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Gandhi's Leadership Styles

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For this paper I want to characterize Gandhi's leadership styles, analyze them and try to put into context the relevance of his leadership.

In the movie, the application of his leadership was social. Gandhi wanted to unite India towards a democracy and most importantly towards freedom. At the end, he achieves this goal and he was the main trigger for the successful completion of this goal.

I believe that Gandhi was a true leader, referring to the class definition of leader. Gandhi had a clear path and direction which was shared by a number of countrymen, he managed his performance and also measured it by goals, he certainly developed capabilities that helped him reach for his goal; he strongly relied upon his team or group of people and he clearly created values amongst the people that followed him demonstrating his own values.

He made his leadership by peaceful means and demonstrated to the entire world that he lived by his own set of values, consequently gaining the respect of his people.

In the movie we appreciated that he developed his leadership throughout the years. At the beginning he was not such a good leader, he was very intelligent but he did not possessed clear leadership attributes. He was able to mobilize people through charisma and his leadership developed and changed with experience. He was not good at handling men. An example of this situation could be when he was in the train; he demonstrated that he was not yet prepared to deal with the injustices of people towards him, when they asked him to move to second class.

Another example from the movie is when Gandhi was asked by whites to step off the sidewalk. He left his pride aside and thought in the long run rather than just acting in the short run.

He was at first committed to his ideas but passive in the way he depended upon other people; in the movie we saw that he had to be convinced over and over about his leadership capabilities.

For me a very important aspect about his leadership was that he transmitted the risk involved in his actions to all his colleagues and followers.

In my perspective Gandhi's leadership style was the combination of coercive and authoritative leader. He used these combinations not only to work toward reform and ultimately removal of British rule in India, but also in many conflict situations between Indians only.

The clearest example of coercive style was when he made his hunger strikes, obligating in his own way his followers to comply with his demands. He had the control over the situation because it was his decision only the determinant to end or continue the hunger strike. In the article "Leadership That Gets Results," by Daniel Goleman it is stated that the overall impact on the climate is negative; but I differ from this point of view because at the end this coerciveness led to satisfactory outcomes.

His motivation for this leadership style was truth, non-violence and self suffering, achieving in a manner that means not necessarily serve ends but means create positive outcomes.

For me these impacts are positive because he succeeded in making internal changes in the English through protests, Gandhi was able to bring the attention of the world to India by displaying the wrong doing of the British empire and not retaliating with violence.

As for his authoritative style, in the movie it is stated that he mobilized people towards a vision and to reach a common goal. But this is not always positive because at the end we saw that after reaching the goal of independence, other problems aroused; the clear separation between Indians and Muslims. This was a mayor problem that perhaps Gandhi did not consider after reaching his primary goal. Instead he adapted his vision to the reality; adaptability was key success for Gandhi it worked perfectly because he needed a new vision and a new direction. After independence, the goal changed and he adapted successfully envisioning a different goal, unity between Muslims and Indians.

In my opinion to reach this kind of synergy between these two different leadership styles, communication is needed, he needs to communicate his vision, values and message effectively in order to attain the goals. If communication is not present, then the combination of these styles can be misunderstood.

An example from the movie were he used communication effectively was when Gandhi gave up the power to other people different from him. His message was that he wanted the best for Indian people and that he was not only seeking for power.

For me, the combination of these two styles was determinant in Gandhi's compromise with his followers. In the situation in which the context evolves, people were at first disorganized and Gandhi had the ability to organize and inspire the people using these two styles like if it was one.

Gandhi tried to use the other four leadership styles but with no success. He did not applied the affiliative style correctly because as seen in the movie,



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