Contemporary leadership approaches involve servant, authentic, transformational leadership, and leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. In an organization, servant leadership involves assisting others in realizing common objectives by empowering individuals and encouraging their development and teamwork, which is in line with fostering their long-term health and wealth (Yukl, 2006). Transformational leadership emphasizes the significance of a leader’s charisma and ability to inspire, motivate, and intellectually stimulate individual subjects. The leadership approach appeals to subjects’ ethical values to raise awareness regarding ethical issues and rallies them and available resources for institutional change (Yukl, 2006). In leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, the distinctive relationships that leaders create with employers based on their social exchanges are crucial to leadership effectiveness. Finally, authentic leadership involves leaders possessing positive values, self-awareness, and developing trust with followers.
Situational Leadership: The Public’s Love for a Man of the Hour
Effective leaders possess the ability to alter their leadership style to adapt to the needs of a present situation. This approach to leadership is often referred to as situational leadership and is desirable to subjects, especially in political leadership. In the context of the United States presidency, presidents usually follow public opinion rather than lead (Edwards, 2003). It is expected of leaders and, mostly, presidents to lead so that others can follow. Sometimes, it is just difficult to convince the public to see from a leader’s point of view (Edwards, 2003). The public appreciates it when a leader sides with their opinions. Sometimes, it can be frustrating and difficult to reach the people and convince them to change their views on presidents. It is easier to side with them and change one’s style of leading.
Education is a continuous process of learning constructed to achieve an outcome that is considered good. For a process to be regarded as educative, it must be worthwhile and involve understanding and knowledge development (Peters, 2010). An educated individual possesses a significant body of knowledge that encompasses the comprehension of the concepts of productive sciences. Such an individual can also understand principles of both the theoretical and practical sciences, such as metaphysics and politics, respectively.
Significance of the Study: The Connection between Leadership and Education
The study of the connection between education and leadership is quite significant. Education, whether formal or informal, enhances the development of leadership skills, such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to view things from a broader perspective (Channing, 2020). Formal education on leadership can be in the form of a degree or other programs, and learners are taught how to resolve conflicts, manage time, plan, budget, devise policies, and use case studies and research. However, informal leadership education happens when learners work closely with others and acquire significant experiences that are related to their professions and then adopt such experiences to their leadership practices.
Desirable Leadership Qualities
Leaders in organizations and politics possess various desirable qualities that are affected by their leadership styles and environment. Some of these qualities include but are not limited to good communication skills, the ability to delegate duties, transparency, confidence, resilience, creativity, and discipline (Olanrewaju & Okorie, 2019). The general public expects politicians, such as the president, to possess exceptional personal and leadership traits lacking in other leaders. For desired personal qualities, they expect an emotionally stable, honest, humble individual with higher levels of openness and conscientiousness (Aichholzer & Willmann, 2020). On the other hand, they prefer a highly extroverted, assertive, and reliable leader for desired leadership qualities.
New Perceptions of Leadership: The Evolution of the Political Landscape since 9/11
For leadership to be sustainable, it needs to be continuously reassessed and revised. Various scenarios, such as the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, can be responsible for such a need. Organizations and governments often adjust their policies and practices to prevent a reoccurrence of a similar event. In the case of the 9/11 attacks, the United States political leaders altered its foreign policy and politics. Even in the succeeding elections, the politicians’ campaigns were premised on the idea of being tough on threats to the country’s national security, such as terrorism.
Former president, Barack Obama, vowed to refocus the country’s fight against terrorism on Al Qaeda and the Taliban when elected. When he killed Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, he somehow kept his promise (Allen, 2021). Therefore, the American public regarded him as their hero who avenged the deaths of their loved ones and who would not hesitate to act swiftly to protect them. Politicians who wish to be elected have also often portrayed themselves as protectors who prioritize their people’s safety. Such images make them likable and buy them credibility with the public.
Retracing Leadership Patterns in Education: Cognitive Abilities and Leadership Traits
The complex nature of the contemporary world compels leaders to be resilient, mentally flexible, and display their learning capacity. These aspects of leadership are developed through the cognitive process and enhanced through leadership education (Torrez & Rocco, 2015). While teaching about leadership, cognitive frameworks that control individual behavior require more emphasis and careful consideration. Creating leaders whose actions reflect social responsibility requires educators to comprehend and carefully consider the primary cognitive learning processes that enable learners to develop a more complex state of mind (Torrez & Rocco, 2015). Leadership is not the final product but a constant learning process influenced by comparable trajectories in an individual’s development.
Aichholzer, J., & Willmann, J. (2020). Desired personality traits in politicians: Similar to me but more of a leader. Journal of Research in Personality, 88.
Allen, J. (2021). “A heavy price”: Two decades of war, wariness and the post-9/11 security state. NBC News.
Channing, J. (2020). How can leadership be taught? Implications for leadership educators. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 15(1), 134-148.
Edwards, G. C. (2003). On deaf ears: The limits of the bully pulpit. Yale University Press.
Olanrewaju, O. I., & Okorie, V. N. (2019). Exploring the qualities of a good leader using principal component analysis. Journal of Engineering, Project, and Production Management, 9(2), 142-150.
Peters, R. S. (Ed.). (2010). The concept of education (International Library of the Philosophy of Education volume 17). Routledge.
Torrez, M. A., & Rocco, M. L. (2015). Building critical capacities for leadership learning. New Directions for Student Leadership, (145), 19-34.
Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations (6th d.). Pearson Education.