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What Leaders Really Do Article Analysis

Key Points From The Article

The key fact that the article tries to establish is that, unlike the common perception, leadership is not something that is mysterious or hypothetical. Instead, leadership is as much about sanity, rationale, and logic as it is about having charisma and having the ability to make people listen to you. Most of the time, people tend to overemphasize the exotic personality traits and instead ignore the more nuisance parts of leadership, as claimed by the article. This article tends to establish that leadership is pretty much the way management seems to work, and both traits are supposed to complement each other. The key difference, though, between management and leadership is the fact that while management is about making sure that the way practices and procedures are supposed to be followed, leadership is about how someone is able to adapt to the changes that are happening around them. The greater the frequency of change, the greater the likelihood that exceptional leadership skills are going to be needed. The core idea, though, is to make sure that strong leadership and strong management are carried out to ensure that they complement each other.

Critical Evaluation Of The Article

The article is able to raise some valid points with regard to some of the aspects that are being overlooked in terms of the way leadership is perceived these days. The article provides a good idea of how leadership development in the organization is supposed to be carried out. The article expresses a correct perception when it talks about what is lacking in organizations these days in terms of the way leadership development is supposed to be carried out. Most people are opting for a reactive approach when it comes to change management, and due to that, they are waiting for outside interference with regard to the way change management is supposed to be done. What is needed to be done is to make sure that the active effort is carried out with regard to the change management in the organizational setup. Each person within the team should make an attempt to stand out on their own. The organizations should also be able to identify people who try to stand out on their own and do things their own way rather than taking someone else’s lead in terms of the change.

Practical Application Of The Article In The Workplace

There are many practical applications with regard to the way change management was being implemented in the organization at the broader level and how they were reactive to the way change was supposed to be implemented. The example of Google stands out the most. For a long time, the alarm bells have been ringing when it came to the way the need for diversity was being felt in the organization. Despite this fact, Google employees exerted much effort to make sure that they understood and executed these things in the first place. It took a scandal and a leaked memo from the employee to show how worse things were in terms of the diversification in the organization. Since then, it has been all a damage control exercise on the part of Google to make sure that they create an impression within the organization to make sure that they can show the world how serious they are in terms of the way diversity is needed in the organization. Again, even to manage this issue, they opted for a Global Diversity Manager rather than allowing someone from their team to stand up and deliver this message.


Kotter, J.P., 2001. What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11).



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