive impression about that person. Even if I already know that person, I try to focus more on discovering his or her positive traits, and not negative ones. For instance, if a new classmate comes to my class, I tend to believe that he or she can be able to positively contribute into a group or team assignment that is required from our class.
Actually, I think that this specific cultural trait makes me view a leader as the one who leads others and makes his teamwork built on trust and strength of mind. Besides the main leading traits like being strict and having a soberness of mind, a real leader’s character should consist of many other different features that can help him in achieving the main goals his team is aimed at. As for me, an effective leadership also consists of achieving mutual trustworthiness, which ultimately leads to an effective teamwork. The leader is the one who guides the subordinates; however, the subordinates also play an active role in making all the directions work in a proper way.
While discussing different popular personalities like politicians, actors, or even fashion models, I always think that a person must possess some charisma in order to gain the people’s appreciation and admiration. Charisma is some sort of a cultural belief for me; all the people that I admire usually have some charisma that makes others adore them.
What do I specifically mean by charisma? According to the New Oxford Dictionary, charisma is actually a “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others” (McKean, 2005). For one to be a real leader, he must be able to inspire others, and make himself look like a leader. A leader has to be capable of accomplishing a lot of duties; thus, if he or she fails to inspire others, he will never make himself look like a leader to others. Even if one is able to accomplish a lot of things himself but cannot make others follow his instructions and directives, he can be hardly called a leader. I firmly believe that lack of charisma makes one fail miserably as a leader, if he is not able to bring people together and direct them at a single direction. Therefore, being charismatic is one of the most important traits for a leader.
Being passionate in everyday life is another common cultural trait that is quite valuable within my family. I think that it is the only feature that always helps to do one’s best; moreover, this is the only way for a person to succeed in life. Thus, I tend to believe that a leader must also be passionate, however, not only in leading the people towards a common direction, but also in achieving some personal goals.