Leadership Theory & Practice Essay

Added on -2020-02-24

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Running Head: Leadership 0
Leadership Essay
Graeme Hart
Leadership 1
Leadership holds a different meaning in different scenarios. In general terms
leadership can be defined as the process in which an individual influences the behaviour of
the group to achieve a common goal (Northouse2015). According to the literature present on
leadership it is evident that leadership theories have evolved over the time but none of them is
completely. The reasons responsible for the changes in leadership concept are situations,
working environment, cultures, new laws, growing organisational complexities, context,
psycho- social development and information overload (Nawaz & Khan, 2016).Every leader
has its unique style of leadership. Style of every leader is guided by some or the other
leadership theory. Hart is the kind of person who has not given any interview to press of New
Zealand in about a decade. He has a family of 4 including a wife and two children. He can be
termed as self-made man. Today, Graeme Hart is the richest New Zealand's richest person
listed in the Forbes magazine (NZ Herald, 2017). He usually acquires underperforming
businesses that manufactures everyday products like water bottles, milk bottles, foils and
paper (Forbes, 2017). He is the owner of Rank Group Investments Ltd., Carter Holt Harvey
Ltd. and Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd (Bloomberg, 2016). He is the kind of person who
generally prefers to stay away from the lime light. He does not like to make frequent public
appearances. He is a leveraged buyout investor who does not prefer to share the risk as well
as the returns with shareholders. He solely takes the responsibility of risks and rewards.
Further discussion will include detailed analyses of the leadership style of Graeme Hart
(Hunt, 2010).
Leadership style of Hart can be linked to various theories of leadership. He can be
termed as a narcissistic leader. It is kind of leadership where the leader keeps his needs at first
priority. He acts dominant, arrogant and hostile (Braun, 2017).The research shows that these
types of leaders have both positive and negative impact on the organisation. Some leaders
from the history such as Napoleon, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi
displayed this type of leadership. This factor can also be seen in the leadership style of Hart
as he himself takes the control of the situations. He does not like to share risks or rewards
with the stake holders. He usually invests in projects which lack leadership and emerges as
the leader for those. These leaders are perceived to be skilled orators and creative strategist.
The problem with such type of leaders is that they lack empathy and are poor listeners. Most
of the leaders belonging to this category provide negative results because they are always
involved in controlling others. The results can be positive if the leaders work for themselves
(Maccoby, 2004).
The leadership style of Graeme Hart also has the resemblance with the
transformational theory of leadership. This theory explains how leaders of that particular
style affect the organisational performance. This is a style characterised by motivating the
followers or subordinates to achieve something extraordinary. He has few characteristics of
transformational leadership but his style cannot be regarded entirely as transformational style
leadership. The basic qualities that of a transformational leader that hart possess are always
willing to take right risk, capable enough to take difficult decisions, self-management,
internal motivation, proactive in nature and he has the ability to set the goals of his
Leadership 2
organisation concise and realistic. His style of leadership cannot be completely termed as
transformational because he does not have the characteristic of sharing organisational
consciousness, not a very active listener and sometimes he fails keep his ego on check.
Another style which can relate to the leadership style of Graeme Hart is Charismatic
leadership. The word charisma describes the special or extraordinary gift that is possessed by
only few individuals (Northouse, 2012). This style basically relies on two factors charm and
persuasiveness. Charismatic leaders carry a powerful personality that attracts followers. They
possess some extraordinary qualities that are difficult to pin down and inspire other to work.
They do exert any kind of undue pressure on the followers but their self-image carries the
charm that automatically attracts the followers. This concept involves three basic elements
vision or vision, extraordinary qualities and recognition (Avolio and Yammarino, 2013). As
charisma is also an important element of transformational leadership therefore both
transformation and charismatic styles are related to each other and also share some common
characteristics. Major qualities or characteristics of charismatic leader are visionary, ability
to inspire the trust, excellent communication skills, full or energy and enthusiasm, tactful in
dealing different situations, action oriented and have the ability to make the followers feel
capable (Dubrin, 2015).Graeme Hart possess an effective blend of all these characteristics.
Therefore his style can be attributed as charismatic and outspoken.
Based on the analysis of leadership style of Hart, trait theory can be applied to explain
him better as a leader. Trait theory states that individual is a leader because of certain
characteristic that he / she possess, these characteristic may be inborn or developed over the
time. There is a set of certain intellectual, physical and intellectual traits that draws the
difference between leaders and non-leaders. According to this theory the personnel
characteristics of leader are major source of leadership success. It can be seen in the life of
Graeme that he was not an inborn leader. After school he worked as panel beater and tow
truck driver. Experience of various fields helped him to acquire certain characteristics. His
MBA degree from Otego University also helped him to develop his leadership traits. The
distinguishing characteristics of Hart that helped him to succeed as the leader are cleverness,
tactful, conceptually skilled, decisive, risk taking ability, alert to external environment,
persuasive, self-confident and dominant. The key characteristic of Hart is that he takes the
responsibility of his decisions. He proactively takes the risk and also does not make anyone
liable for negative outcomes. At the same time he does not shares the rewards with others for
the risk that he has taken.
Leadership and management are two related but different concepts. There is a thin
line of difference between a leader and manger. Some common differences between them are
discussed here. Leaders have a unique personality whereas mangers do not have this kind of
personality. Managers try to mimic the style and behaviours of others. Leaders do not try to
fit into others shoes they have their own style whereas mangers display the learned
behaviours. Leaders are innovative an act as agents that bring changes. Managers work
within the set procedures rules and regulations. Leaders try out change if it doesn’t works;
managers are consistent only with the best practices that work. Leader creates a vision for
followers to pursue whereas managers set goals for employees to achieve. Leaders inspire the

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