A Leader Profile of Fidel Castrol
I believe that real leaders efficiently implement their vision and make their followers feel inspired and trusted. One-way that followers feel inspired is when their desires and needs are aligned with the vision of their leaders. However, only a few individuals can be termed as real leaders. AMNESTY (2016) argues that the main responsibilities of a real leader include directing their followers through problem definition while identifying the adaptive challenge. Although there are many leaders both in history and in the world today like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and others, I chose one leader whose leadership skills inspire me as a leader irrespective of the controversies in his leadership.
I chose Fidel Castrol who even if many views him as a controversial leader, the way he led Cuba is admirable. Mbiatem (2017) argue that leaders emerge after portraying qualities that address the challenges faced by their followers. From the 1940s, Cuba faced varying development crisis in the rule of Colonel Fulgencio who applied an autocratic form of leadership. The crisis led to high corruption scale, which greatly affected the economy of Cuba. AMNESTY (2016) explains that the disenchantments of Cubans both in rural and urban areas led to many manifestations stretching from political alliances, student movements, and the remarkable armed Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro.
I will explore on Castro as a transformation leader who went to power as a result of opposition from the military dictator Fulgencio Batista and he desired to change the life of his followers (Mbiatem, 2017). His motivation was to remove the autocratic ruler and change the life of Cubans. This led to many Cubans to believe in his cause and join him in his uprising or be his follower as a leader. Although a majority of people may question the form of leadership on Castro reign, I view his reign with the benefits of Cubans where it reduced racism and illiteracy throughout the country, as well as, transformed the health sector of Cuba. Although it remains debatable if he made Cuba better, it is evident that he attained his vision, to create better conditions for Cubans through the implementation of his policies.
In this course, we have explored several leadership attributes, the majority of which relates to transformation leadership and it is my believe that Castro shared these attributed during his reign. One of the factors discussed of effective leaders is charisma or idealized influence, which according to Northouse (2016); transformational leaders are exceptional leaders for the followers who are inspired to practice their attributes. Castro loved his country, which inspired him to overthrow the autocratic rule. He admonished legal discrimination, built medical facilities, and schools and assisted in taking electricity to the rural areas in Cuba (History.com Staff, 2009). He knew the societal issues facing his people and was determined to provide better living conditions.
The second attribute discussed is intellectual stimulation, which expects followers to challenge their beliefs and values. After overthrowing the dictating government, Castro got his followers that they required a better and new government. For example, Castro worked towards ensuring social justice and equality to his countrymen. He also ensured that his country trained thousands of teachers and doctors (Eaton, 2016). Nonetheless, this has brought controversies as some Cubans were against the ruling of Castro, although some Cubans thought he was a great leader.
The third attribute of a transformation leader is inspirational motivation where leaders share their expectations with their followers and are motivated to follow their vision. Eaton (2016) for example argues that after Castro was arrested by Batista, he made a speech addressing his followers who were tired with the violent dictatorship under Batista. This was a motivation for a majority of Cubans who believed in Castro and his clause, “ history will absolve me”. Eaton (2016) also argues that even the poorest Cubans sacrificed a few cents as a dedication to support the cause.
The last attribute is individualized considerations where leaders have the ability to listen to the needs of their followers (Northouse, 2016). As identified earlier, Castro defended the poor and was inspired to change the economic and social status of his followers. Eaton (2016) argues that during one of his campaigns to overthrow the government, one of his men on board fell overboard from the boat. In consideration, Castro ordered that they turn around the board, as he could not leave the man.
Although Fidel Castrol supporters view him as a transformational leader, some critics think otherwise. One of the negative characteristics of Castro that I feel he required to change was his ruthless suppression of freedom of expression. As a leader, Castro should have exercised more listening to his countrymen where they would easily express themselves. Therefore, the darkest legacy of Castro was harassment and arrests of persons who spoke against the government. His aspect of moral conviction is what has made Castro reign be questioned. This is as a result of organized trials for members of previous government resulted in many executions. Castrol required to change these areas.
Amnesty, 2016. Fidel Castro: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Amnesty International.
History.com Staff (2009). Fidel Castro. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/fidel-castro
Mbiatem, A. P., 2017. Leadership Emergence and Style: Fidel Castro of Cuba. Leadership and DeEaton, T. (2016). Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s mixed legacy. Al Jazeera Media Network. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2016/11/cuba-leader-fidel-castro-dead-90-161126053354637.html
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. developing Societies, 1(1), 59-81.
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