Home > Free Essays > Politics & Government > Social & Political Theory > Systemic Leadership
Cite this

Systemic Leadership Essay

Leadership is a role and is not usually based on an individual’s genetic make up. People often confuse leadership with the occupation of certain positions of authority. This is however not the case as there are many individuals who hold no positions of authority yet they make a big impact when it comes to the concept of leadership. Some of those in such positions may on the contrary not exert much influence on their subjects.

Humans usually decide on the way to influence others by persuading them, issuing of rewards, administering punishment, enacting rule, emotionally appealing to them and many more (Bennis, 1984). Leadership is usually based on ethics. A leader can only be considered effective if he/she considers morality in leadership. The person has to be able to distinguishing right from wrong and do that which is perceived as right. A leader is supposed to create conditions under which the subordinates will find it appropriate to exist;

“A leader is a person who has an unusual degree of power to create the

conditions under which other people must live and move and have their

being, conditions that can either be as illuminating as heaven or as

shadowy as hell. A leader must take special responsibility for what is going

on inside his or her own self, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of

leadership create more harm than good (Johnson, 2004).

At community and civic level, the capability of someone to lead is usually based on the ability of that person to acknowledge the fact there is the positive and negative side of leadership. The positive side can be equated to the ability of a leader to undertake his/her role as a leader while considering high ethical standards, the negative or shadow side of leadership can be compared to the negative traits such as greed and hatred.

Facing the negative side usually minimizes the chance for abuse of power. A leader must be able to address the leadership challenges which include power and the privileges that come with it, issues of deception, ensuring that he/she is consistent, loyal and responsible. The way one addresses such issues determines whether such a person has the capability of becoming a good leader or a bad one at the community or civic level (Coles, 2000).

Leadership is usually based on the ability of a person to be truthful to the seniors, colleagues, juniors as well as other parties that might require the person to attend to them. The person must treat others with fairness. The he/she should treat the subordinates in the most appropriate way like giving them the right and relevant information that is needed for them to effectively perform their duties.

One with leadership qualities must be able to offer constructive criticism and not to use criticism as a means of pinning others down. The person should be motivational and compliment others where possible. Effective leadership has to be based on mutual respect and not dominative whereby the others are perceived as inferior (Allen, 2000).

Deception usually has detrimental effects on the leadership as it erodes the trust that exists between the leader and subjects. It is the root cause of shadow leadership where truth is held back and deception becomes the order of the day.

Effective leadership has to be cautious of the image that it portrays to the subjects as this in the long run influences the perceptions that people have towards the leadership. Leaders need to project ethical issues to the subjects so as to help build trust and confidence. The leaders need to be cautious of the verbal and non-verbal communication that they portray to the rest of the people:

“Patterns of deception, whether they take the form of outright lies hiding or distorting information destroys the trust that binds leaders and fellows together (Johnson, 2004).”

Leadership has to encompass loyalty and the right decision making. A leader should put the interests of the community first before considering personal interests. Good leadership need not to be characterized by betrayal or misplaced loyalties. It would be very disloyal for instance if a leader assured the subjects that the organization is quite well while the reality is that the organization is headed towards collapse:

“In addition to their duties to employees and stakeholders, they must consider their obligation to their families, local communities, professions, larger society, and the environment. Noteworthy leaders put the needs of the larger community above self interests (Johnson, 2004).”

Communities in smaller towns in rural areas and its needs play a very significant role in the shaping of the community type and effective civic leaders. Such communities put a lot of value to family life and social responsibility hence shaping up leaders that have family values and are generally responsible. Such communities raise leaders who have high moral standards.

Communities in such towns have a lot of attachment to their families as opposed to those in large metropolitan cities which are characterized by individualism. Communities in smaller towns that are near rural areas put a lot of emphasis on loyalty to whatever group that one is affiliated to. In such cases therefore, they help in shaping up leaders who would be loyal to the people as well as to his/her work. Such leaders have no problems of betrayal or misplaced loyalties.

Most of the communities are characterized by selflessness. Most of them share whatever they have with the other members of the community. This helps to shape up leaders who are not self-centered but those who put the priorities of the communities fast. Lager metropolitan cities and towns on the other hand are characterized by the policy of ‘everyone for himself’ and this helps to encourage selfish traits in leadership. People get into leadership positions to be served and gain instead of serving and giving.

Most of the communities in small towns near rural areas carry out their activities together ass opposed to those in metropolitan cities. This encourages teamwork and in the long run help in raising leaders who are team players and who know the significance of every group member hence treating each member with the dignity that he/she deserves.

The rural setting plays a very significant role in eliminating vices that are associated with leadership positions like the abuse of power, pride and greed, deception, inconsistency in the treatment of people, betrayal and misplaced loyalties and irresponsibility. This is because the communities have smaller populations which demand for greater accountability of the leaders as well as greater responsibility (Drath, 2001).

Reference List

Allen, K. (2000). Systemic Leadership: Enriching the Meaning of Our Work. Lanham: University Press of America.

Bennis, W. N. (1984). Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Coles, R. (2000). Lives of Moral Leadership. New York: Random House.

Drath, W. (2001). The Deep Blue Sea: Rethinking the Source of Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, G. (2004). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light and shadow (2 ed.). Carlifornia: Sage.

This essay on Systemic Leadership was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

301 certified writers online

Cite This paper

Select a website citation style:


IvyPanda. (2019, March 13). Systemic Leadership. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/systemic-leadership/

Work Cited

"Systemic Leadership." IvyPanda, 13 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/systemic-leadership/.

1. IvyPanda. "Systemic Leadership." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systemic-leadership/.


IvyPanda. "Systemic Leadership." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systemic-leadership/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Systemic Leadership." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systemic-leadership/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Systemic Leadership'. 13 March.

More related papers