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

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Skilled Communicator

Words: 638 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94284124

A servant leader needs to be a skilled communicator, one who is able to inspire followership through mutual respect and persuasive power. The servant leader practices skilful communication in a number of different ways, such as active listening to the needs of stakeholders and actively soliciting feedback and input (Davis, 2016). Skilled communication therefore involves three main tenets: actively listening, seeking feedback, and using multiple rhetorical strategies to persuade and inspire.
Communication is one of the pillars of servant leadership because no leader can succeed without sharing the vision and motivating others to buy in and perform to their highest potential. Without communication skills, an otherwise intelligent individual with foresight, passion, and knowledge cannot effectively mobilize a team and take decisive action that helps an organization reach its goals. Leadership is communication: conveying ideas and getting other people to take action.
However, a servant leader does not simply communicate through…… [Read More]


Davis, C. (2016). Servant leadership and skilled communication (Pillar 3). https://research.phoenix.edu/center-workplace-diversity-and-inclusion-research/blog/servant-leadership-and-skilled-communication

Laub, J. (2018). Leveraging the Power of Servant Leadership. Springer. Selladurai, R. (2014). Servant Leadership. ICI Global.

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Negotiation Strategies for a Leader

Words: 1000 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60012914

The Team That Is Not a Team
The main teamwork problems that are occurring among the team members is that there is a lack of communication, a lack of clarity in terms of what the team’s goals are—and therefore no sense of how the team is to be successful. An effective team is one that is productive, personally satisfied, and committed to its members (Schermerhorn & Uhl-Bien, 2014). Following on that idea, teams should be motivated, committed by a shared sense of values, emotionally stable and supportive, and dedicated to achieving performance benchmarks (Schermerhorn & Uhl-Bien, 2014). As the de facto leader, Harrington has to be proactive in bringing teammates together to discuss their agenda. However, this is not happening because Harrington is mainly reactive and the team members feel that he is really in competition with Smithers and only cares about getting a promotion for himself. There is general…… [Read More]


Lumsden, G., Lumsden, D., & Weithoff, C. (2010). Communicating in groups and teams: Sharing leadership (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sanchez-Nunez, M., Patti, J. & Holzer, A. (2015). Effectiveness of a leadership development program that incorporates social and emotional intelligence for aspiring school leaders. Journal of Educational Issues, 1(1), 5-9.

Schermerhorn, J., & Uhl-Bien, M. (2014). Organizational behavior (13th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

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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Understanding Innovation Management

Words: 1813 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 80308675

Introduction: What Is Innovation Management?
Innovation management comprises a set of processes and procedures that allow organizations to reach strategic goals, remaining competitive in a rapidly changing and diverse global economy. The discipline of innovation management combines many of the core principles of both innovation and of management, synthesizing research in the psychology of human motivation with research into the sociological phenomena of organizational behavior and performance. Moreover, the discipline involves both qualitative and quantitative research methods, in terms of analyzing organizational performance and goals. Innovation management also takes into account change management, as a core feature of innovation management is the ability for an organization and its leaders to anticipate challenges and respond using creative and unique strategies. Often, innovation management depends on either the implementation of technology as a tool or on the direct application of innovation management to the development of transformative technologies that may serve as…… [Read More]


Asvoll, H. (2017). Developing a framework of reflective, intuitive knowing in innovation management. Academy of Strategic Management Journal 16(2).

Bakir, A.A. (2016). Innovation management perceptions of principals. Journal of Education and Training Studies 4(7): doi:10.11114/jets.v4i7.1505

Mikhailovich, N.R., Dmitrievich, S.V., Evgenevna, G.A., et al. (2017). Features of innovation management strategies in the post-industrial economy. Academy of Strategic Management Journal 16(2).

Morente, F. & Ferras, X. (2017). Innovation management from the inside: An approach from attention and everyday praxis. Intangible Capital 13(3): 640-667.

Nambisan, S., Lyytinen, K., Majchrzak, A., et al. (2017). Digital innovation management. MIS Quarterly 41(1): 223-238.

Tidd, J. & Thuriaux-Alemán, B. (2016). Innovation management practices: cross-sectorial adoption, variation, and effectiveness. R&D Management 46(S3):1024-1043.

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A Personal and Professional Code of Ethics

Words: 2227 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 75492885

A company’s code of ethics should support the organization’s core principles and a personal code of ethics should reflect an individual’s core principles and ideals. My personal code of ethics is rooted in the values I was taught over time, in the principles I learned to cherish and uphold. These principles are related to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like to have done to you. In other words, I believe one should treat everyone as one wants to be treated. I value honesty, truth, communication, and innovation. I believe that the more that people engage with creative ideas, the better they can make themselves and this world. To that end, my code of ethics also has a global and sustainability perspective. I believe that the earth is finite and that we all share in the universal need to sustain the environment and protect its and…… [Read More]


Cacamis, M. E., & El Asmar, M. (2014). Improving project performance through partnering and emotional intelligence. Practice Periodical on Structural Design & Construction, 19(1), 50-56.

Hunter, E. M., Neubert, M. J., Perry, S. J., Witt, L. A., Penney, L. M., & Weinberger, E. (2013). Servant leaders inspire servant leaders: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 316–331.

Parris, D. & Peachey, J. (2013). A Systematic Literature Review of Servant Leadership Theory in Organizational Contexts. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(3), 377-393.

Wong, C. & Laschinger, H. (2013). Authentic Leadership, Performance, and Job Satisfaction: the Mediating Role of Empowerment. JAN, 69(4), 947-959.

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Research Design Literature Review

Words: 1528 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 23396666

Research Methods Literature Review

A literature review on an identified research topic or issue is an important element when conducting a study regardless of whether the study employs qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods research design. The significance of conducting a literature review is attributable to the several functions and roles the review plays in the research process. Literature review is crucial when conducting a study because it’s a means of synthesizing prior research and demonstrating how current research fits into the existing body of evidence on the research issue (USC Libraries, 2017). This paper provides a review of literature on how different research methods can be utilized to conduct research. The discussion will also include a comparison of the paradigms or worldviews that are inherent in the methodology of different research designs. The various categories that will be examined in this paper include non-experimental, quantitative experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods…… [Read More]

Cameron, R. (2009, August). A Sequential Mixed Model Research Design: Design, Analytical and Display Issues. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), 140-152.
Hunter, J.E., Jensen, J.L. & Rodgers, R. (2014). The Control Group and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Methods and Measurements in the Social Sciences, 5(1
McCusker, K., & Gunaydin, S. (2015). Research Using Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed Methods and Choice Based on the Research. Perfusion, 30(7), 537-542.
Salaria, N. (2012, April-June). Meaning of the Term – Descriptive Survey Research Method. International Journal of Transformations in Business Management, 1(6), 1-7.
Strydom, H. (2013). An Evaluation of the Purposes of Research in Social Work. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 49(2), 149-164.
USC Libraries (n.d.). The Literature Review. Retrieved online:  http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/literaturereview 
Williams, C. (2007, March). Research Methods. Journal of Business & Economic Research, 5(3), 65-72.
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Implementing a Change Policy and Overcoming Resistance

Words: 660 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 52153310

Implementing Change Despite Resistance
Change in the workplace environment can be difficult for employees to process and the result may be that some demonstrate a degree of resistance to the change policy. The change in clinical practice that my team will plan to implement will require nurses to utilize Electronic Health Records to better plan pre- and post-discharge programs for elderly patients so that readmission rates can be reduced. Resistance to change can be defined as any action or attitude of workers that indicates they view the change as an encroachment on their ability to do their jobs. Workers typically resist change because they doubt the efficacy of the change or its utility. They mistrust the management overseeing the change or they see no good reason for the change and are satisfied with doing things the way they currently are. The types of resistance that may be expected from the…… [Read More]


Kissack, H., Callahan, J. (2010). The reciprocal influence of organizational culture and training and development programs: Building the case for a culture analysis within program planning. Journal of European Industrial Training, 34(4): 365 – 380.

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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Identifying Ways to Tear Down Organizational Silos

Words: 2435 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 85872520

Silo Mentality: An Organizational Case Study
Living in specialized silos might make life seem more efficient in the short-term. But a world that is always divided into a fragmented and specialist pattern is a place of missed risks and opportunities. – Shayne Kavanaugh, 2015
Chapter One: Introduction
The interconnectivity of teams within a company requires information to be shared both laterally and vertically with all teams to positivity impact morale, labor, and production (du Plessis, 2008). When teams become dysfunctional and do not work well with other teams, it creates a ‘silo’ mentality. Silos have a negative impact on the long-term viability of a company by impacting its ability to implement its strategic plan; therefore, it is imperative that companies improve workflow through communication barriers, such as silos, in order to survive in an increasingly competitive global market (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990). The guiding proposition of this study will be…… [Read More]


Ashforth, B.E., Harrison, S.H. &Corley, K.G. (2008). Identification in organizations: An examination of four fundamental questions. Journal of Management, 34(3), 325-374. Retrieved November 25, 2017, from doi:10.1177/0149206308316059.

Brattström, A., Löfsten, H. & Richtnér, A. (2012). Creativity, trust and systematic processes in product development. Research Policy, 41(4), 743-755. Retrieved November 21, 2017, fromdoi:10.1016/j.respol.2011.12.003.

Carlile, P.R. (2004). Transferring, translating and transforming: An integrative framework for managing knowledge across boundaries. Organizational Science, 15(5), 555-568. Retrieved November 19, 2017, fromdoi:10.1287/orsc.1040.0094.

Cilliers, F.& Greyvenstein, H. (2012). The impact of silo mentality on team identity: An organisational case study. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology,38(2), Art.#993, 9 pages.Retrieved November 22, 2017, fromdoi:10.4102/sajip.v38i2.993.

Dell, R.K. (2005). Breaking the organizational silos: Removing barriers to exceptional performance. American Water Works Association Journal, 97(6), 34-37. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://ezproxy.royalroads.ca/login?url=https://search.proquest. com/docview/221587899?accountid=8056.

du Plessis, M. (2008). The strategic drivers and objectives of communities of practice as vehicles for knowledge management in small and medium enterprises. International Journal of Information Management, 28(1),61-67. Retrieved November 26, 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/science/article/pii/S0268401207000771?_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_origin=gateway&_docanchor=&md5=b8429449ccfc9c30159a5f9aeaa92ffb.

Gleeson, B. & Rozo, M. (2013, October 2). The silo mentality: How to break down the barriers. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2013/10/02/the-silo-mentality-how-to-break-down-the-barriers/#4b56dc3c8c7e.

Kavanagh, S. (2015, December). Mitigating the worst impacts of silos. Government Finance Review, 31(6), 50-55.