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Leadership perspectives

Address the following questions and concepts:

1.Which of the leadership perspectives discussed in Week 1 do you think is manifested in both coaches? What are the power bases both coaches rely upon? Whose actions are more aligned with a managerial role and whose actions are more aligned with a leadership role?

2.How significant were their respective traits in influencing their leadership? The textbook provides a list of traits and links these with the five-factor personality model. Is there an agreement between the traits you have identified and those presented in your text? In what ways has this affected the performance effectiveness of the coaches?

Leadership as a Process: A Tale of Two Coaches

Leadership often determines the success attained by managers and their organizations at large. The most suitable style of leadership is subjective and varies with situations. There are many leadership strategies, all of which could lead to achievement of goals. Coaches Bobby Knight and Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) were both successful basketball managers. While Krzyzewski was an assistant to Knight at one time of his career, he never adopted Knight’s leadership style. He took a perspective that differed completely from that of his former senior. The effectiveness of either of the two coaches as a leader is a subject of interest when studying leadership in organizations. Studying the two coaches reveal that two different ways can lead to the same outcome. However, it is important to evaluate the extent of success each achieved, to understand which style is most appropriate.

Coach K was soft on his players and made mainly exploited peaceful means of interactions. He exercised his powers in a democratic way. His players could link with him emotionally and hence the parties could relate harmoniously. The players could talk to him freely and in most cases they participated in decision making. He natured strong bonds with his juniors and was eventually successful. By exercising an interactive leadership style, Coach K was an authentic manager. From a managerial perspective, his leadership was mostly unquestionable. Focusing on management rather than leadership as manifested by Coach K, can create healthy relationships between the seniors and their juniors. People feel motivated when they associate with their leaders (Bednarz, 2012). In most cases, the type of leadership is more successful than other types where employees keep distance from their employers. With a friendly relationship, problems are easy to identify and solve. Again, the coordination is likely to develop and the challenges could be solved in the most appropriate ways. However, leaders should be keen to ensure that being too soft on employees does not make them lazy. Naturally, when workers feel too secure from their leaders, they are unlikely to be aggressive with their duties.

Coach Knight, on the other hand, used his position to exercise power as a leader. He dictated what he wanted his players to do and no room was there for discussions. By setting objectives and forcing his players to work toward them, Knight made great achievements. His style was more of a leader than that of a manager. Though he valued advisors, he made most decisions alone (Conner, 2014). His players had little to say regarding his management and he could not cultivate a cordial relationship with them. Though the leadership style is effective in some situations, it has high chances of failing. Dictatorship often discourages self-drive and workers are likely to feel uncomfortable. However, the method can be the most appropriate for results that are realized within a short period of time. For Coach Knight, it was most effective as he focused mainly on the then current games. As time goes by, the players could get less productive as they lacked positive motivation from the leadership.

For both, coaches, their styles suited their situations. Coach K could associate with his players and win while Coach Knight could dissociate from his players and still realize good results. Though they used different styles, both coaches were great leaders. On the 5-factor Personality Model, both were outgoing for extravasation, efficient for conscientiousness, and inventive for openness. However, while Coach K is compassionate, Coach Knight is detached. Again, Coach K is confident but Coach Knight is insecure. From a leadership perspective, Coach knight was more successful than Coach K. on the other hand, Coach K was more successful as a manager than Coach Knight. Performance for the two coaches was affected by their personalities. While Coach K could attain results with ease, Coach Knight had to use too much energy. In his managerial position, the former was more relaxed than the latter.


Bednarz, T. F. (2012, July 22). Building Support from Employees Require Interactive Leadership.

Conner, C. (2014). Expanding your Business.

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