The term 'leadership' can be seen in many common vocabularies, which is then taken and used in many different contexts, however, without being properly redefined. In a result, an ambiguity of meaning is created. A common definition of leadership is "the behaviour of an individual, directing the activities of a group towards a shared goal" (Hemphill and Coons, 1957). Nevertheless, Researchers today generally define leadership according to their own concepts and views on this matter. Theories of leadership back in the old times focused on qualities that distinguished leaders and their followers (Yukl, G. 2013). Today, theories are more complex and involve variables such as situational factors, and level of skills. Taking all these factors into consideration, majority of theories can be classified into 8 major types. 'Great Man Theories' assume that great leaders are born and not made and that the capacity for leadership is inherent. 'Trait Theories' assume that some qualities of great leaders are inherited, however, a common characteristic is often identified in all the leaders. 'Contingency Theories' assume that no leadership style is suited greatest in all situations. 'Situational Theories' assume that the actions a leader should take depend on the situation where in some cases authoritarian style is more appropriate compared to democratic style. This can depend on the skills of the members of the group or knowledge. 'Behavioural Theories' believe that leaders are made, not born. Mental qualities of a person are generally ignored, and it implies that leaders can learn to be a leader through observations and education. 'Participative Theories' encourage communication and contribution of other members of the group; commitment and relevance are prevalent in this theory. However, the leader still controls what input is made in decision-making. 'Management Theories' can be referred to as 'transactional theories' is all about rewards and punishments. This is usually used in business. Finally, 'Relationship theories' or 'transformational theories' focus on relationship between leaders and followers. Leaders usually have high moral standard and ethical considerations. In this essay, two notoriously renowned leaders will be compared, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. For a start, both of these men ruled their countries approximately around the same time, which, consequently, makes it easier to compare in terms of economic stability and leadership effectiveness. Another reason why I chose these two leaders is that they played a major role in writing the history of the 20th century, especially during the period of the Second World War. I believe that, it is the differences and similarities in leadership style and organisation of these two men that played a role of what the world and its economy are like today.
Adolf Hitler was a German leader during the Third Reich (1933-1945). He was the main initiator of the Second Word War in Europe and is also responsible for the mass murder of Jews, who were 'enemies' to the Aryan ideal. Hitler was born in Austria, in 1889. He volunteered to join the army during World War I and subsequently, joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, known as the Nazis in 1920 (Housden, K. 2000). He became the leader of the Nazi party, quickly building up membership mainly due to his powerful speaking qualities. When World War 2 in 1939 began, Hitler invaded Poland in his conquest of creating a perfect nation and unifying all German-speaking people. He was eventually stopped in 1945; however, 12 million people were already executed by this time. Adolf Hitler committed suicide in 1945, and Germany had no choice but to surrender, 7 days later.