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Leadership Capabilities Essay

2596 words - 11 pages

Leadership Analysis Project: What Leaders Do?

Jaeeun Yoo

Northeastern University

October 5, 2014

Author Note

This paper was prepared for Develop Leadership Capability, LDR6100 70050, taught by Dr Goode.


Well-known for his ability of reconstructing failing companies, Carlos Ghosn is a great leader in modern business. He restored the Nissan motor group from the brink of bankruptcy, achieving record profits in two years. He is the best model for transformation leadership, which could be a spotlight in our society today. Transformational leadership gives more attention to the charismatic and effective elements, concerned ...view middle of the document...

As time passed, Ghosn’s leadership became more outstanding. Before his appointment as a CEO in June 2000, the Nissan motor company was harassed by debts. At that time, the major news media reported that the bankruptcy of the Nissan motor company was not far away. After much consideration, Nissan recruited Ghosn. As a transformational leader, Ghosn is now fully equipped with the fundamentals of leadership behaviors.

Carlos Ghosn compared Nissan to burning deck through his diagnosis of problems. He was more of a diagnostician than a leader at the time. Afterwards he redefined priority to tide over the Nissan crisis. And then, he started both drastic restructuring and introducing Cross Functional Team (CFT). CFT was an innovative idea to support his vision and short and long-term goals. Although Nissan’s situation was extremely hard, he never lost his aplomb. At the same time, He was always concerned about his employees and tried to inspire them through motivation. As a whole, he is a level-head person, and a considerate leader simultaneously. He always tried to find creative ideas to support his own vision.

Leadership Approach

Companies must be able to survive on its own in the marketplace. A large number of businesses went bankrupt in the aftermath of the recession. On the other hand, many businesses met turning point of overcoming crisis, then gained a foothold. Especially, there is no doubt that today’s marketplace is fierce. Therefore, the position of leaders, which can overcome management crises, is important for companies. For example, Apple’s previous CEO Steve Jobs revived the Apple Computer that was dying, transforming the industry and the trend of the world. Steve Jobs is a representation of the charismatic leadership and the creative leadership. Charismatic leadership is the branch of transformational leadership that focuses on intrinsic motivation and follower's development, which fits into the needs of today’s work group (Northouse, 2013, p. 185). Carlos Ghosn shows the typical transformational leader as much as Steve Jobs did.

According to Kuhnert (1994), leaders who apply transformational leadership have a strong set of internal values and ideals, and they motivate subordinates effectively to act in ways that help the greater good rather than their own self-interests (p. 191). Transformational leadership has four constituents, which are idealized influence, Inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (p. 191).
In perspective of idealized influence, Ghosn provided a distinct vision and trust to his employees. Ghosn tried to find problems of Nissan to set up a new vision. He compared it to Honda and Toyota, then pointed out that it was Nissan’s trait that gave the impression of a mixture of factors piled up on top of another without any strategy (Ghosn, 2005, p. 1405). He felt that employees were eager for an advancement. But the employees found...

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