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Why did you choose this person?
Although Johnnie Cochran is primarily known for his defense argument in favor of O. J. Simpson, there is a lot more to his character as a leader in the U.S. justice system than the famous “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit” (Renny, Tomasevich, Tallmadge, & Collum, 2014) statement. Despite the controversy surrounding O. J. Simpson’s murder trial, one still has to give credit to Cochran’s charisma and leadership skills. Herein lies the reason for choosing him as the leading figure to discuss. His skills in leading the team to victory were beyond impressive, and the power of his arguments, which were simple yet strong, was worth viewing as an example.
One must admit that, as a public figure, Cochran can be deemed as fairly dubious. Apart from the O. J., trial, the recent allegations of his ex-wife regarding his violent behavior and the incidents of domestic violence are rather off-putting. However, the identified issues make the public character that Cochran built of himself all the more interesting and, therefore, worth discussing (Spargo, 2016). While claiming that he is worth making a complete example of for the members of the modern justice system would be quite a stretch, there are a few elements in his leadership worth noting.
Why do you think he or she is a leader?
As stressed above, there is an air of controversy around the leader in question. Apart from the infamous O. J. trial, the statements recently made about his family life raise some questions about the reasonability of viewing Cochran as an impeccable leader, However, the power of persuasion that his arguments had, as well as his ability to motivate a team of lawyers and encourage them to put their best effort into a particular case, is worth paying closer attention to.
As stressed above, the strategy that Cochran used in the courtroom could hardly be deemed as overly complicated – quite on the contrary, most of his statements were direct and aimed at conveying a simple and clear message. However, the effect that his speeches had on the audience, and the influence that his leadership had on the team members were stunning.
Furthermore, the cooperation among the members of Cochran’s team showed a stellar example of a well-functioning communication system. The speed of retrieving the necessary data, processing it, and transferring it so that all participants could be aware of the relevant details and, therefore, could proceed to work on the case, was admittedly impressive. Therefore, as a team leader, Cochran was ingenious, since he managed to organize all available resources, including the human ones, so that the process of the case analysis could remain continuous, and that every new piece of information could be arranged accordingly.
What is the leadership style of this leader?
Considering the leadership style of Cochran, one may assume that he developed rather distinct characteristics of a charismatic leader. Although his influence on the team members was huge, it would be quite a stretch to claim that it was a game-changer in the history of the criminal justice system. Therefore, there are practically no traces of a transformational leadership style, which is currently considered the most appropriate tool for leading a team (Boehm, Dwertmann, & Bruch, 2014). Nevertheless, as a leader, Cochran managed to create a memorable and unique leadership style that will be remembered for quite long.
Boehm, S. A., Dwertmann, D. J. G., & Bruch, H. (2014). The missing link? Investigating organizational identity strength and transformational leadership climate as mechanisms that connect CEO charisma with firm performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(2), 156-171. Web.
Renny, J. A., Tomasevich, S. H., Tallmadge, E. L., & Collum, D. B. (2014). Method of continuous variations: applications of job plots to the study of molecular associations in organometallic chemistry. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 52(46), 119998-12012. Web.
Spargo, C. P. (2016). The Johnnie Cochran domestic abuse claims: How first wife of OJ Simpson’s star lawyer alleged he beat her and was ‘essentially a bigamist.’ Daily Mail. Web.