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Leadership & Management Essay

879 words - 4 pages

Leadership and Management
Ovar Salaam
April 09, 2011

According to Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy (2000), leadership researchers have defined leadership in many different ways. Leadership can be defined as the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals or the process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner. There have been many great leaders in the past
that fit the definitions above but there are others that do not seem to fit the standard definitions of leadership. Some leaders just have the capability to change people and organizations. One such person is Oprah Winfrey. I think Oprah is a great example of a ...view middle of the document...

As the leader of her organization, she deals with difficult issues in a candid manner. It is said she listens well and shares information fully. Oprah is the type of leader who interacts with subordinates and is totally aware of the feelings and emotions of those who surround her.
As the CEO and chairwoman of Harpo Entertainment Group, Oprah performs a number of different roles and functions. One of the major functions of leaders is the creation and development of a culture and climate for their group or organization (Nahavandi and Malekzadeh, 1993a; Schein, 2004). One of Oprah’s major roles as the leader of her company is to provide her organization with a sense of vision and mission. As the leader, she is also a role model for other members of the organization. Subordinates take their cues from the leaders on what behaviors are and are not acceptable. Oprah also has the role of the figurehead of the company. When you think of Harpo Productions, you think of Oprah.
According to Chapter 1 of The Art and Science of Leadership, there are several obstacles to effective leadership. These include the uncertainty organizations face that creates pressure for quick responses and solutions. Forces outside the organization such as investors, demand immediate attention. In a crisis situation many companies are unforgiving and want instant change if mistakes are made by the leader (Nahavandi, 2000).
In any setting, being an effective leader is a challenging task. Even with a clear definition of leadership and what makes a leader effective, being effective is not easy. As the...

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