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Leadership and Self Empowerment

Life of people is full of mutual relationships which then define the roles of the people in the community and the further implementations of their talents and abilities. Such approach tends to realize the levels of different people in social, financial and at least societal attitude. Though, the concepts of leadership and empowerment are too significant when taking into account the formation of many of the civilizations, societies, and communities worldwide and through the cut of historical development. This social and psychological peculiarity in people’s relationships determined the emergence of leadership and empowerment as the constituent parts for the strong regulations and control within groups or masses of people.

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Leadership today is a hot and somehow argumentative topic. It implies many standpoints to be enlarged for those who are eager to be acknowledged as leaders. The positive effect from such interactions between the people who by means of different actions and solutions deserved authority concerns the fact that the society will be saved by the rational and reliable affairs and guidelines of such leader. In other words, people put trust on such ones.

The negative effect of many quarrels between potential and current leaders touches on the separation within society or other communities of people. It is, of course, credible when speaking about political conflicts or economic controversies. This general outlook on the problem of leadership is necessary to make wider with mentioning another part of leadership and straightforward requirement to anybody. It is the notion of empowerment and its interrelation with the concept of leadership.

Roger Gill in his works strives to provide the audience of his readers with various approaches about leadership and its types or styles. He uses in his examining the problem historical research and a paradigm of this notion to depict and deeply analyze the standpoints which should be taken into account. With his reasoning about the issue he develops the better understanding of leading positions for people tending to be the first and the best. Moreover, Gill came closer to the feedback of the most intrigue question of whether leaders are born or made. The conclusion appeared to claim that it is definitely possible to elaborate features of the leader in a man.

Then he worked out some methods and tactics in defense of his statements. Undoubtedly, one cannot find a definite paradigm about leadership, but the fast and exact ability to know and realize what to do and when to do is a standpoint which is argued every now and then. (Gill 35) With regards to the article “Leadership-What Is It and Are You Headed for It?” by Nelson Fabian there are several characteristic features, as for the author’s opinion, of a real leader to be mentioned:

A leader has to have, for instance, a healthy measure of integrity in order to inspire others to follow. Leaders also tend to have a capacity for reflection and a sense of self-awareness. This capacity enables leaders to periodically take stock of their standing, the way in which they are perceived, and the impact that they are having. In addition, it gives them a heightened clarity about what their personal concept of leadership is. (Fabian 2004)

In fact, the responses as of leader’s capability to act and change something for better props up against the educational level, social characteristics or desire to achieve higher positions at workplace. Empowerment in return designates the process of perpetually rising levels of people’s reliability and capacity to reach the implementation of choices by virtues of concrete actions. As for me, this term is hard to implement in reality because it needs more efforts than usually to achieve goals and presupposes some risks and even dangers.

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To possess power to lead is a complicated phenomenon for everyone who feels responsibility, not sordid motives, in changing current situation and its aspects accordingly the trends and models of improved state of affairs theoretically. The main of the mentioned actions about this process are those which are realized with individual and collective contributions.

At the core of the concept of empowerment is the idea of power. The possibility of empowerment depends on two things. First, empowerment requires that power can change. If power cannot change, if it is inherent in positions or people, then empowerment is not possible, nor is empowerment conceivable in any meaningful way. Second, the concept of empowerment depends upon the idea that power can expand. This second point reflects our common experiences of power rather than how we think about power. (Page 2006)

In other words, the empowerment as a factor which fully implements leading approaches for people using them cannot but intrude the sphere of organizational relationships in social condition. Contrasting the generally accepted concept of empowerment many researchers point out a so-called alteration to it due to another type of it called reciprocal empowerment. Its peculiarity falls into the inner ability to force on the decision-making mechanism in every human being wishing to improve his current situation or position. “This power is attainable to those with strong self-worth as opposed to traditional power that is generally associated with physical strength followed by sway and wealth.” (Yee 2004) It is efficient, of course, when realizing the fact that people need the one who can point out the way of their further steps towards success. The facts which then leaders should take into account and rally in their mind are as following:

  1. Build up their power, both formal and informal, to gain influence.
  2. Uncover and successfully introduce ideas to explore options.
  3. Moderate tension to increase people’s efficiency. (Aldrich 2003)

The advantages of the empowerment are different and usually deal with the working schedule and the goals which a man has before starting to work. Among them are the following ones, as I see: the constantly growing desire to change background by means of education and training: this can be applied to the potential contributions; another link in this chain is embodied in mutual respect in relationships with other people; such inclinations of providing authority cause doing jobs in time which provokes increased levels of productivity and competence; this in return preserves a man from several conflicts as there is no points to argue. This chain of gradual factors leading to successes incorporates the picture of theoretical career ladder in order to inherit and deliver these methods of maintaining empowerment in the future.

The limitations of empowerment consider the points of financial credibility of, for example, the corporations. Every one strives to be better and more efficient than others, so the employers should invest more money to organize training programs. The table of requirements is also not less significant to determine the limitation of empowerment. People look for the workplaces with higher or at least appropriate for the volumes of work to be done wages. Though, the personnel factor needs here more attention and encouragement. Another aspect as of the issue deals with the quality of services and work which is done. It is very important so that to attract others: either ordinary people in simple situations or the potential customers.

Erich Fromm in one of his multiple works “Escape from Freedom” described the historically settled into shape manner of massive acceptance of one’s power or its spontaneous refusal. The most distinctive and actual examples regarding to this fact are realized with the rise to power of communists headed by Lenin in Russian Empire having caused the formation of the USSR or another example of assumption of power by fascists headed by Adolf Hitler.

These historical facts cannot ignore the tendency of some groups of people in various countries and within different periods to empower the rest of the people to do their job in order to achieve profits. Still many people interpret the meaning of empowerment in a different way. Referring to the most evident researchers of this issue in the United States of America Baruch Bush and Joseph Folger there are several attempts of historians and sociologists to define this concept.

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A more extended overlook presupposes several meaning and uses. Wingspan Youth Development Services sees the implementation of the empowerment looking at it “as character education and leadership development.” (Máire A. Dugan 2003) According to this making out the organizational perspectives should be based on achieving those aims which seem to be left in non-existence. Another instance stands upon the idea that “People helping people to attain personal growth through community empowerment.” (Máire A. Dugan 2003)

The other groups of people worldwide are inclined to think that empowerment serves to maintain and provide their genuine culture for it not to decline in the future. All in all empowerment searches the ways of effective mechanisms, so that the aims to be reached and the self-expressing as well as self-estimating sides of individuals’ social traits of character to be realized.

According to “An Action Plan for Community Empowerment: Building on Success” which was published by “Community and Local Government” resource shows the relative statistics with approximate data of communities’ satisfaction in the United Kingdom while collaborating with local governments. The results tend to outline the impact of empowerment embodied in the work of ordinary people urging to achieve some visible successes in the well-being of the very same communities. The points of the diagram bellow show current view of people agreeing or disagreeing with the fact that authority is able and effective in making impacts on the local solutions. (An Action Plan 13)

Overall Satisfaction with authority

This graphical example demonstrates the attitude to the political empowerment. Due to it the picture of social beliefs in credibility of current authority is obvious. The thing is that the empowerment incorporates the mutual actions and connections of individuals with communities. The paramount significance of changes observed in an individual is generally considered to be the standpoint while applying to the empowerment in masses. It can directly make the influence on the society, but there is no need to reduce the importance of those people who have less access to the global societal processes, to power to be precise.

Both individual and social changes are of crucial meaning for the society. When confronting with different issues people should collaborate and become such-like partners in finding better solutions in this or that situation. This approach also underlines individual characteristics of inner impacts of every human being living in the society. With the clear future vision people can distinguish the further perspectives and goals in personal life or in companies. The main psychological impulses touch upon the notions of orderliness, patience, reciprocal respect, responsibility and encouragement. These factors lead to organizational solidarity and success. The more leaders intend people to act productively and rationally, the more there is effective output.

The strategical approaches should be paramount when one provides empowerment. The harm which can be caused is disorganization within staff or reduction of quality characteristics of work, services or affairs provided. The way to resolve such problem lies in “the combination of empowerment and production line approaches.” (A Critical Evaluation 2004) This will help to better concentrate the attention of the principals while achieving high standards of work in order to attract more potential customers and to encourage targeted ones.

Another intrigue issue as of the empowerment deals with the differentiation of gender role in maintaining and implementing the equality within men and women with regards to the power access in social, political or even cultural aspects. In this case women nowadays tend to strive toward the manifestation of their ability to cope with the empowerment process. In the twentieth century one of the global aims of women active in policy as well as in social processes and mainstreaming tendencies of the epoch reached its realization while more and more women began directly being involved in political activities and the world arena surveyed, especially in the last twenty years of the century, multiple examples of women’s rising to power.

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As it turned out then, every example of a woman resolving the most important issues of state significance in office was highly approved by the foreign colleagues in this field of activity. Remembering, for example, the deliberate policy provided by Margaret Thatcher no one agrees with its lack of reliability, consistency of aim or even aggressiveness. Women now pretend to fill the failure of men’s leadership up by virtues of their own examples of transaction of affairs. In accordance with this assertion Roger Gill admits: “if leadership is the key to successful change, then the changing shape of organizations in response to the new challenges they are facing implies a new emphasis in leadership development.” (Gill 49)

Talking about the empowerment concept embodied within a definite corporation it is necessary to mention that the tendency to be involved in this process confronts usually with the factors of various ranking or rating hierarchies in the management structure of any solid company and within different firms as well. The systematic character of processes elaboration in companies represents the “organism”.

Connections and relations inside are presupposed by the actual conditions at workplaces and general atmosphere in attitudes between chiefs and dependants. “The champions will often perceive that a hard drive toward empowerment will be met with a great deal of resistance from within the management ranks and from some employees, as is natural for any system.” (Dew 29) So there is no doubt that leadership is an uneasy thing. It does not prop up against only your ambitions. One of the statements to support this idea about the management relationships at work notes: “Leadership is a journey without a final destination.” (Leadership Communications 2009)

Thus, the theme of leadership and empowerment erects attention of the society with its functional and social importance. The discussion of this issue covers all layers of the society due to its interpersonal and vital interest. The strong and powerful men of this world form the unity of the authority which can contradict the challenges of time and different circumstances. Those human beings of less influence on others create masses which should be forwarded in a right direction either in their lives or at work. That is why leadership and empowerment come under review as the fundamental processes to be widely implemented for the efficiency of individuals, companies, communities, and societies on the whole.

References

Aldrich, C. (2003). Using Leadership to Implement Leadership. T&D, 57.

Boatwright, K. J., & Forrest, L. (2000). Leadership Preferences: The Influence of Gender and Needs for Connection on Workers’ Ideal Preferences for Leadership Behaviors. Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(2), 18.

Choi, J. (2006). A Motivational Theory of Charismatic Leadership: Envisioning, Empathy, and Empowerment. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(1).

Ciulla, JB (2004). Ethics, the Heart of Leadership. Praeger.

A Critical Evaluation of the Role of Empowerment (2004). Web.

Dew, J. R. (1997). Empowerment and Democracy in the Workplace: Applying Adult Education Theory and Practice for Cultivating Empowerment. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Dugan, Máire A. (2003). Empowerment. Web.

Empowerment (2007). Web.

Fabian, N. (2004). Leadership-What Is It and Are You Headed for It?. Journal of Environmental Health, 67(3).

Find Your True Leadership Qualities; Maximising Potential: Bola Ogun Is Chairman of the Windsor Fellowship. (2007). The Evening Standard (London, England), p. 54.

Fulmer, R. M., & Goldsmith, M. (2001). The Leadership Investment: How the World’s Best Organizations Gain Strategic Advantage through Leadership Development. New York: AMACOM.

Gender Mainstreaming and Women’s Empowerment: NCRFW. (2005). Manila Bulletin, p. NA.

Gill, Roger (2006). Theory and practice of leadership. Business Publications.

Goleman, D & Boyatzis, R (2002). Primal Leadership. Routledge, London.

Idea of Empowerment (2008). (11), 27. Web.

Leadership Styles Sing to Different Tunes. (2008, March 18). The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), p. E33.

Local Government Association (2008). An Action Plan for Community Empowerment: Building on Success. Web.

McCrimmon, Mitch (2006). Leadership for tomorrow. Web.

Page, Nannete (1999). Empowerment: What Is It?. Journal of Extension (37), 5.

Yee, C. (2004). Reciprocal Empowerment. Monthly Labor Review, 127(4), 44.

Zahidi, Saadia (2008). Women’s Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap World Economic Forum. Web.

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