Indira Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln Term Paper

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Leadership
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #62124677

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Leaders exist throughout the ages and play pivotal roles in how humanity grows and develops. Some leaders change a nation, while others set the stage for the future leaders to take the reign. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. He transformed a country engulfed in slavery and brought about a new age of living to Americans. Indira Gandhi was one of the first female Prime Ministers of the world. She exerted dominance and charisma while attempting to progress India. Lincoln took on the transformational leadership style while Gandhi took on the charismatic leadership style. Both achieved the status of being noteworthy for their ability to inspire.

Public Leader Overview

According to modern leadership theory, Lincoln was a transformational leader thanks in part to his followers. They felt a sense of respect, loyalty, and trust towards Lincoln when he became president. Furthermore, Lincoln persevered amidst many obstacles and sacrificed a great deal to give American people a chance at life without slavery and a more unified republic. Not only was Lincoln was able to achieve and deliver more than he was expected to, but he also became the source of inspiration for many to go beyond themselves and aim for higher moral principles.

Indira Gandhi on the other hand, embraced a charismatic leadership style as India's first and only Prime Minister. She believed in herself and was able to demonstrate a charismatic quality that gained her many followers and popularity. However, because she had no clear vision, her leadership remained unproductive, thus keeping her from being a transformational leader. An example of this was her ineffectiveness at producing centralization of authority during her time as Prime Minister. This led to increased poverty rates in her country and her assassination. Indira Gandhi inspired people to believe in her, but failed to produce anything worthwhile.

Comparison and Contrast Leadership Styles

Charismatic leaders are like transformational leaders except they lack substance and ability to carry their objectives successfully. Charismatic leaders are often sensitive to followers' emotions. They are able to generate a high esteem and respect among their followers and motivate them to perform to their best of their ability (Wu, 2013). However, because many argue the charismatic leader uses power for their own personal benefit more than the organization, they do not appear to be the best leaders for positive change.

Transformational leaders on the other hand, pay attention to their followers' well-being (Wu, 2013). They communicate and persuade followers to commit to a goal and feel positive. They set out to change things and change their followers to ensure a positive outcome. Although both styles inspire devotion and show compassion for their followers, transformational relies on action rather than appearance.

Effectiveness of Public Leadership

Analyzing Abraham Lincoln from the perspective of the transformational leadership style, he suffered through a great deal to achieve his goals. But, in setting these goals, he inspired many to pursue a radical change in constitution, the abolition of slavery. Transformational leaders often set goals via transactional leadership, but then inspire followers through rewards (Humphrey, 2013). Lincoln explained that the abolition of slavery would generate a unified country and provided financial incentive to those in the Union to take up arms and fight.

This was seen via Greenback legislation. Lincoln's administration and Congress, authorized fifty million in Demand Notes and were used to pay customs duties. Although that was not enough to cover costs, Lincoln through the help of Colonel 'Dick' Taylor, generated and issued unbacked paper money. This led to one hundred and fifty million in United States Notes circulating during the Civil War.

Indira Gandhi was a charismatic leader because she…

Sources Used in Document:


Humphrey, R. H. (2013). Effective leadership: Theory, cases, and applications. SAGE Publications.

Lincoln, A., & Bush, H. K. (2011). Lincoln in his own time: A biographical chronicle of his life, drawn from recollections, interviews, and memoirs by family, friends, and associates. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Schupack, S. (2012). Indira Gandhi. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish.

Steinberg, B. (2014). Women in Power: The Personalities and Leadership Styles of Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Margaret Thatcher. Montreaal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

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