Article On The Leadership Styles

756 words | 3 page(s)


“Leadership style can be defined as the manner and approach a leader uses to provide direction, implement plans initiated and motivate people”. There are various styles leaders can implement in order to meet their duties and obligations. But it is leadership theories that explains why a certain leadership style is being implemented. I will focus on the leadership styles of Dr. Maya Angelou and what leadership theories can explain them.

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Dr. Maya Angelou is among the most influential and well renowned voices of our time. She is addressed as a global renaissance woman who was well known for being a poet, novelist, memoirist, producer, educator, dramatist, actress, filmmaker, historian and a civil rights activist. She was a vibrant lady who was courageous enough to undertake all these activities in order to make the world a better place. “She was born on the 4th of April, 1928”. Her town of birth is St. Louis, Missouri. She was raised up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas .

It was in Stamps that she experienced some of the malpractices specifically practiced on blacks and more specifically on the female folk. Dr. Angelou faced the brutality of racial discrimination, discrimination based on gender and other atrocities that were practiced during those times. She was strong enough to absorb the unwavering faith and value of traditional African-American culture and community. One of her famous quotes is that a bird does not sing because it is perceived to have an answer, but it sings because it has a song that it needs to convey. Dr. Maya Angelou did have a song, and she sang it well enough to improve society and to challenge the girl child that she was capable of much more. Her activities and the way she carried herself revealed a leadership style that is desirable and should be emulated. The characteristics of her leadership explain why she was that successful in her activities.

Different theories of leadership can be attributed to her style of leadership. The Trait Theory would be one of those theories. This theory makes the assumption of a leader being different from the average person as regards to intelligence, ambition and perseverance. It makes the assumption that good leaders have a better combination of skills that make them successful in whatever they venture into. Dr. Angelou mastered French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Fanti, a West African language. She was so zealous about education that she went out of her way to learn more and read widely about certain issues. She was always taking new adventures setting a milestone being the first African- American woman to write a film script that was nominated for a Pulitzer Award.

Another leadership theory that she portrays is that of behavioral theory where she is both a democratic leader and concerned about people. Dr. Angelou was concerned about the afflictions of racial discrimination and wrote various poems in effect to this. She even formed an organization together with Malcolm X that was to assist in uniting African Americans. This show that she was concerned about the people and was interested in making them live better lives and be more productive .

The other leadership theory that she portrays would be contingency theory where the situation she is in influences good leadership. The society is at a deplorable state and she involves herself in decision making in the society so as to improve it. It helps as one can understand specific issues affecting the people and how properly to tackle them. It is seen as a very operative means of decision making since several people decide together rather than one person doing it thus people become more committed to such decisions. Dr. Angelou demonstrated this by serving in presidential committees. Through such a platform, she was able to input in key topics and help in making decisions as a unit.

Another leadership theory would be power and influence theories. It is the act of inspiring people to follow you because of your personal appeal and charm. It normally happens when a leader has a great passion and vision for what he or she does. Dr. Angelou inspired people using her poems and the way she lived her life. She evoked them to be better than her.

  • Angelou, M. (2014). Global Renaissance Woman. Retrieved from Mayaangelou Website: http://mayaangelou.com/bio/
  • Cherry, K. (2009). Leadership Theories – 8 Major Leadership Theories. Retrieved from About.com Website: http://www.about.com
  • Mindtools Ltd. (2014). Core Leadership Theories. Retrieved from Mindtools Website: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/leadership-theories.htm

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