Aside from clarity, understanding the concept of leadership can help you write a unique leadership essay. In other words, it's easier to write a leadership paper if you perfectly understand the meaning of leadership, the different leadership styles we have as well as the concept of effective leadership.
After all, the main focus of the piece is leadership--whether you're applying for a scholarship, special placement, or having a leadership paper-writing assignment.
So, who is a leader?
Leadership is motivating and influencing others to follow you. In a group of people, it is easy to spot a leader. Simply take note of the one who influences the group to take a specific course of action. There you go! That's a leader.
Nonetheless, effective leadership is not just about being influential. It also means walking the talk. That means that great leaders aren't dictators. They ensure they walk the journey with the rest of the group.
Types of Leadership Styles
Different leaders handle situations differently. As a result, subordinates perceive their leaders in a specific way. The consistent behavior of a particular leader is often influenced by their experience, philosophy, as well as personality. It often helps to know the leadership style of a leader.
Based on attitude and behavior, a leader can be:
- Laissez-faire (free-rein or delegative leader)
- An autocratic (authoritarian or directive leader)
- Democratic or participative leader
- Paternalistic leader
Based on official recognition or relationship:
- Formal leader
- Informal leader
Laissez-faire (Free-rein or Delegative) Leadership Style
Laissez-faire is a French term that means "to let them do." Under laissez-faire leadership, subordinates make decisions with minimal influence from their leaders. One of the advantages of this style of leadership is that a leader simply delegates work.
So, it becomes easy to focus on other projects. Laissez-faire leadership style requires a reliable, well-trained, and highly experienced team. Nonetheless, despite the freedom, the group is always accountable for their actions or choices.
Autocratic (Authoritarian or Directive) Leadership Style
Autocratic or authoritarian leaders never take feedback from their subordinates. Their word is unquestionable as well as final. They expect 100% submission and obedience. As a result, these leaders are often resented by their direct reports. This type of leadership might not be the most effective.
However, the autocratic leadership style might work well when subordinates entirely depend on the leaders and can hardly decide independently. No wonder it's also known as the directive leadership style.
Democratic or Participative Leadership
Democracy is the foundation of participative leadership. Team members are always welcome to give suggestions and recommendations on the best way to handle projects. Subordinates are often motivated in a democratic work environment.
As a result, there are minimal worker grievances, complaints, industrial strikes, and unrests. However, participative leadership is sometimes associated with delay in decisions since the team has to wait for input from all members.
In a moment, think about your family gatherings. Some relatives are often in charge of matters, and other family members usually wait for their opinion during discussions—that's how the paternalistic leadership style works. A paternalistic leader is like a parent, and subordinates (family) look up to them for guidance.
The paternal or maternal figure makes decisions and expects obedience, loyalty, and trust from team members. At the same time, the parental leader is careful to make choices that will benefit members of the family (subordinates). Unfortunately, the tendency to over-rely on the parental figure often results in stagnation among team members.
Formal leadership style is often practiced in organizations. The organization structure defines the leader's powers and responsibilities. A formal leader is accountable to those who elected him or her. So, he or she provides leadership to the team and actively participates in ensuring that the company's objectives are met.
Similar to formal leadership style, informal leadership is also practiced in most workplaces. It's not uncommon to find a respected employee in an organization. Other workers often depend on that particular colleague for advice which automatically makes them leaders. However, informal leaders aren't officially recognized.
Nonetheless, informal leaders are influential. They derive their authority from those who look up to them in an organization. Informal leadership is essential in the workplace because it can help address needs that the formal leader cannot handle. It's right to say that informal leadership brings much-needed balance to an organization.
Characteristics of a Good Leadership Essay
Recall: A great leader is influential and also walks the talk. In the words of Robinson S Sharma, a lawyer by profession and also a leadership speaker, "Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers."
So, leadership goes beyond influence and walking the talk. Here are critical indicators of a great leader, which you can include in your leadership essay:
One of the most essential characteristics of a great leader is the ability to be visionary. This is because leadership mainly involves the execution of a vision. In the same vein, it's also about planning for the future, setting and sharing goals that can help the group to achieve the primary objective. In addition, follow-up is essential to ensure the team is walking in the direction of the vision. So, there is hardly time for taking chances.
For the obvious reasons, you would like to work with an inspired team. A bored team is often slow and ineffective. A good leader can easily find ways to keep the team inspired, which can increase the team's productivity. An inspirational leader can also encourage team members to exploit their full potential by pushing themselves as much as they can. Nonetheless, the leader should be inspired first. Remember, effective leadership means walking the talk.
Ability to Delegate
Leadership is about responsibilities. With a busy schedule, a leader's ability to delegate can help a leader take off the load on his or her shoulders. Consequently, it becomes easier to focus on other critical goals. Further, delegation promotes growth within the team. Aside from sharing expectations, a leader ought to understand each team member's strengths and weaknesses. That helps to delegate the right work to the right person.
Beyond a suit, makeup and shoes, it's essential for a leader to maintain a positive attitude. It evokes positive feelings at the workplace, which keeps the team motivated. You wouldn't like to report to an ever sad, indifferent-looking supervisor. Instead, you'd prefer to work with a lively, ready-to-listen, and empathetic leader. In addition, a leader can offer incentives and unbiased appreciation to promote a positive attitude among team members.
Outstanding leadership goes hand in hand with a huge responsibility. A responsible leader ensures objectives are met. Before making a decision, the virtue of being responsible compels a leader first to think critically and try to find out the impact of their actions on the group.
In addition, responsibility promotes transparency among team members. After all, effective leadership is about thinking about the welfare of the whole group. When a leader is transparent, it motivates the rest of the team to be responsible too.
"I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization," said Roger Ebert, a renowned film critic. In other words, modern leadership is intertwined with empathy. Empathetic leaders easily relate to the thoughts and feelings of their direct reports. By being empathetic, a leader encourages communication within the team. Empathy also builds trust and can help obtain insights. As a result, a leader can make educated decisions toward the well-being of the whole group.
Some great leaders have been challenged by failure during their tenure. An ideal example is that of Larry Robbins, the founder and CEO of Glenview Capital Management. Larry chose to acknowledge his shortcomings and apologized to investors.
"I've failed to protect your capital, and mine…despite a flat market," wrote the hedge manager after the company recorded losses. Larry's effort is an excellent example of accountability in leadership. Instead of passing the buck, effective leaders take responsibility in times of crisis then strategize on the next course of action.
Focus ensures that the group works towards a common goal. So, there is a need for the leader to communicate his or her expectations with the team. Nevertheless, a leader can't share specific goals if they aren't focused.
So, the focus starts at the top then triples down to the junior workers. Influential leaders plan and share objectives early enough so that every member of the group can understand and align themselves accordingly. As a result, the team becomes very productive.
Effective communication is essential in leadership. For how else will the team get to know about the vision or what's expected of them? Communication can be defined as the dissemination of information. So, it can be from the leadership to the juniors or the other way round. Therefore, leaders should foster a culture of communication within their respective teams. Once subordinates learn the importance of communication, the leader can share objectives and get crucial feedback from their direct reports. Afterward, a leader can make adjustments if need be.
The Layout of a Good Leadership Essay
Most essays are divided into three distinct parts: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The same applies to a leader essay. Besides an appropriate title, you should have a catchy introduction, effective body paragraphs, and a firm conclusion.
It's advisable to have a logical organization for your piece when you start writing your leadership essay. That helps you to achieve coherence, and it also makes the writing process more manageable. You may want to have an equal number of words for each of your essay sections. That means not having 4 sentences in one section and 12 in another.
Further, be sure to honor the rule of thumb—add references to your piece. There are many sources of information. Depending on your topic, you can research from:
- Historical books
- JstorGoogle Scholar
- Biographies of famous people
- Past leadership papers from friends
Choosing a Decent Leadership Topic
Your choice of topic will determine the flow of your leader essay. For instance, you can choose one leadership style land make it your theme. For example, you can settle for an autocratic leadership style and make the theme of your leader essay—you'll need to choose a particular leader and discuss them in your paper. Alternatively, you can compare your leadership style with that of a renowned person.
Whichever topic you choose, detailed research is crucial. You'll want to know the extent of research done about the title. You'll also be checking what other researchers have written about it. That way, you gather crucial information, which is essential when writing your essay outline.
Here are some leadership topic ideas for you:
- What's the role of a leader in time management?
- How to solve deputes at the place of work?
- The impact of staff characteristics on leadership.
- How can a leader instill team spirit?
- The qualities of an effective leader.
- Leadership and ethics in an organization.
- The impact of leadership on the performance of students.
- The relational leadership Model.
- Confidence as the definition of a true leader.
- Leadership conditions I have identified in myself.
- Job markets that need leadership.
- The importance of diversity in an organization.
- Leadership under a man.
- Men and women leadership roles.
- What's the role of women in the current leadership positions?
How to Write a Good Introduction for a Leadership Essay
A catchy introduction helps to summarize your paper. It also grabs your readers' attention and compels them to want to read your leadership essay. A good introduction features an attention-grabbing hook, followed by a well-crafted thesis statement.
Besides having no more than 2 sentences, here are other ideas to help you write an excellent hook:
- Induce some laughter in your reader by using anecdotes.
- Use factual data like 69%of Millennials believe there's insufficient leadership development in their workplace.
- Fetch interesting leadership quotes by famous peopleand incorporate them in your leader essay.
- Narrate a personal story.
- Start with a question. You can answer it in the subsequent sentences or leave it open
- Find an interesting fact about leadership that's related to your topic and incorporate it in your hook.
- Share the definition of a word related to leadership.
After the hook you'll have the thesis statement, where you briefly explain to your readers what they expect to learn from your paper. It's essential to avoid vague sentences like leadership is never easy or a line like leaders need supporters. Be sure to write an interesting thesis statement that should also be legible and relatable. That way, it will not be easy to lose your readers' interest and curiosity.
How to Write Strong Body Paragraphs for a Leadership Essay
Body paragraphs are the central part of your leader essay. Each of your sentences and paragraphs should count. So, remember to steer clear of repetition and irrelevant details. It's also advisable to have them flow smoothly and connect them to your topic.
There is no pre-defined number of body paragraphs. It all depends on your chosen topic and the goal you have in mind. However, most leadership essays will have 3-4 body paragraphs. Here is a summary to help you write better body paragraphs:
- Besides presenting a different argument in each body paragraph, be sure to research and add supporting information to defend what you're saying.
- It's essential to start with the strongest argument for each new paragraph.
- Feature facts, anecdotes, and relevant examples in your body paragraphs. For instance, you could be writing a leadership essay about changes made by true leaders. A suitable example can be about famous persons and how they influenced society.
- Remember to include references to your thesis statement in your body paragraphs. It's an excellent way of connecting all the portions of your leadership essay. In other words, it promotes the cohesion of your ideas.
- It's crucial to have a topic sentence at the beginning of every paragraph. They reveal your main idea and make your essay easy to understand.
- Do you have real-life leadership experience? For instance, you performed in a big event or was involved in leadership activities at someplace. Go ahead and narrate the experience and make your leadership essay even more interesting to read.
- Avoid plagiarism, and remember to cite your sources.
- Do use transitional words to connect all your body paragraphs.
- Avoid weak evidence and phrases
- Avoid non-credible sources
- Ideas you can't backup using evidence
- How to Write a Strong Conclusion of a Leadership Essay
Lastly, you will have the conclusion, which is simply a summary of your leadership essay ideas. A good rule thumb is not to introduce a new concept in your conclusion. Instead, provide an overview of the leadership style and approach you outlined in your leadership paper. In addition, remember to restate your essay thesis statement in the first line of your conclusion. However, make it neither too short nor too long. The recommended length is 5-7 sentences.
What to include:
- The subject matter
- A summary of your ideas presented in the essay body
- Restated thesis
- Overview of your leadership vision
What to avoid:
- New ideas
- Paraphrasing your thesis statement
- Stating your minor points
The Final Essay Writing Stage
After writing your leadership essay, it's essential to confirm that you're submitting a flawless piece. Here are steps to guide you through the post-writing stage:
Read your paper: Although you're the author, it's essential to read your leadership essay. Only then will you identify errors and rectify them. Also, check for any complex words and replace them so that your readers don't need to look them up in the dictionary to comprehend what you're saying. By the way, who has time for that? Whenever possible, add more transitions for a better flow of ideas.
Ask questions: Asking questions helps to confirm that your essay is addressing the primary concept. Confirm that your ideas are in agreement with the thesis statement. Are your body paragraphs flowing and connecting? Will the reader strain to understand the content of your leadership essay? Ask questions.
Seek a second opinion: Engage your tutor or peers and get their feedback. Two heads are always better than one. Review their suggestions and make necessary adjustments. Alternatively, you can find a reliable writing service to proofread your work. Legit writing services hire experts to handle student's requests. Therefore, you'll receive a ready paper. You can then hand it in.
Key Points to Remember When Writing a Leadership Essay
Leadership papers are categorized under expository essays. So, it's advisable to know the differences between the various types of essays in academic writing before embarking on your writing journey. Expository essays often feature subtopics. In a leader essay, you can include the below subtitles:
- The major leadership theories
- Traits of effective leaders
- A review of different types of leadership styles
- Principles and core values of effective leadership
- Examples of effective leaders in the society
- Your leadership skills
Importance of a Leadership Essay
Students are required to write leadership papers because leadership is an integral part of society. So, is leadership important?
- Leaders provide direction and minimize confusion in a group.
- Leaders are a source of motivation and high morale, which makes the team more productive.
- Through effective leadership, a team develops confidence and consequently achieves the objectives.
A good leadership essay is not just about proofreading for grammar errors. It involves discussing the concept of leadership. Put simply, the paper focuses on leadership that inspires and motivates other people.
In addition, a good leadership essay is appropriately referenced, has a well-defined introduction, clear body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion. Further, a well-written leader essay is devoid of plagiarism and unnecessary information. All sections link to each other, and every word counts.