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Strategic Leadership Styles

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Using ethical leadership and authentic leadership:

1. Present the major arguments of each theory;
2. Compare their relative strengths and weaknesses, and
3. Present your view regarding which of the theories you analyzed provides the better insight into understanding contemporary leadership behavior.

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Ethical leadership is a hot topic in today's business leadership environments. Ethical leadership
means always considering what is right, fair, and generally beneficial to business partners and all
stakeholders. It means doing what is sometimes considered inconvenient, unpopular, and maybe
unprofitable on a short term basis (Seidman, 2010). Authentic leadership is a term to describe integrity
and an attitude of sincerity (Bernhardt, 2012). Authentic leadership is sometimes considered a
foundation on which other leadership styles, such as transformational and charismatic leadership, are

Like ethical leaders, authentic leaders are not always popular. However, they do tend to
develop long term business partnerships and relationships. Sincerity and integrity help establish a sense
of trust among business partners. Therefore, partners are likely to welcome future meetings and
agreements with such leaders. They will always know where they stand with authentic leaders, even if
both parties initially cannot reach an agreement.

Self awareness is another characteristic Bernhardt (2012) identifies in an authentic leader. This
means the leader is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses. Such a leader either seeks to
improve on weaknesses or searches for managers and co-leaders who possess the missing strengths.
This does not mean the authentic leader necessarily relies heavily on others in the decision making
process. However, the authentic leader does consider all options and outcomes in decision making and
does seek advice when he or she knows more information or expertise is required.

Unlike the authentic leader, the ethical leader ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses strategic leadership styles.