What is leadership?
The definition of leadership is “a social influence process in which the leader seeks the voluntary participation of subordinates in an effort to reach organizational goals.” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p. 288) While studying behavioral styles of leadership it becomes clear that leaders are developed, not born as leaders. By developing leader behaviors, such as consideration and initiating structure, leaders can achieve effective leadership. The most effective leadership style is determined by the situation at hand. (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p. 292)
Consideration is defined as the leader’s mutual respect, trust and concern for the group members’ ...view middle of the document...
When the ants try to explain what happened to the food offering he does not accept their reason and he retaliates with the threat of violence if they don’t meet his new demands. (Lasseter, 1998)
At one point, Flik stands up to Hopper and this makes Hopper very angry. It drives his desire to return to Ant Island to terrorize the ants. Hopper wants to return to the ant colony to take the food from the ants and show them who is in charge. Because all the grasshoppers don’t share the same desire, Hopper thinks of an analogy to demonstrate his point to the other grasshoppers. He wants to keep the ants in line and he knows that if they every figure out that they out number the grasshoppers 100 to 1 he will lose the power he has over them.
The analogy validates his purpose and reduces his fears of the ants forming revolution to overthrow his power. This shows that Hopper is aware of his power and is willing to fight for his position. He has identified himself as an influential figure to the grasshoppers and uses his intelligence to manipulate the grasshoppers. Gardner defines this leadership style in relation to personal traits and characteristics. (Gardner, 1989) Specifically, Hopper displays intelligence, physical vitality, assertiveness, self-confidence in his ability to motive others and decisiveness. Additionally, Gardner proposes that leaders should have an understanding of their followers needs. Hopper fails to take into account the feelings his followers (ants and grasshoppers) which ultimately lead to his demise.
Hopper’s relationship with his followers shows traits of a transformational leadership style in reference to the social relationship between leader and follower. Bass proposes that transformational leaders have the ability to influence, inspire and intellectually stimulate their followers. (Bass, 1985) Hopper demonstrates these traits in his abilities to influence the grasshoppers to return back to Ant Island. His personality type can be identified from the big five framework; extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness. He becomes extraverted in his ability to use assertive language to generate confidence amongst the grasshoppers. He instills this confidence into the grasshoppers by displaying a strong sense of direction. This would help to create trust between the grasshoppers and Hopper. However, Hopper also becomes quite neurotic in his behavior, in the sense that he anticipates negative outcomes and becomes fearful and angry of the ants. Brusman suggests that these traits would mean that the individual would avoid leadership responsibilities. However, this example shows that Hopper is able to possess a combination of traits that makes his style of leadership successful in the short-term. (Brusman, p. 1-4)
Princess Atta and the Queen of the Ant Colony
In the beginning, Princess Atta and the Queen operate as participative leaders because they motivate and encourage the rest of the ant colony to...