Briefly exploring some of the effective leadership skills Hitler had.
Was Hitler an effective leader?
Various theorists have argued that the effectiveness of a leader should be only defined in terms of how well a group’s goals have been achieved, whilst other have asserted that any kind of impact, including even achieving selfish goals, should be considered just as influential with effectiveness (Breckler et al, 2005). The former would assess Hitler as ineffective leader and the latter as an effective one. Despite Hitler’s extremely unethical actions and goals, Hitler is considered by many to have had great leadership skills.
According to some (Northouse, 2015), a good leader-member relationship is one where confidence is placed in the leader by members, they are loyal to their leader, and they have attraction for their leader. Hitler made a political appearance at a time that the people of Germany had been devastated from WWI and Hitler, utilising manipulative tactics geared toward his goals, he gave people hope. He told people who to hate and why, created a huge army and gave the Germans something to believe in. Hitler was also very particular in how orders he issued should be carried out. If not exactly carried out, his subordinates were punished. This exemplifies the tight structure of each task delegated by Hitler, and structure is of highest importance in effective leadership. The definition of leadership has been considered to be “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2015, section 1). Hitler could be said to have influenced a group of people to collectively attempt to achieve a goal, and in this accomplishing leadership. Whether or not the goal is accomplished should not be focused on for the purpose of this definition. The types of orders issued by Hitler (murdering a high number of people) were such that effective leadership skills have to have been very strong. Hitler had a goal, and he influenced many to fight toward that goal.
Steven J. Breckler, James Olson, Elizabeth Wiggins. 2005. Social Psychology Alive. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Peter G. Northouse. 2015. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications.