Identify and explain at least two different incidents involving the same leader(s). If the incident involves two individuals or a group making a decision, leadership behavior by different individuals can be identified. Incident I Though military activity was forbidden by Spartan law during the Carnelian festival, King Leonia decides to prepare for war with Xeroxes before the Persian king and his troops could advance to Sparta. He knew that he would not get the support of the politicians to get the bigger Greek army to follow him.
Therefore he chose 300 Spartan who had sons to carry on their names to be his bodyguards and sides go to war. His vision and strategy was to block the only road through which the massive army of Xeroxes could pass. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back their enemies in one of the famous last stands of history. Leonia was self-confident and had a strong moral conviction in his course and the ability to inspire trust among his followers to achieve his goals. He is seen as both charismatic and transformational as he could convey his vision and form strong emotional bonds with his followers.
Transformational leaders take charismatic leadership one step further in that they can articulate a compelling vision of the true and also motivate and influence followers to transcend self-interest for the benefit of society. Incident II In the final stand-fifth the Persians, betrayed by Philters, Leonia commands his Spartan to fight until death for the sake of their country. Though Leonia knew that death was certain, true to the Spartan tradition, they decide to stick to their code of honor on what it means to be a Spartan.
Though the Spartan faced insurmountable odds in terms of numbers, a true Spartan warrior is always willing to die for his country. They define themselves by sacrifice and freedom. At the ‘Hot Gates”, as the Persians surrounded the Spartan, Xerox’s general demands their surrender declaring that Leonia may keep his title as King of Sparta and become Warlord for all Greece, answerable to only Xeroxes. Even all these riches and glory did not tempt Leonia, unlike Philters who succumbs to Xeroxes’ display of women and false sense of belonging and purpose.
Spartan are taught never to surrender and are among the most enigmatic cultures in history. According to the Path-Goal theory of leadership, leadership behavior can influence the satisfaction and performance of the followers. It emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and both the characteristics of the follower and the situation. The theory proposes that a leader’s behavior is motivating or satisfying to the follower, if the behavior increases the attractiveness of the goals, while simultaneously follower confidence in achieving them.
The leader is therefore, very active in guiding, motivating and rewarding followers in their work. In short, the leader steers the follower down a path to their goals by selecting behaviors that are best suited to individual follower’s needs and the situation. In doing so the leader also navigates the follower around obstacles that lie on the path towards goal achievement. Diagram p. 76 The four behaviors generally included in this model are supportive, directive, participative and achievement-oriented.
The path-goal theory stipulates that a leader may exhibit any or all of these types of leadership and that the best type of leadership for a given situation will be dependent on the individual follower and the specific situation. In King Leonia, one could see a supportive leader, who shows concern for his troop’s well-being and personal needs. This was evident in his grief for the loss of his general’s son and his concern for Deli’s who sustained an eye injury.
Leonia’ behavior is also open, friendly, approachable and he creates a team climate where all his people are treated equal. He also allows fun and humor in the battlefield so as to reduce stress and boost morale of his people. When one of his Spartan soldiers were told by the Persians that they would be faced with a barrage of arrows so dense that they would blot out the sun, he laughed saying that they will be delighted to fight in the shade. This shows that laughter and fun are at the heart of any successful workplace battle.
Leonia also displays directional leadership by telling his people to do exactly what they are supposed to do, giving specific guidance to follow rules and procedures in the battle against Persians and planning and scheduling their attack plans. Leonia is bold and creates and promotes vision. He courageously challenges and inspires his people to success. He engages in participative leadership by consulting with the troops on ideas, opinions and suggestions, thus encouraging participation in decision making. He tours the battlefield and engages in conversation with them to listen to their ideas and compliment their achievements.
Effective leaders interact with employees and consistently look for ways to praise them. Leonia is also an achievement-oriented leader who shows confidence in his people and assists them in accomplishing goals. His behavior emphasizes excellence in performance and he sets clear and challenging goals for his people. As it can be seen in the first incident , when Leonia decides to go for war with the Persians his efforts were mainly concentrated on planning owe he could funnel the Persians into the narrow pass of ‘Hot Gates’.
It is evident in his following lines “We will use our superior fighting skills and the terrain of Greece herself to destroy them. We will march north to the coast… We will block the Persian coastal assault by rebuilding the great Physician Wall. From there we will funnel them into the mountain pass we call “Hot Gates”. In that narrow corridor, their numbers will count for nothing. Waves and waves of Persian attack will smash against Spartan shields. Xeroxes losses will be so great, his men so demoralized, he will have no choice but to abandon his campaign.
The path-goal theory opens up the possibility for long-term commitment to goals and for intrinsic motivation by followers. The theory also emphasizes that the job of the leader is to eliminate roadblocks that may occur onerous to goal achievement while simultaneously developing followers to overcome these obstacles on their own. By manifesting the appropriate behaviors leaders can increase followers’ effort-to-performance expectancies. These increased expectations will improve followers’ effort levels and rewards attained, which in turn will increase followers satisfaction and performance levels and the acceptance of their leaders.
Leonia is the opposite of Xeroxes, who sits up in his high tower, who bribes, seduces and kills men to achieve victory. At one point, Surging the war when Xeroxes says, “How can you ever stand against me when I would gladly kill any one of my men for victory? ” Leonia replies, “And I would die for any one of mine”. That is the essence of Leonia. While Leonia goes down to the battle field to fight along with his men, Xeroxes is carried in the golden throne by crouching slaves. He has no values and ethics and his troops are not morally and ethically in alignment.
Xeroxes is so incompetent and whips soldiers so they would perform. He has no strength, character and personality compared to Leonia. Because of the poor skills, motivation and coordination of his team, Xeroxes losses were considerable. He himself noted that “he had in his army many men, indeed, but few soldiers”. Leonia could have decided to accept Xeroxes’ offer and retreat from war, thus submitting to Xeroxes’ demands. Instead he thinks nothing of the honor he would get from the Persian King, but for the sake of his country and people, even if death is evitable he decides to sacrifice himself for the whole of Greece.