The Essential Guide Leadership

Be a better leader, have a richer life. The Essential Guide to Leadership, p.1.

This essay is a critical analysis of an article by the Harvard Business Review, titled “The Essential Guide to Leadership eight Unique Perspectives on Becoming a Stronger Leader”. The essay seeks to unravel how cultural models are represented in the article, and how cultural extractions impact leadership capacities.Paper finds a need to scrutinize through on how the article is relevant to the subject matters as dealt with in the module. As the author of the article suggests, the concept of leadership transcends the state of balance within home, work, community and the self domains. Such that, informed leadership is demonstrated along these particular areas (Northouse, 2018). Besides, the paper digs into the article to find insights on which are the practical implications therein for management and leadership in an organization.

Friedman’s Total Leadership process is a vital blueprint towards achieving excellence in the field of leadership. According to this model, it is important to have a reflection of which things in life, and people matter to you the most. Friedman is a believer of the premise that a person becomes that which he fondly accommodates, and that which he/she associates big time with.He considers the immediate cultural web as an important determinant of how leadership is acquired in societies. And it is on this premise that a leader should stand the test unwavering support even at the taste animosity to safeguard the good will of the organization he/she leads.


Besides, Total Leadership is a critical tool to unchain oneself from the wants of helpless tricks and comfort of unnecessary friendship zones; and is a stepwise strategy that is built on the threshold of different stages (Friedman, 2009). The first stage is reflection, the second brainstorming the potential possibilities and the third one being choosing and experimenting performances. The fourth stage which is the last one is measuring the progress made all along. In reflection, the initial stage of Total Leadership model, one is meant to especially on the four domains of life which comprise of work, community, home and self. One is motivated to ponder about such domains because they critically influence one’s capacity to define one’s leadership capabilities.

According to Friedman (2009), effective leaders have the ability to exhibit integrative thinking; which defines the capacity to work among conflicting situations. The management style of a leader and personality are crucial factors in determining an effective leader; but again a true measure of a leader is not embedded on these factors but rather the inner ability to deal with situations critically and finding solutions.

The Expert which forms the largest classification of leader represents 38% of all professionals of the tentative sample Friedman studied. Unlike Opportunists, who reflects on controlling and managing the world around them, and diplomats, who focus on managing their particular reputation the experts seek to exercise control by improving their awareness and knowledge, professional and personal lives. Practicing watertight thinking is vital to experts. Many investment analysts, accountants marketing researchers, consultants and software engineers, harness expert action logic in their professional practices. This model might make her subscribers into thinking they are always perfect in their tricks based on the premise it grants rigidity against corrections from colleagues (Friedman, 2009).

Brainstorming the possibilities is an effect of reflection and this is where a leader carry out mild experiments geared to drive forth the leadership prowess in the aforementioned domains. The experiments are thus characterized by new approaches of not only doing things; but also perceiving situations in a new version. Finally, in selecting experiments, this is where one narrows down the existing multiple choices initially brainstormed, narrowing them down to three that are the most promising. Such selected tenets should indeed guarantee one’s satisfactionand performances in the four domains. Such chosen precepts should also be universally acceptable based on the premise that they are eloquent and full of universal morals (Friedman, 2009).

Additionally, the chosen factors should be the most costly such that they become mandatory as part of your life; failure to uphold them will induce bad consequences.Lastly, in measuring progress, this is where one is compelled to benchmark the progress achieved within the experiments and consider how far the improvements have been (Friedman, 2009). As the author reminisces, over his empirical studies that dates back two decades; he has come across diverse people who are retrogressive and impermeable to change. Stagnant people, not for any tangible reason; but by the fact they have failed to inculcate into the face of a little change, and try to integrate holistic leadershipwithin the four dimensions (Daft, 2014).

I concur with the fact that such individuals the ability to collect one together for one kind of a decision based on holistic leadership is not always easy. This is probably by mistake or ignorance as to how to make the first move. Many people are still enclosed in a shell, not able to collectively accommodate and exhibit leadership in all domains. As a leader however, one ought to manifest his/her leadership expertise along the four areas. The essence of Steward Friedman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is to emancipate the young minds into finding reason to adopt Total Leadership model into their lives.

As the author draws a reflection of Steward Friedman into the reader’s attention, a lot of capacities are abilities are brought forth. I share the view that through him, an elemental holistic leadership is depicted. Throughout his various discourses in life; especially when he moved to Philadelphia he developed an urge to get more associated with familiar issues; and make the bonds therein stronger; which inspired him to join a city based community board; which not only sharpen his leadership capacities but also helped him to draw closer to his family.In his encounters, Friedman feels more spiritually nourishedwhich has induced more self-confidence. This man is a better leaderwho has ascended leadership positions in different arena, with sheer consistent with his values. Notably, he is leading other people to become more empowered holistically in leadership parameters.

The doctrines of Total Leadership Process are founded on three vital principles namely; be real which encompasses; act with a sense of originality making clear what is instrumental. Second doctrine is beingwhole, which entails acting with integrity and the third doctrine is being innovative which is characterized by creative experimentation on how things are done; and problems sorted out (Cashman, 2017).

The display of proper leadership skills is the key foundation to enterprise success (Friedman, 2009). The greatest of leaders who tried to induce unprecedented changes into the world of business, though outstanding leadership strategies never found it easy. The same course persists up to today, in that even under sufficient talent and positivity towards the enterprise; some Chief Executive Officers do not get it right. Their legacies instead hover around, with the quest to remind the remnants and new employees about the concepts of stewardship and responsibility. Many of the leaders are all stumbling on the needs to achieve the four domains of leadership, since they have not adequately mastered the four domains of holistic leadership (Yukl, and Mahsud, 2010).

Cultural models in the perspective of this article have suppressed the capacity for one to full ascend the ladder of leadership. The confinements within customs and societal expectations do not insist indeveloping oneself in work and self domains. But they tend to motivate development of leadership in home and community dockets.Alternatively, they may be good at showcasing efficient leadership strengths on two or one dimension, leaving other domains unattended. The essence of good leadership calls for openness and flexibility to change the impediments along; be it those embedded on cultural grounds or individual capacity.True leaders prepare their enterprises or organizations into the understanding that of various contexts and the conditions for transition between them.

Culture and leadership, in historical contexts are entwined.The leadership structures in many cases are built on cultural strings which dictate the course taken by leadership. In the context of the article, cultural domain to a large extent is impacting the ability to holistically develop one’s leadership potentials in the four areas. Such that, because of the foundations laid by cultural dogmas, one is able to develop in the four areas. The patriarchal societies seem to provide much more significance to men, than women. Additionally, the society’s cultural grains allow for partial development of only one to two domains, leaving the other domains unturned (Friedman, 2009).

Conclusively, the article is rich in diverse insights inspiring the breakthrough towards a more achieved leadership skills in the areas of work, home, community and self. Through the scrutiny of the incorporated themes, one is obliged to understand the role played by cultural dogmas in influencing the ability of a person to develop in the four basic dimensions. The article is saturated with important models such as the Total Leadership model that can be harnessed to improve one’s capacities in leadership. Whereas it is cumbersome to flourish in the fore key areas as discussed above; it is however critical to strive and remain within the bounds of moderation and constantly struggle to get acquainted to keep on improving all areas.

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  • Cashman, K., 2017. Leadership from the inside out: Becoming a leader for life. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Daft, R.L., 2014. The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.
  • Friedman, S.D., 2009. Be a better leader, have a richer life. The Essential Guide to Leadership, p.1.
  • Northouse, P.G., 2018. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
  • Yukl, G. and Mahsud, R., 2010. Why flexible and adaptive leadership is essential. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 62(2), p.81.

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