Contrarian's Guide to Leadership in Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

The book therefore meanders through concepts, becoming pedantic in areas and autobiographical in others. Ironically the author makes the point that intellectual freedom is the catalyst of excellent leadership. The freedom of seeing time differently across an organization, from the long-term orientation of the leader to the short-term orientation of a manager or supervisor, is downplayed and ignored. Inherent in intellectual independence are the series of decisions as to how one will spend one's time. At a much more fundamental level, how a leader will compensate for wide variations in the perception of time across the organizations they serve also must be taken into account. None of these perspectives are mentioned, despite chapters of the book endorsing ambiguity and the strategy of not making any decision at all. It is a contradiction and paradox that also underscores this books' framework.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The book's focus on the behaviors and perspectives of leaders includes chapters on Artful Listening (Chapter 2) and Follow the Leader (Chapter 9). These areas of leadership styles, specifically embracing transformational leadership and emotional intelligence, are found in Chapter 8, Work for Those Who Work for you and Chapter 9, Being President vs. Doing President. These are two of the better chapters in the book, as the author provides insights into how leadership can in fact be taught. He uses autobiographical examples from running USC and also shows how critical it is for a leader to be transformational in their approach to managing an organization. The role of transformational leadership has been proven to have a strong impact on individual employees' attitudes, commitment, and resulting performance, all centered on trust in the judgment and direction of their leaders (Pieterse, van Knippenberg, Schippers, Stam, 2010). Studies of transformational leaders also indicate they are more accountable, transparent and inspire higher levels of trust over time, thereby making the task of navigating an organization much more effective than if transactional approaches had been used (Liu, Siu, Shi, 2010). The last three chapters of the book bring the role of transformational leadership into a pragmatic context, illustrating how this skill set is essential for leading an organization. The author has examples from USC that show how, in an organization at times unwilling to change, there has been success with changing the direction and focus of the university. This is a major accomplishment, especially in an organization which can be incredibly resistant to change.


The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership sets an ambitious goal of spanning the theoretical to the pragmatic in the field of leadership. It fails to fully accomplish this vision, yet does deliver useful insights into transformational leadership strategies and how they can be used to overcome resistance to change. The framework defined in the book lacks urgency and quite frankly would not stand up to the hard realities of companies fighting to survive in a global economic recession. For many firms today there is no luxury of time to wait for all the facts to come in, strategies must be defined and goals attained if they are to survive. This is the greatest weakness of the book; it lacks a hard pragmatism that reflects the reality so many firms are going through right now. When evaluated from this perspective it appears pedantic, even academic. Despite this weakness, the author does provide insights into how transformational leadership can lead to successful change management, even in institutions known for their strong resistance to it. The ability to keep a major university agile and able to respond is where the real strength of this book is. The lessons learned from a transformational leadership standpoint compensate for its weaknesses overall.


Bodla, M., & Nawaz, M. (2010). Transformational Leadership Style and its Relationship with Satisfaction. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 2(1), 370-381.

Liu, C.. (2008). The Relationship Between Machiavellianism and Knowledge Sharing Willingness. Journal of Business and Psychology, 22(3), 233-240.

Liu, J., Siu, O., & Shi, K.. (2010). Transformational Leadership and Employee Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Trust in the Leader and Self-Efficacy. Applied Psychology, 59(3), 454-479.

Pieterse, a., van Knippenberg, D., Schippers, M., & Stam, D.. (2010). Transformational and transactional leadership and innovative behavior: The moderating role of psychological empowerment. Journal of Organizational Behavior,…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Contrarian's Guide To Leadership In" (2010, July 02) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from

"Contrarian's Guide To Leadership In" 02 July 2010. Web.6 December. 2016. <>

"Contrarian's Guide To Leadership In", 02 July 2010, Accessed.6 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Contrarian s Guide to Leadership the

    Failure to do so and attempting to maintain the 'status quo' in the face of organizational diversity demonstrates immobility within an organization and this reflects greatly on the leadership of the organization. Sample emphasizes that the leader should first and foremost 'listen' and then talk later on. Sample also emphasizes the fact that while experts are useful, the discernment of the individual in the role of leadership is to

  • Manufacturing World Class Manufacturing

    Manufacturing Seven Key Elements for Successful Implementation Norman Binette, Jr. Biddeford, Maine Manufacturing organizations are built on the premise that they possess the ability to provide a wide variety of quality products for their customers. This reputation is dependent upon the constant review of existing processes and the identification of new and innovative methods of production that will enhance and increase the diversification of product lines. One such process that has proven itself

  • Leadership Theories

    Sustainability Phase 3 Discussion Board The article that I have selected is "A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science," by Turner et al. (2003). The authors advocate for a system that allows scientists to fully understand "the consequences of changes taking place in the structure and function of the biosphere." The authors argue that current vulnerability assessments are insufficient, and move the discussion towards an enhanced framework. Sustainability science is defined as

  • Matrilineal Artifact & 8230 WITH Your Recipe

    Everyone who makes kimchi in my family changes their method of preparation, depending on the season and what types of foods they know we are likely to be eating. Sometimes the recipe is slightly hotter, other times more sour. Kimchi is altered suit the more delicate flavors of spring and the more robust flavors of fall. However, no matter how much the recipe may be tweaked, it is always unique.

  • Saw the Birth of a

    In terms of the definition for prejudice being a preconceived idea, that was indeed the case. Men, in that day and age, were far more protective of their property, in this instance their brides, than U.S. citizens are today. That's exactly right; men considered their wives as property. Women more than willingly presumed the role. The occupants of the United States, as opposed to these has-been literary stars or playwrights,

  • Power Politics Conflict and Culture

    Only then will the more effective use of knowledge occur and its value is de-politicized, making it more potent in generating profits (Chartrand, 1985). It is a paradox that the more challenging, disruptive and uncertain a given industry is the more organizations fractionalize their structures, creating splinter groups and politically volatile structures that only accelerate a company's demise. The paradox is that in the toughest and uncertain of times in

  • Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2001

    Sarbanes-Oxley. The political pressure of the past several years following the bubble and the collapse of several major companies created a need for new securities legislation, which culminated last year in the Sarbanes-Oxley Investor Protection Act, which establishes new guidelines for the securities industry. Initially a Democratic brainchild, the act became favored by Republicans in the House when it was realized that such adjustments would be of great benefit to

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved