University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Analysis of the Article: “The New Psychology of Leadership”
Analysis of the Article: “The New Psychology of Leadership” Scientific American Mind Journal, August 2007
The article by Stephen D. Reicher tells us about how the definition of “Leaders” has been changed over time, and how it transformed to suit today’s society (Reicher, Platow and Haslam). It tells about how this effective leadership contradicted the conventional notion of what a leader should be, how a leader should act. It gave the September 11 bombing, where President George W. Bush has stepped up to give us a clear definition of what today’s leaders are like. Bush was merely an example, and that there are other aspects that would give a meaning to the “leaders” of today, redefining the belief that it only takes willingness and character to become a successful leader.
The first point that was stressed, and that was manifested by President Bush during the 9/11 bombing was that leaders have been remodeled by the society today. It is not only willingness and character that the people need. Today’s leaders should also be able to act or be like them, be one with the people. Through that, there will be unity; and with a unified following, the leader can then mobilize these people to achieve the changes, as for the time of the bombing, was the call for America to act as one against terrorism.
In the article, there are several changes that have been shown when it comes to a characteristic that a leader should possess. The first of these changes was about charisma, evolving to a consensus. The notion about how leaders should possess charisma in order to attain success have been slowly shadowed by the fact that charismatic leaders are not effective leaders if they wont be able to get something going. It was then replaced by how well a leader adapts to his situation, and how he is able to lead people, which defines him as a leader. He should not be defined as how many people he can convince, instead he should be defined by how many people he was able to mobilize and bring out changes with his leadership.
Another defining character that an effective leader should possess is to be able to blend in with the crowd, the very people he is leading and supervising. He should be one of the gang, and not to be seen as the high-and-mighty sovereign ruler of the land. This is to gain the confidence and the respect of the people. If he is able to be seen as someone like them or someone who understands them, then the leader would definitely have their trusts and be able to mobilize these people toward the goals and objectives of the leaders which are also for the people’s interests.
The leader should also be fair with his constituents or to those who are in lower positions from them. This is to maintain the trust and the positive outlook from these people, for them to think that these leaders are not taking advantage of their position, or that these leaders do not deserve their position at all. It is through their followers that the leader will be able to determine what to do, which is usually dependent on how the group thinks. Fairness can be observed by effective leaders in resolving problems between members, wherein there should be no favoritism shown. The leader should also be able to verbalize their leadership, being able to wield words and deliver them correctly to the people. This is one way of strengthening his command and building the respect of his followers, so that they can be effectively mobilized by the leaders.
This article is a useful source of information on how a person can be an effective leader. This also updates us of how the society today defines an effective leader. This is because an effective leader doesn’t have a constant or concrete definition, of what should possess to become an effective leader. It still lies on his constituents, in his followers, that would define him on how a leader should be. This is because a leader is also a servant, and that is why a leader also has to be of service to others, which are the general public.
Reicher, Stephen D., Michael J. Platow, and S. Alexander Haslam. “The New Psychology of Leadership”. 2007. Scientific American Mind. August 9 2007. <http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=1CFBD09F-E7F2-99DF-38898D75F4702C44&sc=I100322>.