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Leadership Profile Paper

Louisiana State University


Dr. Ed Holton
By: Joseph Samara
30/11/2012

What is a leader? How can you determine who is capable to be a leader? Finally,
what attributes does a person need to have to be considered a great leader? These are
some of the doubts present when choosing a person to bring guidance and equality to any
workplace or activity. Dictionary.com defines a leader as the person who leads or
commands a group, organization, or country1. Dictionary.com gives us a vague definition
for what it truly takes to be a leader, yet it is correct; a person is classified as a leader just
by guiding someone or something else. What Dictionary.com doesnt explain (nor does
any other dictionary) is how to differ between an exceptional and a deficient leader.
Although there is no true guideline for the attributes an exceptional leader must have to
be categorized as one, there are several characteristics a person has to be inclined for to
become one. An exceptional leader must have an open mind. A leader who makes
decisions and then never listens to any arguments about those decisions cannot really be a
good leader. Such a leader will tend to just go with his/her instincts rather than listening
to all sides and deciding which is best. Another trait of an exceptional leader is
decisiveness. However, once a leader has listened to all sides, he or she will often need to
make a strong decision quickly. A leader who vacillates from side to side will not be good
either. Finally, a leader needs to be calm. Leaders who respond out of passion rather than
out of reason will make too many mistakes. Such assumptions are made from the
information I gathered from my father after interviewing him. On the other hand, what
makes a leader be deficient? Of course, being a deficient leader involves the opposite
traits the exceptional leader has, though it does not end there. A deficient leader does not
communicate with his surroundings. He or she may belittle the staff by asking them too
many questions for each decision they make, inculcating untrustworthiness. He or she
1 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/leader

may also yell, threat, harass, and be unequal to the staff he or she leads. Yet the most
important trait for being an ineffective leader is the unwillingness to succeed or keep
moving forward. This means that a leader believes it is better to give up or fire an
employee instead of trying to work with them and make a tranquil and efficient
workplace by keeping everyone happy. Guiding myself with the information received
from my father I will proclaim the causes and effects for being a leader in a society.

Chapter 1 The Nature and Importance of Leadership

Firstly, it must be acknowledged that my father is a hospital manager in Honduras and he


has many other businesses such as pharmacies, medical repair shops and warehouses.
After I asked him why he believed leadership was important in his businesses he
conveyed that having such a complex organization as a hospital presents many
challenges, and that it requires a leader to always be at the forefront of changes in the
area of health. The leader must always keep the trust of his subordinates and avoid
confusion. He must maintain order in the development of the company with the goal to
achieve the objectives set by the Board of Directors and especially complete the projects
proposed throughout his businesses. After he vaguely described instances in which he had
to surpass or overcome challenges I asked him why he thought it is important for students
to learn how to lead. After jokingly saying Well it is important for you because youre
going to run all my business when I fail to be, he continued to express that leadership
development in young people is important. One of the biggest challenges is to have
confidence in oneself and about what that person knows and above all, to never doubt to

do a project in which you have confidence in. A future leader must soak everything
surrounding the project and keep track of every new piece of information that could be
helpful for said project. He explained that there is strong competition between similar
companies, and that every one of them is looking for people with leadership traits that
will empower the projects and make them viable for the benefit of the company and the
community. A young leader must be prepared to face harsh consequences after making a
poor decision, yet he must be self confident about every decision he makes. After
answering my question he proceeded to tell me the most important part of being a leader
is being prepared for being unprepared for what may come down your path. It
mesmerized me how a leader can be prepared to be unprepared when a subordinate
knocked on his office door and told him about a change in a banks policy for a loan they
had made my fathers hospital. He calmly called the bank and made them aware of the
consequences they would encounter with the hospital if they made those changes, to
which they calmly suggested that the policies were to remain unchanged for his hospitals.
I proceeded to emphasize how awesome it was for him to not only control his
businesses, yet how he also controlled how other corporations acted against his just by
making a phone call. He made notice that a leader needs to remain calm in every situation
and be ready to make changes whenever theres a hole in the road. One of the subjects
we studied were the many roles that a leader may play in his organization, to which I
asked him to give me an example of when we was a figurehead in his hospital. He told
me that his hospital is currently working on an expansion project and hes coordinating
all the activities for the project to be a success. He is a spokesperson whenever he meets
with the board of directors and in the presentations they have with different organization

such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, which is a club designed for major
businesses and corporation to help poor people in Honduras. He is a chairman of the
Board of Directors in the Hospital and the speaker of the company towards the media. He
portrays the hospitals image within his attire and character, thus always making a great
image for the newspapers and television cast. Hes been a negotiator when he makes
contracts with employees and with different companies and also by negotiating prices for
certain services offered by the hospital staff. Hes also been a coach and motivator by
updating the implementation of new systems and quality control and by advising all the
heads of department to keep their respective subordinates motivated in the activities
throughout the hospital. He has also been a team builder when looking for the right
people capable with the best experience and availability to achieve the goals set. Being a
team player involves him working on projects together with other people and to discuss
and evaluate all possibilities as equal but with a common direction that allows them to
see beyond and takes into account all the skills concentrated into one in order to succeed.
He has been a technical problem solver by knowing how to prepare the company to have
the necessary experience, availability and common sense to solve all the problems that
may arise day by day. He is an entrepreneur by taking charge of the difficult challenges
with security and confidence in order to undertake said challenges. Finally, he is a
strategic planner during the implementation of the operational plan for each year and also
with the prioritization of projects and the realization of a special management plan that
allows success in all areas available. My fathers greatest satisfactions of being a leader
involve achieving the trust, friendship, and respect from the people who work with him.

Finally, my fathers greatest frustrations he has experienced as a leader have been the lack
of knowledge, apathy, and lack of partners who force change on failing strategies.

Chapter 2 Traits, Motives and Characteristics of Leaders

A leader may have different traits, motives and characteristics that make him or
her a unique type of leader in a society. An aspect of a person that is innate and part of
ones personality as opposed to a skill, which can be developed through learning
coaching, defines a trait. Some of the traits that my father believes make him an effective
leader are his positivism, or being optimistic, the respect he has for others, self-respect,
humility, prudence, and kindness in dealing. Hes an optimistic person; he always tries to
see the good things he or somebody else does. He expresses that he never makes
decisions on a whim and that his best, and strongest trait is his common sense. Although
he accedes of these traits he already has that make him an effective leader, there are other
characteristics which he believes he lacks, such as being less sentimental, being more
demanding for all the activities, and to have the time to monitor all the areas of the
company. He finds it easy to team with other people due to that he seeks for the best
candidate for a position that could fill the faults he has and could compliment his needs in
every activity his business might have. Due to the excessive amount of time he has been
leading throughout his life, he told me that he doesnt have any motivation. Since
childhood he always had to sacrifice some things in order to become successful. My
father showed me that he was the president of his schools government and always tried
to be in a position that granted him some power and experience. He also participated in

his schools extracurricular activities, such as being a team member of every sport
available, which led him to become a star player in his basketball team. My father is the
type of person who will always give his best to complete everything he does; he lives by
the rule of never leave for tomorrow what you can do today. He believes traits are very
important for a leader. Personal and acquired attributes are a great part to the success of a
leader. My father believes traits, motives, and characteristics are very important aspects
of an excellent leader.

Chapter 3 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership

A leader must have charisma and be ready to change his ways or other peoples
behaviors in order to maintain order throughout his or her organizations. My father thinks
he is charismatic because his personality makes other people follow him in any projects
and many of his followers have extreme confidence in him. He believes that being a
charismatic leader makes it easier for activities to be accomplished in a days worth of
work, it doesnt take much to convince a group of people about what to do or the
methodology for achieving equitable businesses purpose. Other leaders my father has
met, who he believed were charismatic, shared many traits, such as radiating confidence,
security, having knowledge and being educated, friendly, and helpful. My father always
tries to stay constantly informed of the good and bad things that happen around the entire
company and he tried to make the best decisions to improve in any quality available.
When taking the decision to start a project he has to foresee certain situations, such as the
availability of goods and services needed to complete the project and the difference in the

cost of goods. He must decide the amount of time in which he wants to complete the
project and do whatever is necessary to [legally] achieve the projects development. The
way my father leads big changes throughout his organizations is by firstly agreeing on an
action plan, to train all people involved and make changes according to the preparation
and trustworthiness of employees. He expresses that he has always had the patience to
wait for a person to change and adapt to the different situations and activities that may be
required for the project, and he believes that that is a quality an exceptional leader must
have. Although my father has been a leader for a very long time, he believes he hasnt
had the opportunity to be part of a big transformational change, yet he has been in charge
of many changes throughout his businesses. For instance, my father was the cause of the
expansion in all of his hospitals, which lead to a major increase in profit throughout the
whole healthcare organization.

Chapter 4 Leadership Behaviors, Attitudes, and Styles

Leadership behaviors, attitudes, and styles are very important in determining if a


leader is efficient or deficient. Whilst other attributes may characterize the leaders
personality, his or her behaviors, attitudes, and styles determine whether or not the leader
will be considered exceptional. My father would describe his leadership style as being
participatory, which means that he permits other people and subordinates to ask questions
and speak their mind towards business plans, and borough. He believes he is more of a
task-oriented leader yet he doesnt ignore his peoples needs and demands. Throughout
his life as a leader he has learned to carry a schedule, maintain constant supervision and

help in problem solving and critical thinking. Some of the attitudes and behaviors he
believes he still have to work on in order to be more effective are to let everyone know
and understand other peoples roles within the project and maintain control of the
fulfillment of the objectives in the times previously stated [projects and problems
throughout the businesses].

Chapter 5 Contingency and Situational Leadership

Being a leader involves being ready to make changes and adapt to every situation
that an organization may encounter. Although my father is a leader of many and different
types of businesses, he could not recall any instance in which he had to change his ways
of leading. He explained that there were no situations in which he had to make an
adjustment to his form of leading, and the closest situation which he could relate to
changing his leadership style was the changing of people (firing and hiring) for the many
jobs of the businesses. After talking with him about these types of situations, he
expressed that being a leader requires foresight and critical thinking, thus making him
able to overcome any situation in the future. His form of leading has been, and will
always be, the same as it was way before he graduated with a diploma from his
university.

Chapter 6 Leadership Ethics and Social Responsibility

Leadership ethics and social responsibility determine how other people see a
leader. My father believes every single leader needs to think and act, not only for the
wellbeing of their business, but also for the wellbeing of the society and environment
surrounding them. An efficient leader cannot be selfish towards his own business without
regards for the environment or the society since his business will affect its surroundings,
for good or worse. My father has made several decisions by being motivated by mostly
his view of social responsibility. For example, he works on healthcare and is the CEO and
owner of many hospitals, be they public or private, and one of the norms he has always
maintained is that a leader must give something in return to the society; although his
views are not followed by his selfish comrades. He expressed that the members of the
board of directors only care about higher and higher profits and they have done nothing
to help others in the society. My father has taken several medical brigades to help poor
people that suffer from kidney diseases, eye failures, hand diseases, heart diseases, and
more. These medical brigades have performed open-heart surgery on more than 380 kids
until this moment and have helped no less than 3000 children in total. He also expressed
that the organizing and performance of the brigades is not cost-efficient, yet he feels as if
he owes the society and people of Honduras for helping him become what he is today.

Chapter 7 Power, Politics and Leadership

All leaders have some forms of power. My father thinks his power comes from
the confidence he excels and has to take difficult decisions, on being a role model for
many young adults and adults, from the overall respect he has towards every person, and

his caring and helping of people inside and outside of his businesses. My father tries to
make everyone work to his or her maximum capabilities, thus capacitating them to
acknowledge their limits and helping them overcome said limits by giving them
supervision and motivational talks. He told me that he has been visited by many young
adults seeking for job opportunities and sadly has had to neglect many of them due to the
scarcity of jobs in Honduras. He recommends a first time employee from being punctual
and studying his organizations goals. An employee must be aware of his strengths and
weaknesses and seek for jobs that require most of his strengths; he or she must also be
consistent within the job and respect his or her surroundings. Also, a first time employee
may need to investigate and learn the leadership roles and people fulfilling those roles
and treat them with the respect they deserve. An employee must be always willing to give
more than what he or she is asked to and be honest in every activity he or she participates
in. My father also highly recommends for an employee to be honest and ask questions if
he or she doesnt know how to operate a certain task, since it is better to do a job well the
first time rather than making a mistake several times.

Chapter 8 Influence Tactics of Leaders

My father is a very influential person. He has influenced people in many ways, for
example, back in 1994, he was asked to reopen a hospital that had 90 years of servicing,
which was closed by the Ministry of Health. He had to start from scratch and choose new
people to work on the jobs needed. There are several limitations in the public sector

which make it harder to select persons capable of working, for example: there is a law
stating that a minimum of ten people assigned by the government need to be working
throughout a public hospital and most of the time those people lack discipline and order,
thus shortening the amount of available jobs for people who really want to work. My
fathers vision was to convert the public hospital Leonardo Martinez to a maternity
hospital. It has not been an easy task, he said, but once I prepare everything
[blueprints and materials needed] we will be able to trace the critical path for completion
and start working on it. One of the challenges my father encountered was to sensitize the
workers and make them see the project as a whole, being that the hospital would be able
to help 230% more people than before. The employees would be rewarded by
supporting the poor community in the area and by being sent to all-paid medical courses
to improve their job development and curriculum, my father said.
My father is also a member of many clubs and organizations that seek to help
people in Honduras of scarce resources. These organizations have helped more than
16000 newborn babies and their families and have donated more than four million dollars
for the construction and further development of operating rooms and building for helping
the poor people achieve a healthy state of being. Years after being owner of the Leonardo
Martinez Hospital and taking charge of every project he opened five private hospitals
throughout Honduras. With all the projects he has been working on, he has encountered
many difficulties throughout the different aspects of the projects, yet he has always been
able to overcome them by being well informed of everything and by being capable to
understand different ideas and ways of expressing the projects to the employees, by

permitting the participation of others decision making, and by brainstorming ways of


achieving the overall goal of the project.
There are several ways a leader may be influential. My father has witnessed
unethical influence tactics throughout his whole leadership career, for example, when the
heads of the Radiology department gathered information about patients and opened
another Radiology center by themselves without consent of the hospitals staff,
furthermore, after opening the Radiology center they lowered the costs of the procedures
and tests and entered in an unethical form of competition. Unfortunately, there are no
laws prohibiting that type of actions in Honduras, making the circumstances favorable for
the unethical competitors, my father added. When my father is confronted with unethical
influence tactics he tries to search for the most correct way of accomplishing the
problems posted and try to solve them in an ethical and easy way. My father recommends
to study and ready thoroughly, understanding how other people deal with good or bad
experiences. He also recommends foreseeing the outcome of the different situations and
behaving according to the desired outcome, that is, without causing any harm to others.

Chapter 9 Developing Teamwork

Teamwork is the ability of a group of people to work together in order to achieve


a common goal. There are different ways in which teamwork can be achieved: a group of
people can divide the amount of work equally between the members of the team, or,
which my father would recommend, divide the type of work to be completed and divide
the categories between the team members with better characteristics towards a certain

job, i.e. decorating, writing, organizing, etc. Some leadership methods my father sees as a
team leader in order to build a strong climate within the team members is to enforce
active participation in decision-making and arrange several meetings a week to discuss
newest information and agree on what changes need to be taken. At the end of each
meeting, my father always thanks everyone for participating and reminds him or her that
they are an important part of the business. He believes the key to making teams work
well is to choose the right people for the right job, to make sure those people are
connected and know the expectations to be met, but above all, make sure they have the
liberty to express themselves by asking questions and making decisions together as a
team. Although a leader tries to organize people that have common characteristics on the
same team, there are many occasions in which it cannot be done. My father handles
inevitable conflicts that occur throughout the teammates by conversing in an open way
with the people involved in the problem. He respects peoples opinions and expects the
teammates to show respect whenever someone else is talking. What he finds the most
challenging aspect of leading a team is choosing the correct people for the job, since it
has to be an active team that desires to complete the job as fast as possible and in the best
way possible. Working in teams is a way to facilitate hard jobs and make employees
connect with each other, creating an environment filled with confidence and people who
are confortable being around others.

Chapter 10 Motivation and Coaching Skills

Motivation and coaching skills are an important part of a leader, yet it does not
always involve the leader specifically. A leader may hire someone else to motivate and
educate employees on the different rules and ways of working in the business. Having
someone else take charge of motivating and encouraging employees to work and try to
succeed at their jobs is easier for someone like my father who has to be in charge of his
different businesses. Although my father might have another person to take charge of
motivating and coaching his employees, he encourages them to talk directly to him if
there is a problem. My father helps his followers have confidence by expressing the need
for their jobs to be completed and maintaing a confident relationship with his employees.
He talks to the different employees who are struggling and tries to solve any problem
there might be that is preventing an employee from doing his job. Since my father
radiates trust and confidence with everyone of his employees, it is not difficult for his
followers to trust my fathers actions within the business. His followers know that my
father would never act in a way that would hurt the business or organization in any way,
and given that he is known throughout his businesses as an ethical and moral leader, it is
very hard for his followers not to trust him with his decisions. My father triest to maintain
a good relationship and environment with the people by organizing several parties in
which employees and heads of department are viewed as another guest. My father strictly
prohibits the mentioning of work related topics, due to that it would cause a stressful
environment. A leader such as my father gathers his best employees and makes an
appointment with them in his office, and one by one gives them recognition for their hard

work. These recognitions include computers, bonus checks, and mostly objects of value
an employee might ask for. Motivating and coaching many people may be a hard job to
do, yet my father manages to take charge of everything throughout his business.
Being a leader is a very expansive job. A leader must be a figurehead,
spokesperson, negotiator, coach and motivator, team builder, team player, technical
problem solver, entrepreneur, strategic planner, must be ethical, honest, charismatic, be
willing to change his motives and way of leading for all the problems that may arise, he
must behave in a different way according to his environments and desired outcomes, and
must be influential, among many other characteristics. Overall, being a leader is a very
hard job to do. A person must be mentally sane and physically stable to withstand the
amount of stress and at the same time remain calm in order to assess different problems
and situations amongst his businesses. My father completes this checklist and more,
being the reason why I chose to interview him. He has always been a role model and a
figurehead, not only at his businesses but also at home. Becoming a leader of such
potential as my father is hard work, yet I will never forget what he told me at the end of
the interview: All this is very important for a leader, but overall, and promise me you
will do this, study hard, make trustworthy friends, and be confident in yourself, because
that is what will matter the most when you have my age.