This article by Bush and Glover is a summarized version of the NCSL’s (National College for School Leadership) report on school leadership. The two authors provide readers with the most important points from the comprehensive NCSL report. The summarized version of the report is meant for education and leadership stakeholders. The report begins by offering the most common definitions of leadership and how they relate to human values. The report then offers a breakdown of the various theories that define leadership as they are outlined in the available literature on the subject. According to the report, charisma falls under leadership’s vision and it can be a misleading trait of leadership that can be used to manipulate subjects. The report’s literature review also notes that “poorly managed organisations with strong charismatic leaders may soar temporarily only to crash shortly thereafter” (Bush & Glover, 2003). The report also notes that transformational leadership can be doomed by heroic, strong, and charismatic leaders.
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Following this report’s discussion of leadership models, it is clear that charisma does not necessarily translate into good leadership. The report claims that leadership is all about values, vision, management, and influence. Charisma can help in articulating the President’s vision but it does not constitute the vision itself. Furthermore, charisma can help in expressing values but it cannot change them. In my opinion, Obama’s charisma is an effective tool for communicating his vision and values. However, the absence of the President’s charisma would have little effect on his overall leadership. According to the postmodern leadership concept, “language does not reflect reality” (Bush & Glover, 2003). Therefore, charisma can be interpreted in many ways and not just as a sign of good leadership. After reading these two reports, I would not change my blog’s entry. Obama is a good communicator and this makes him a good leader. Charisma is only a component of this communication and as outlined in my blog it only enhances the connection between the President and citizens. An application of charisma as a communication tool is the many ‘charismatic’ presidential candidates who have contested in elections before Obama. Most of these candidates had charisma but their leadership qualities were found to be wanting by the electorate.
Bush, T. & Glover, D. (2003). School leadership: concepts and evidence. Web.