Leadership Essays (Examples)


A leadership essay is any essay that focuses on the topic of leadership.  These essays can take a number of different formats and are often heavily-dependent on their prompts.  For example, you may be asked to write about various theories of leadership, with servant leadership being an especially popular topic.  You may also be asked to describe your experience with a leader that you admire and explain what you admired about his or her leadership skills.  However, the most frequent type of leadership essay is probably one that asks you describe a time that you acted as a leader.

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Are Leaders Born or Made

Words: 1593 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 76328822

This paper concerns the age-old question that has been tossed about in both business and academia for decades, or even longer: are the best leaders born or made? This question ponders if leadership relies heavily more on innate talents that one showcases without help from others or effort, or if leadership is a skill to be honed just like so many others. This paper demonstrates that the answer is less straightforward than many people would care to believe. Excellent leadership is a hybrid of both innate talents and developed skills. The biggest innate talent that lends itself most wholeheartedly to leadership is that of extroversion. While extroversion is not a guarantee that someone will become an excellent leader, extroversion is the single most consistent trait found in leaders in repeated research studies. The most important skills to develop as an effective leader are communication and self-awareness. This paper discusses…… [Read More]


Andersen, E. (2012, December 16). Are Leaders Born Or Made? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2012/11/21/are-leaders-born-or-made/#6beefa3e48d5

Annette, A. (2018). A Trait-Based Approach to Leadership: Are Leaders born or made? | CQ Net. Retrieved from https://www.ckju.net/en/dossier/trait-based-approach-leadership-are-leaders-born-or-made/1261

Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1991). The NEO Personality Inventory Manual. Odessa, Florida: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A  qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 4, 765- 780.

Luthra, A., & Dahiya, R. (2015, September). Effective Leadership is all About Communicating Effectively: Connecting Leadership and Communication. Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/engage/files/engage/effective_leadership_is_all_about_co mmunicating_effectively_luthra_dahiya_2015.pdf

Riggio, R. E. (2009, March 18). Leaders: Born or Made? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/200903/leaders-born-or-made

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How to be an Effective Leader

Words: 1040 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94648632

Aligning with the interests and concerns of one’s people is part of what helps to make a leader effective, as Calhoun and Damm (2015) point out. The other part of what makes a leader effective is vision and ability—and the two go together, just like a theory and experiment go together. The analogy is useful because, as Chait, Ryan and Taylor (2004) note, theory leads to practice; therefore, vision is to ability as theory is to practice, and both support effective leadership so long as they are rooted in a framework that helps achieve the desired goal of the organization, group, entity or community. Leadership is about leading—and leading means providing followers with both the vision of what needs to be accomplished and the ability to make that accomplishment possible. There are many different ways a leader can approach the objective: leadership styles are myriad. However, leadership must be grounded…… [Read More]


Chait, R. P., Ryan, W. P., & Taylor, B. E. (2004). Governance as leadership. Retrieved from  http://headsuped.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/3050-Governance-as-Leadership.pdf 

Calhoun, N., & Damm, D. (2015). One sector more poised for the future than either business or government. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2015/02/09/stealth-rally-in-the-nonprofit-sector/

SkillsYouNeed. (2015). What sort of leader are you? Retrieved from http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ls/index.php/325444#sthash.nQ4NT3L9.dpuf
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Performance and Motivation at Work

Words: 1877 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 15557115

Motivating for Performance: What Makes a Company a Great Place to Work?
Motivating for performance is one of the most important issues a great leader and manager can address. Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson have been given extra attention in recent years as researchers seek ways to understand what make a company a great place to work for. Branson’s Virgin Group is routinely listed as one of most desired places to work, and Branson’s personal charisma and devotion to embracing the public good through a variety of corporate social responsibility aims (De Vries, 1998) has helped to create a positive workplace culture—an essential element when it comes to motivating for performance (Ladkin, 2008). Branson shows that great leaders focus on vision and also on getting out of the way of competent workers. Rather than try to micromanage everything, leader have to trust their workers to do their jobs—and they do…… [Read More]


De Vries, M. F. K. (1998). Charisma in action: The transformational abilities of Virgin\\'s Richard Branson and ABB\\'s Percy Barnevik. Organizational Dynamics, 26(3), 7-21.

Gerhart, B., & Fang, M. (2015). Pay, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, performance, and creativity in the workplace: Revisiting long-held beliefs. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2, 489-521.

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values.Beverly Hills, CA: Sage

Ladkin, D. (2008). Leading beautifully: How mastery, congruence and purpose create the aesthetic of embodied leadership practice. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(1), 31-41.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370.

Schyns, B. & Schilling, J. (2013). How bad are the effects of bad leaders? A meta- analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 24, 138-158.

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Team building Elon Musk

Words: 1071 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 83686859

Elon Musk
Elon Musk has frequently been lauded for his leadership skills, in particular due to the fact that his businesses are generally successful despite operating in incredibly challenging industries where the odds of failure substantially outweigh the odds of success. This paper will examine some of the traits of Musk as a leader, and how he has built successful organizations, in particular through policies, communications and training.
Communications appear to be Musk's strongest leadership attribute. Mejia (2018) notes that transparency and humor are two of his strongest traits. The transparency aspect is what allows Musk to have his employees believe in him and his mission – being honest about both the good and the bad establishes a high degree of trust between the leader and the followers. Followers feel respected, and are therefore more willing to buy into other aspects of the leader once this respect and trust have…… [Read More]


Korosec, K. (2017). Why Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among the world\\\\'s great leaders. Fortune. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from http://fortune.com/2017/03/24/tesla-elon-musk-worlds-greatest-leaders/

Mejia, Z. (2018) Ex-Google exec: 3 traits that make Elon Musk an exceptional leader – and one major flaw. CNBC. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/03/ex-google-exec-kim-scott-top-leadership-traits-of-tesla-ceo-elon-musk.html

Musk, E. (2013) Elon Musk: On team building, Warren Buffett and Mars (transcript). Fresh Dialogues. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from http://www.freshdialogues.com/2013/02/09/transcript-of-elon-musk-interview-with-alison-van-diggelen-on-team-building-warren-buffett-and-mars/

Orton-Jones, C. (2018). Hire like Elon Musk…and 14 other ways to attract future leaders. Managers.org. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2018/may/hire-like-elon-musk-and-14-other-ways-to-attract-future-leaders

Schwantes, M. (2018). Elon Musk shows how to be a great leader with what he calls his single best piece of advice. Inc Magazine. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/elon-musk-shows-how-to-be-a-great-leader-with-what-he-calls-his-single-best-piece-of-advice.html

Umoh, R. (2017). The tactics self-made billionaire Elon Musk uses to motivate his teams. CNBC. Retrieved August 9, 2018 from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/05/2-major-ways-executives-like-elon-musk-are-trying-to-stop-you-from-quitting.html

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Leads for Moral Authority

Words: 705 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43432723

The Seventh Pillar of Servant Leadership: Moral Authority
Servant leadership implies “informal authority,” not authority based on entitlement, pedigree, or use of force (Serrat, 2014). Instead, the servant leader leads with moral convictions, embodying ethical tenets with grace, composure, good character, and vision. A servant leader also values the moral authority of others, recognizing that a person can be in a lowly position and possess strong morality that can contribute to the organization. Likewise, the servant leader has the courage to stand up for change or speak out against injustice when someone in a position of formal authority abuses that power or exhibits poor moral judgment. Like a transformational leader, a servant leader also empowers other members of the team, being firm, decisive, and strong but also adaptable and collaborative (Davis, 2015). Authority entails confidence and conviction; morality means leading with principles. Leading with moral authority requires the special set…… [Read More]


Davis, C.J. (2015). Servant leadership and moral authority. https://drcrystaldavis.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/servant-leadership-and-moral-authority/

Laub, J. (2018). Leveraging the Power of Servant Leadership. West Palm Beach: Palgrave.

Serrat, O. (2014). Informal authority and the enduring appeal of servant leaders. Public Sector Digest, Summer 2014. https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1410&context=intl