Written 4(2)

Andrew Cassidy

Saint Leo University

Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Administration (CRJ 575)

July 25, 2014

Dr. Donald G. Campbell



Leaders fail to act accordingly based off theories that are examined in detail explaining the fall of a organization.      























Leadership failures can be attributed to theories based off emergence or nature of the particular type or style of leadership.  Some theories that are examined are the traditional leadership theory, behavior and leadership styles theory, contingency and situational theory, transactional and transformational theory, comparison of charismatic and transformational leadership and finally the new leadership which represents the servant, spiritual, authentic and ethical style of leadership (Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., and Taylor, R. W., 2012).  Many reasons are listed why leaders fail but an effective leader should be developing and effective organization. 

Reasons Why Leaders Fail

            A  leader fails to act because of five different reasons (Haller, C.L., 2010).  The first is the interpersonal skills of a leader.  If the leader has a poor skill in interpersonal then the leader has lost the ability to inspire their people.  Poor communication fails underneath poor interpersonal skills.  A well-rounded leader gives feedback to their employees, which correlates a element that produces a high functioning organization.  Sometimes leaders fear the confrontation.  A good example of side stepping this would be learning the art of verbal judo.  The technique allows a employer to hear and understand the feelings but also takes into consideration the feelings of this a particular individual.  Part of being a leader is making risk decisions on short notice that may be difficult but may involve address issues with others that closely work around you. 

            The second reason leaders fail is the inability to adapt and change.  Part of the society we now live in requires us to adapt and overcome changes in the world.  A good leader must be able to see the good in anything and promote change from within.  New situations arise on daily basis and strategies must be formed accordingly in order to embrace the change.  The one thing a good leader can count on is constant change in the workplace.  I believe this to be especially true in law enforcement.  The third reason leaders fail to act is because leaders focus more on self -promotion focusing on being important or powerful.  The perception in the workplace is that this type of action is a betrayal of trust and  a failure of integrity.  The objective focus in this particular leader makes the performance not good enough to succeed but wants a celebrity status in return.  Some leaders want what is not theirs and pride themselves as being top dog in a organization.  The fourth reason why leaders fail is because of their indecisiveness.  A direct result of this is because the leader has alack of confidence.  The fifth and final reason why leaders fail is their lack of trust in others.  The authoritarian leadership style is democratic in nature and proves to be a problem in leading.  The effective leader surround themselves who those who can be trusted and set themselves up to succeed right from the beginning. 

Theories of Leadership

            Theories help describe why leadership is a failure.  In the traditional sense of leadership, two theories such as great man  and the traits approach help address the problem.  A great man theory was developed, which explained gifted individuals made history.  Leadership styles vary by heredity, environmental balances being influenced and roles developing opportunities in leadership.  The traits approach are nothing more than examples in behavior.  Prime example would be a person who is energetic. 

            A theory called the behavior and leadership style represents the action a leader possess.  In other words, authoritarian, democratic and laissez-faire are all styles of leadership in how someone acts as a leader.  The seems to be a major difference in between all three styles of leadership.  Authoritarian style represents a leader saying its all my way.  The democratic style approaches leadership by taking into account everyone’s opinion discussing all viable options.  The laissez-faire leader basically does whatever.  This style has a non-caring attitude and approaches a non-charismatic approach. 

            Contingency and situational leadership theories explain no right way in handling situations.  Contingency Theory focuses more on capabilities and other factors regarding leaders.  Situational leadership is more about what leaders do.  Both of these theories touch on leader-follower relations and position power. 

            Transactional and transformational leaders are opposite in their direction.  Transactional leaders do something to get something in return.  Transformational leadership make their claim to fame by motivating their followers.  The two things they study are self-esteem and self-actualization. 

            Comparison of charismatic and transformational leadership Charismatic leader posse several traits like a direct visions that are accepted by their followers, strategies to help enforce their vision, risk becomes a self-sacrifice in achieving their vision, self interest has no motivation unlike their followers, display a enthusiastic attitude towards confidence, emotional sense of guidance more than their authority towards their followers and finally selecting the most innovative vision that appeals to their followers in a timely manner. 

            The new leadership theory is formulated off a non-charismatic approach.  The theory embarks on a journey to explain why leaders do what they do.  Most leaders scale an upward hill towards achieving their goals and objectives.  They thrive in their accomplishments.  Leaders provide an expert level brought about through ensuring their followers have trust, dedication, motivation and loyalty to their mission.  New leadership uses emotionally symbolic behaviors by envisioning, empowering and supporting in ways to encourage their followers.  This leadership style also increases self-esteem in their follower’s job and performance. 

Understanding the Failure of Leaders

            Some important factors in leadership are detrimental in explaining the failure.  Leaders fail to act because the don’t understand the meaning of leadership (Akrani, G., 2010).  Leading is not easy task.  The primary function is to plan and organize.  This is the busy element in leadership.  Planning and organizing concerns decisions that will create actions.  Leaders must guide and motivate their subordinates.  Leaders need to know the definition of leadership.  Leadership means influencing others towards the same objective.  Characteristics of leadership  involve guiding and motivating, common interests with subordinates, increases interests in the work area, support, influential, dynamic approach, situational, obligation, interaction and achievements. 

            Leaders posses a number of qualities and the reason they fail to act as leader sis because they lack some of these personal or managerial traits.  Personal traits that leader sometimes lack as part of the failure are self-confidence, initiative, innovative, charisma, emotional mature, intelligence, decisiveness, communication that is effective, dynamic personality, vision, flexible and acceptance of responsibility.  Managerial traits consists of knowledge, administrative, technical, dealing with people and decision-making.  The different styles of leadership sometimes make leaders fail to act. 

Overcoming Leadership Failures

            Failures make great leaders.  Great leaders learned to follower before they lead by example.  American leaders that have paved the way for overcoming failures.  Notable mentions are Abraham Lincoln who failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, got defeated in eight elections but freed the slaves in the end, Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison and Steve Jobs was fired from his own company (Jenson, K., 2012).  Great leaders are remembered of their accomplishments.  These great leaders overcame their failure by being responsible and becoming their own master.  Become the master of your own fate.  Leaders overcome failure through self-acceptance and find peace with in yourself.  Leaders develop trust and learn to listen to their gut instinct.  Great leaders overcome failures by listening actively, thinking critically, communicating transparently, owning the result whether good or bad, becoming an influential inspiration and understanding the art of negotiating favorable outcomes. 


            The analysis on the methods used to overcome failure as a leader have been laid out.  The true inspiration for overcoming a failure as a leader is owing up to it and defining a viable solution in handling the situation.  Great leaders before us have show the way by providing theories in leadership that combat our leadership styles.  Leaders fail to act because they are hesitate to take own the responsibility.













Akrani, G. (2010).  Managerial Leadership-Leader Qualities-Leadership Theories.  Kalyan City Life.  Retrieved on July 25, 2014 from http://kalyan-city.blogspot.com/2010/07/managerial-leadership-leader-qualities.html

Haller, C.L. (2010).  Top Five Reasons Leaders Fail.  The RavenOye Group.  Retrieved on July 25, 2014 from http://actpresidential.com/top-five-reasons-leaders-fail/

Jenson, K. (2012).  Rock Bottom: How Great Leaders Triumph Over Failure.  Forbes Leadership.  Retrieved on July 25, 2014 from             http://www.forbes.com/sites/keldjensen/2012/08/08/rock-bottom-how-great-leaders-triumph-over-failure/

Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., and Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police administration: structures, processes and behaviors (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

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