characteristics and styles of leadership

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The destiny of a century is fated on a single Ring in the film Lord of the Rings. The ring has been missing for a long time, but there are certain supernatural forces that will not give up their quest for this precious ring. The Ring, however, puts it in the hands of a young Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, who is lifted from brute to mythical status by the Ring. Having advanced to the rank of ring bearer, he now faces the most difficult challenge of destroying the Ring. Then the road to Mount Mordor, where the Ring was forged, begins. However, in the course of the journey, numerous characters are brought forth including Sauron and Aragorn who despite both being very influential, embody totally different styles of leadership (Tolkien, 2012).

Leadership Styles

To begin with, King Sauron's employs the authoritarian type of leadership. According to Vegara (2014), this ruling system entails the dictation of procedures and policies by the ruler. The goals to be achieved are defined by the leader yet none of the subordinates is at liberty to question whether the set objectives are achievable or un-achievable. This kind of leadership is also referred to as autocratic leadership. It is however important to note that, this kind of leadership is based more on the social role or the positional authority rather than influences which are emotive. Tolkien (2012) asserts that authoritarian rule is exemplified in Lord of the Rings through King Sauron, a character in the movie Lord of the Rings. In his words and acts, he displays high degrees of selfishness since he does entirely nothing constructive that is helpful to his followers. Instead, he works inexhaustibly to fulfil his personal desires. Despite being such an uncaring leader, he still goes ahead to coerce his subjects to strictly adhere to his conditions, remain totally loyal to him even if it would mean sacrificing their lives. He is in fact a perfect example of a personalized and most regrettably, ineffective leader. His followers have no avenues of achieving self-actualization because of this form of puppetry. There is some sort of an ineffective leader-followers affair, and it is because of this that Sauron is bound to fail.

On the other hand Tolkien (2012) writes that Sauron's counterpart, Aragorn who appears to be both visionary and charismatic. His major objective as a leader is to ensure his people are saved from doom that glimmers from the horizons. He focusses on destroying the controversial Ring but remains cautious enough so that absolutely nothing diverts his attention from his mission. In his ruling, he shows a lot of democracy. He is not only a successful but also a highly diplomatic leader who does a lot of consultations before taking action. For instance, down from infantry to his people's topmost management team, they tirelessly work on executing a common goal which is to destroy the deathly Ring. According to Vegara (2016), in any democratic society, there is the favoritism of equal rights amongst all the societal members. On the same note, people are granted the freedom of speech in such a way that, regardless of a person's social profile, he can question and contribute to the leadership. It is for the very reasons that King Aragon offers motivational speeches to his followers on how to become better leaders. Besides, it is out of his efforts that folks like Frodo, Gimli and Legolas disregard their unsubstantiated fall-outs and remain focused on achieving their goal.

Leadership Characteristics


Nahavandi (2016) states that effective leadership requires concentration on people's strengths. It is believed that none can ever rise to greatness by focusing on the weaknesses. Instead, the focus should be on the areas of great potential. Such people perfect on their strengths thereby making them outstanding. Besides, it is normal for leaders to have set objectives. However, Nahavandi (2016) notes that the goals are only achievable if the leader and his subjects remain focused otherwise, such aspirations can only turn out to be fantasies. Tolkien (2012) focuses on Aragon as a member of the team that sets out for the mission to destroy the catastrophic Ring. This group of people risk being devoured by the mysterious and demonic forces that surround the mystic Ring. Aragon being a paramount leader has the liberty to keep off from this dangerous journey. Nevertheless, he remains focused on ensuring his subjects attain the safety that they have for a long time yearned for. Precisely, he is not tasked to deliver the Ring to the Mountain of destruction although, he sees wisdom in providing Frodo, the ring bearer with protection. It is even evident that after an encounter with trolls of goblins and Nazgul (monstrous creatures), he is separated from Frodo. However, he remains undeterred and later creates a diversion and manages to penetrate Mordor where the Ring is destroyed.

Confidence and Bravery

Nahavandi (2016) describes Self-confidence as one of the fundamental frameworks from which leadership develops. This goes as far as an individual holding unto himself great self-assurances. Once a leader has ascertained his skills and competences, he can take risks to achieve the potential goals. Leaders with this virtue do not ignore or pass their down their problems to their successors. However, they face them and try to find the very immediate solutions possible. Aragon for instance manages to combat a group of five Nazgul singlehandedly. Moreover, he beheads a captain of the Orc and most appallingly, gathers the audacity to face the king of the dead accompanied by thousands of his soul warriors. Lastly, despite the slim survival that can be seen in leading an army of Rohan and Gondor to the gates of Mordor, he does it (Tolkien, 2012).

Application of Leadership Styles and Characteristics

Vegara (2014) contends that democracy encourages the participation of all the members of an organization in every aspect and this is what qualifies it as the best managerial strategy. There is equality thus employees find no reason to initiate negative competitions against one another. Because of these, there is minimal wastage in the organizations that use democratic leadership since each employee works for the betterment of the company and not oneself. Secondly, it encourages teamwork because each employee yearns to see the company excel, none wishes for its downfall. Moreover, democracy allows discussions, analysis, and subsequent action on the pertinent issues thus a company is likely to grow steadily. Because, no critical matter can pass unannounced by at least by one of the employees.

According to Nahavandi (2016), whenever the head of an organization is a committed person, the virtue would definitely be passed down to the people that he heads. People with high levels of commitment often stay focused too. Moreover, mentioning the word commitment brings the notion of energy. So, having a group of focused employees means exertion of lots of energy in ensuring the objectives of the company are attained. This is possible because every employee tries to emulate the employer, thereby channeling more energy into a particular objective thus better outcome by the organization.


Nahavandi, A. (2016). The Art and Science of Leadership-Global Edition. Pearson.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2012). The Lord of the Rings: One Volume. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Vegara, E. S. (2014). Characterization of leadership styles by analyzing social networks. Journal of Business, 6(1) 30-42.

December 08, 2022

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