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Essential Leadership

The topic of my search was ethical leadership in the 21st century. The first electronic library I decided to use was Safari Books Online as among the other libraries, it has the strictest limit of only two users at a time and so I wanted to be first in line and see how easy it was to connect. Surprisingly I was able to access the Safari Books database on my first try where I entered the search term “ethical leadership in the 21st century. My excitement was short-lived though as the search yielded no results.

I then refined my search by broadening it and omitted the “21st century” and only typed in “ethical leadership”. This did not improve the search results much as only one result appeared. It was a book entitled Definitive Business Plan and appeared since the word “ethics” appears in the foreword of the book. The book did not seem relevant to my topic as it was a book on business planning. I then further broadened my search this time by only typing “leadership” as the search term.

Now 13 search results appeared however the books were similarly of little relevance to the topic as the books were mainly

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on project management and information technology. I then decided to use another electronic library as I realized that Safari Books Online is focused more on references regarding information technology and other computer based topics. Which is sad for me since I found Safari Books to have a really clean and user friendly interface, and even though there supposedly is that two user at a time limit, search results and page loading was pretty fast and the online book viewer was also very simple and efficient.

Safari Books Online is definitely a good and helpful online library however if the topic you are searching for is not related to Information Technology, chances are slim that you will find relevant references here. Next I decided to turn to Ebrary, and typed in the search term “ethical leadership in the 21st century”. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the database returned found 4,383 document results with different books ranging from management to politics that were somehow related to leadership.

In order to get more relevant results I decided to focus my search more by selecting the results in the “Leadership” category which was available as a separate subject. The field was narrowed down to 83 results and I was able to get some good sources for my topic. Zaccaro et. al (2001) describes the growing difficulty of being a leader in the 21st century’s globalized world due to the numerous demands it takes to be a competent leader in today’s world. He states that: “Complex global markets require not only strong leadership, but also sophisticated skills like cultural fluency, international sensitivity, and technological literacy.

The senior leader’s job is a lot tougher than it used to be. ” Graff (2006) differentiates the old type of leadership with the new type of leadership which focuses more on facilitating rather than dictating. He states that: “Old leadership depends on a relatively few, “special”, strong individuals operating in relatively closed systems, with access to limited and closely held information…(whereas new) leaders are to become more sensitive, flexible, “nurturing”; more people are to be consulted about decisions; sometimes decisions are to be made by consensus processes in which the leader acts as a facilitator.

” Williams (2006) shows that there is a need for new set of mindsets and practices for the new leader centering on continuous learning in order to always be aware of the todays continuously changing conditions. He says that: “New Leader mindsets and practices may need to differ, fundamentally, from their traditional counterparts, as the result of changing contexts…so much of contextual awareness and sensitivity is about increased learning, in order to understand what is happening and what has changed, and exploring the impact of that change with greater creativity and resourcefulness.

As a consequence of that learning, leaders need to modify behavior and actions, to match the new, different demands and imperatives of changing conditions and circumstances – both globally and locally. ” Fairholm (1997) asserts the importance of spirituality as a guiding force in ethical leadership in the 21st century saying that spirituality must be given importance as it has often been ignored in modern management and leadership. He writes: “Spirituality is a new notion in leadership.

For most of the one hundred-year lifetime in modern management and leadership, we have ignored the idea…Yet for that same period and time and, indeed, throughout all of social history, we have identified inner moral – spiritual- standards as the prime influence of human action. ” Lord (2003) expounds the importance of charisma in being a leader rather than that of being an expert. He says that: “Politicians are not experts, and we do not expect them to be experts.

What they do have that sets them apart from ordinary people is rather a kind of personal dynamism, an ability to inspire trust in their integrity and confidence in their ability to perform. A convenient term for this personal quality…is charisma. ” Himsel (2003) elaborates more on the concept of charisma describing it as: “ Presence – the ability to command attention when you speak or even when you enter a room. This presence will enhance all your other leadership skills. ” Finally I tried the CREDO reference online library to see if I could find any more relevant sources aside from the excellent ones I found at Ebrary.

This search term yielded only four results all of which were not relevant to my topic as the results were related too specifically to criminal justice and social sciences. I then broadened the search term to only “ethical leadership” and the results increased to thirty-two however I found the results initially to not be as relevant as those in Ebrary. Most of the results were from encyclopedias and dictionaries with the words ethical or leadership but not “ethical leadership”.

Additionally unlike the two previous online libraries, Credo Reference does not show the whole contents of the book on an online viewer but only a summary of the book, a few quotes and details about the author. In conclusion, I can say that searching for sources on the NCU Library Databases was relatively quick and easy. The online libraries Safari Books, Ebrary, and CREDO Reference were all fast, user-friendly and efficient databases. For my purposes, Ebrary gave the best results and sources based on my topic and genre. However Safari Books would also have been very helpful had my topic been related to Information Technology or Programming.

CREDO Reference on the other hand seemed to focus more on more typical reference materials like journals and biographies as well as dictionaries and encyclopedias. Overall it really depends on what you’re looking for if you want to choose which online library suits your topic best. It’s good to experiment with the different online libraries available and to try out different search terms and refining your search results to get the most relevant sources for your topic. References Fairholm, G. W. (1997). Capturing the Heart of Leadership : Spirituality & Community in the New American Workplace. (pp. 3-4)

Greenwood Publishing Group. Graff, G. (2006). Essential Leadership: Redefining Who Leads and How. (pp. 84- 85) Yale University Press. Himsel, D. (2003). Leadership Soprano’s Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss. (pp. 21-22) Dearborn Trade. Lord, C. (2003). Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know Now. (pp. 22-23) Yale University Press. Williams, M. (2006). Mastering Leadership. (pp. 12-14) Thorogood Publishers. Zaccaro, S and Klimoski, R. (2001). The Nature of Organizational Leadership: Understanding the Performance Imperatives Confronting Today’s Leaders. (pp. 306-307) Jossey-Bass Incorporated Publishers.

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