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Leaders need to stop making unnecessary rules, it only complicates things.

One of the best leadership experiences I had is when I took the role of a leader without even realizing it. It was during a summer camping trip when me and three other friends were playing badminton. When we first started playing the game we had no rules. I for some reason started to make rules to the game. After 5 minutes two players left the game. Now since it was me and only one other friend playing badminton new rules had to be created, so I changed or created more rules. After about 10 minutes my other friend got frustrated and said to me that this is not fun anymore because you made all these rules that are not necessary and he stopped playing the game. I though about that game a lot because the reaction from my friends was suprising since I did not realize what I was doing. Now that I have taken this class I realize that I have been using a participative coupled with directive style of leadership. Participative leadership consists of inviting subordinates to share in the decision making (Northouse, 2012). During the game I did ask my friends if they agree with the rules I was making. Everytime I made a rule they agreed to it. After seeing this I started to be more directive in making rules. I stopped asking whether everyone is ok with the rules. Directive style of leadership is a leader who gives subordinates instructions about their task, including what is expected of them, how it is to be done, and the time line for when it should be completed (Northouse, 2012). I used two of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. I tried to Challenge the Process and Enable Others to Act. A leader can do a number of things to challenge the process. A challenge might be an innovative new product, a cutting-edge service, a groundbreaking piece of legislation, an invigorating campaign to get adolescents to join an environmental program, a revolutionary turnaround of a bureaucratic military program, or a start-up of a new plant or business (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). I enabled others to act when I used participative style of leadership. Leaders who enable others to act have to engage all who must make the project work and, in some way, all who must live with the results (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). I now realize that my team members stopped playing the game when I became directive. My friends might have continued to play badminton if throughout the game I would only use participative style of leadership. By rarely using praise and freely criticizing employees, the commanding leader erodes people’s spirits and the pride and satisfaction they take in their work – the very things that motivate most high-performing workers (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2004).


Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2004). Primal leadership, learning to lead with emotional intelligence. (1 ed.). Boston, Massachusettes: Harvard Business Press.

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2012). The leadership challenge. (Fifth ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Northouse, P. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. (6 ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publishing.