The Two Faces of Leadership: Considering the Dark Side of Leader-Follower Dynamics

Section One

This article speaks about leadership and the traits a leader should or should not possess. In today’s world, which is now better known as a “global village”, leaders are in a one-on-one competition with each other, with fear of one surpassing the other. What is of utmost importance is not who is reigning better than another, rather, who is leading their fellow men well?

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Christine and Washbush, in their writing, include the essential elements that should be present in the so-called ‘leaders of the nations of the world, as put forth by a variety of scholars and authors. The viewpoints of these scholars have been included in a systematic way, comprising themes and implications of leaders and leadership. They have then mentioned the negative side of leaders and the reasons for which they suffer from downfalls, and what causes them to undergo failure while leading fellow men. Some of the points mentioned are key factors that lead to the demise of their leadership, including mirroring, narcissism, and the negation of their followers. A two-dimensional classification of followers laid out by a researcher has also been given in this write-up, signifying the styles followers usually possess, which assist leaders in assessing the problems faced by followers.

Lastly, the article focuses on the need for more research on leader-follower relationships, and what needs to be done to improve these relations between both parties. There are some suggestions given, as to what strategies can be executed for leaders to get trained and become more learned in their pivotal roles.

Section Two

The key learning points from the article read are:

  • Leadership tends to have a positive delusion in the minds of people, but it truly possesses negative elements too, with many drawbacks to encounter.
  • Leaders tend to emerge from the circle of people possessing social power.
  • If leaders do social good, they can end up in social disaster too, it is not necessary for all leaders to do good only.
  • The views of some authors regarding the failure of leaders have been given, as those constituting bad decision-making, waste of resources, and lack of organizational skills.
  • Leaders do not tend to take a look inside themselves, to monitor their own deeds, thereby causing harm in the long run.
  • Leaders do not consider the reflections of what they execute, and at times, they use their authoritative powers to cause harm instead of causing the people good.
  • The relationship between leaders and their followers has a strong impact on the success of subsequent leaders.
  • More research needs to be carried out on the subject of the leader-follower relationship.

Section Three

I agree with the statement Individuals high in social power are institution-oriented, aspire to office, want to serve others, and foster an effective work climate.

Those people who are high in social power, and are generally sociable, will tend to work better for their people, due to their social contacts, and a large number of people to follow and support them. They are keener to get the powers they wish for and work for a large number of people, in a pleasant work environment.

A leader must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside his or her own self, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership creates more harm than good.

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This is another statement I truly agree with, as if a leader does not look into his own image and portray himself as the world wants him to be, he will never be able to execute accordingly. A good look at his own deeds, and what he expects from his followers, is essential for successful leadership. If there are any harmful or negative elements present in his personality, he must get rid of them so that those characteristics do not cause any harm to the undergoing leadership and the people.

Section Four

The article under consideration holds key points of the characteristics to be possessed by a leader for effective leadership to be executed. The critical aspect of the article is that most of the material provided is based on other authors’ views and opinions, rather than any new elements put forward by these two authors themselves. It contains ample information pertaining to the shortcomings of leaders and what causes their failure. Both the positive and negative faces of leadership have been elaborated, with more emphasis on the dark side of this position acquired by a notable figure of society. A lot has been written on followership, but little is given of the strategies that upcoming generations can adapt to pursue politics or take up leadership roles as their careers. Most of the negative faces of leadership are those given by Kets de Vries, and there is the absence of diversity of researches carried out regarding the relation between leaders and followers.

Section Five

In the UAE, the leaders need to know how to execute the goals that have been set for them. Since this region has become a multi-cultural zone, the leaders need to understand the ways to deal with people from diverse cultures and to portray themselves well enough to gain the confidence of these individuals, who will become their followers.

UAE is becoming an international hub, and for it to retain its current position, it is necessary for the emerging leaders to refrain from deeds that will give a negative impact on their personalities.

Section Six

There is never a time when a person feels he has learned enough; similarly, I have also gained quite a bit of information, reading this article. I was always of the opinion that leaders are authoritative figures, and everything associated with them is ‘positive’, so as to speak, but on reading this piece of writing, I learned that there is much more to leadership than dressing up well and commuting in high-class cars. There are numerous negative faces of leadership too, which cause the individual as well as his followers trouble, with the passing of time.

Leaders have to be very careful and prudent with the authority and powers they possess, in order to execute plans for the welfare of all. If they take one wrong step, they will be harming scores of people. That is why it is essential for leaders to undergo some sort of formal education, to get acquainted with what they may encounter during their leadership. I have also come to know of the categories followers may fall into, and what types of followership exist. Being a follower myself, I should know how to fulfill my duties and this article is a good help due to the suggestions given.


Clements, C. & Washbush, J. The Two Faces of Leadership: Considering the Dark Side of Leader-follower Dynamics. Web.

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"The Two Faces of Leadership: Considering the Dark Side of Leader-Follower Dynamics." StudyCorgi, 13 Oct. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Two Faces of Leadership: Considering the Dark Side of Leader-Follower Dynamics." October 13, 2021.


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