Gandhi and his leadership style
Leadership is a large term which can be defined by : the ability of a person to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or a set of goals. It can also be explained by the ability to gather and federate people around a collective action. To achieve this goal, this mission, there is a person who is in charge to motivate, gather and inspire the peopleso that they work together to achieve the vision : it is the leader (Definition by Kottler). To define a leader is quite hard but a person can be a perfect example to show how gather people toward the achievement of a common goal : it is Mahatma Gandhi. We can ask ourselves how Gandhi managed to gather people around him from all the world to achieve his goal and if it is possible to do the same incompanies ?
First of all, we can say that leadership is efficient, if it has three main characteristics that are respected : the leader is recognized and accepted, he knows how to adapt to his group and he has a direct and indirect influence to the people who are following him. Let’s have a look to these three characteristics for Gandhi : Gandhi has always been accepted in South Africa,because of its status of lawyer, he managed to gather people behind him and behind his cause. He knows how to adapt also : his way to communicate changes between South Africa and India : he adapts to his “target”. The influence of Gandhi is quite obvious : at the beginning of its protest, no one even thought about protesting, maybe people were thinking about that but didn’t dare to say anything. Atthis time, you couldn’t protest that easy against authorities. The way Gandhi manage to introduce the protest was perfect : he created an event to have an impact : he took his followers to a march and make sure that everyone in the group is connected to the requirements. So Gandhi has really managed to gather people because he has the characteristics of a leader.
Secondly, if we have a look at thedifferent theories of leadership that have been identified, we can say that Gandhi style of leadership is more focused on the consideration : according to the Ohio State study : consideration is described as the extent to which a person is likely to have relationships with his followers that are characterized by mutual trust, respect of their ideas and regard for their feelings. Gandhi alwaystake care of the people feelings and tries to be an irreproachable leader. He believes in his conviction and has this incredible force to gather people behind him and to make them change their minds. For example, he tries to convince even the most resistant ones that force was not the solution to achieve the goal. His force is that everybody else wanted to use force against the authorities. But hisway to communicate, his way of thinking has been followed by everybody and no one tries to use force to fight against the government.
Gandhi has also taken into account the existing conditions before acting : he adapts to the country. In the movie : we can see that in South Africa he is protesting with a suit and a tie. But when he went back to India, he is wearing traditional Indian clothes.That shows that he is able to adapt to the conditions and he tries to be as close as possible to the people he wants to reach. It is really important to take that into account to be a great leader.
If we have a look at the different styles of leadership, kind of leaders that has been listed : transformational, transactional and charismatic, we can say that Gandhi is a transformational leader :Transformational leaders inspire their followers to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the organization and are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on their followers. The characteristics of a transformational leader are that : the leader is admired, trusted, respected by his employees and that the leader is going to inspire and motivate his followers. He is...
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