A leader is a person who helps a group develop and achieve shared goals. People obey and acclaim outstanding leaders, and at the same time despise unscrupulous leaders. The best leaders should be feared and loved. What bring about the difference for those in authority are their leadership styles and qualities. According to Nye, created leaders make the best leaders and leadership and power go hand in hand at most times. In the current world, principled leadership involves smart power, which is the mixture of hard and soft power rule (Nye, 2008, 23).
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Soft power is associated with capacity of the leader to influence the choices and preference of other people under his rule. This is usually manifested through the power of attraction and seduction and manipulation of the people under the leadership authority. Hard power is however, based on issuing of threats, intimidations and rewards to the followers of a leader (Nye, 2008, 29).
To make a strong leader the following complexities are essential. A strong leader should be charismatic. Charisma tends to produce the best out of people especially when one is applying soft power. According to history, charisma was a common trait in the finest and inept leaders, who were in power. This quality is paramount to leaders because it helps one to know what to say and do at a time of concern. Having charisma can make an inspiring candidate rise to power easily because they appeal directly to the public. Charismatic leaders often rely on personal and inspirational power rather than the power that comes from the office they hold (Nye, 2008, 52).
Transformational and transactional leadership qualities are vital to the current rulers of the world. Transformational leaders normally empower and elevate their followers. The political leaders take advantage of conflicts and crisis to put their subject under control and to raise the people consciousness in an effort to transform them. These leaders have the ability to persuade their subjects to put aside their personal interest for the greater good of the society. This usually inspires people to work hard and do more than they originally planned to do for themselves. Most transformational leaders are intellectuals. They use their smartness to inspire their subjects to broaden their thoughts and views to new opportunities in life. Transformation also involves giving personal consideration by providing the needed support and direction to ones’ followers, so that their level of motivation continues. The advantage of this form of leadership is that it looks out for the interest of a collective group or the whole society in general (Nye, 2008, 62).
Transactional leaders motivate their followers on the basis of their followers’ self-interest. This form of leadership mainly relies on hard power rather than soft power because it involves reward punishment and self-interest. The leaders in possession of the authority formulate rules and regulations combined with false ideologies that shadow their real character. Additionally, most leaders offer rewards in relation to the services rendered to them by the people. The incentives are way of manipulating their true agenda. This form of leadership is exercised in an effective and stable environment. Transactional leadership also involves the use of soft power, which mainly is inspirational. Application of soft power is mainly in periods where there are rapid, discontinuous changes in the environment (Nye, 2008, 63).
Nevertheless, most leaders who assume the authoritative position are able to integrate both soft and hard forms of power. According to J. David, Lincoln was able to pursue principles and his own political advancement. One needs to have the following qualities in order to combine the hard and soft powers. First, a leader should have a clear vision. This enables the leaders to display an inspiring articulation of the future. This vision is significant because it helps one to predict and alter the future of his followers. The picture the leader draws to his followers should be pleasing to the eyes of the group they lead. The vision should be able to create a sensible balance between risks and reality. The goals and objectives of a social set up are facilitated by the visions and inspiration of the political leaders. This vision should also be implemented properly because a compelling vision only becomes a reality with proper implementation. In view of many analysts, the strengths and weakness of Lincoln came by the secession of the civil war. Matters of vision and cognitive style are what were affecting peoples view about his personal strengths (Siemers, 2004, 809).
Secondly, emotional intelligence is necessary. This is the self interior motive that enables the leaders to gain more masses to support their political agenda. This normally determines the consistency of an individual, personal charisma with the changing times. This intelligence must be real and authentic to last for long (Nye, 2008, 69).
Thirdly, excellent communication skills are a must have for the leaders. For effective leadership, one must have the capacity to express himself properly by words, symbols and, personal examples. People need leaders who they will be able to understand easily and who can explain everything in a simple way. With exceptional communication skills, one can correctly plan and manage the programs he would like to undertake. These skills also make work easier because people will easily understand what their work entails. This in turn saves time (Nye, 2008, 72).
Unlike the first three qualities, which were more close to soft power, the rest are more close to transactional hard power style. Fourthly, there should be organizational capacity, this deal with managing structures and reward systems of a group or organization. Therefore, the organization set up is to draft, formulate, and implement the social strategies of recruiting, hiring, and compensating the employees. Competent and profound leaders should be in a position to manage the organization for which they are in charge. This is so, as it ensure smooth operation and running of the organization (Nye, 2008, 77).
Lastly, they should have political skills. This is crucial in helping the organization to correctly intimidate, manipulate, and negotiate for the smooth running of the organization. The political systems by far assist the social organization to achieve the desired goals and visions that would satisfy every individual of that particular social set up. According to Roderick, political intelligence is the ability to size up the weakness, insecurities likes, and dislikes of others so that one can turn them into their instruments (Nye, 2008, 80).
In conclusion, a successful leader is one able to harmonize his people in times of intense crisis. Leaders with outstanding political qualities would be in a position to maintain bad phenomenon under control. This is beneficial because it helps a leader to choose the most appropriate cause of action to take at a time. The effective and continuous growth of social set up takes shape with the leadership associated with it.
Nye, J. S., 2008. The powers to lead,: Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Siemers, D., 2004. ‘Principled Pragmatism: Abraham Lincoln’s Method of Political Analysis’, Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 34 n. 4.