M6A1: Mini Paper: Male and Female Leaders

M6A1: Mini Paper: Male and Female Leaders

There are four mini papers in the course, each requiring you to complete research on a given topic and integrate the course material.

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Mini Paper #3 is due at the end of Module 6 and deals with evaluation of the traits commonly assigned to male and female leaders.

In Chapter 6 of the textbook, there is a discussion on the research on sex/gender stereotypes and leadership stereotypes that began with Virginia Schein back in the 1970s. Over the past 40 years, various researchers, including Powell himself, have found that little has changed in the way society views male and female leaders. Specifically, there is still a tendency among men and women alike to prefer male leaders over female leaders and a prevalent stereotype that links masculine traits to effective leadership.

Research conducted since the late 1990s on transformational leadership, however, has sought to change this predominate “think good manager/leader–think male” connection. As summarized by Powell, numerous studies show that women score higher on each dimension associated with transformational leadership while men score higher on non-transformational dimensions that are less effective for leadership.

Transformational leadership provides us with a mixed-gender formula for what makes a leader successful in helping followers become fully engaged, respectful team members who work together to achieve personal and organizational success. Some aspects of transformational leadership are more feminine in their focus while others are more masculine in focus. In other words, leaders need both to be effective.

For this assignment, select two well-known leaders—one female and one male—and review information on their leadership style and behaviors. Be sure to select leaders about whom enough published material can be found. Identify and describe their leadership style and behaviors, linking these to the theories described in Chapter 6. Discuss how each leader is perceived with respect to his/her gender-related traits (more masculine or feminine) and how effective/successful each has been or are perceived to be.

For example, two popular, successful female leaders with differing gender traits are Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, and Oprah Winfrey, American media mogul and international philanthropist. Merkel, the first female and youngest Chancellor in the country’s history, is noted for her masculine characteristics, which many associate with her interests in, and training as, a scientist in the field of physics. Winfrey, the first African-American billionaire and highly respected media figure, is noted for her feminine traits of compassion for others. Both have been successful in their spheres of influence as leaders.

Two popular, successful male leaders with differing gender traits are Nelson Mandela and Donald Trump. Nelson Mandela, though he began his political activism with an aggressive philosophy that included violence as a viable alternative against the war on apartheid, experienced a powerful transformation in his 27 years as a political prisoner that led him to a more compassionate view of others and the emotional intelligence needed to negotiate peace.

Donald Trump, a lightning rod for controversy, is without doubt a successful businessman who personifies the masculine traits of independence, aggressiveness, and competitiveness. His blunt, no-nonsense approach to dealing with people appeals to some; while others find such behavior offensive. Regardless of whether one likes or dislikes him, he is a successful businessperson (proving his financial resilience time and again), who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.

List of Potential Leaders for the Assignment

Here is a list of leaders that you may select in completing this assignment. However, these are just suggestions. You may choose other leaders not on this list, but be sure to confirm your selection with the instructor to ensure the leaders you choose have enough published material about them to complete the assignment.
Male and Female Leaders of the World


The resulting paper should be a summary and analysis of each leader you have selected. Organize your paper into the following sections:

Title page
Table of Contents
Introduction (1–2 paragraphs summarizing the topic and identifying the leaders selected)
Background (brief description of each leader including their background, major achievements, and failures)
Analysis (brief analysis of each leader’s gender-related traits, for example, masculine and feminine traits they demonstrate, and a brief analysis of how these particular traits relate to their leadership style/behaviors. Include in your analysis a discussion of whether or not you believe their sex and gender has helped or hurt their success or failure as a leader)
Conclusion (1–2 paragraph review of your findings)

Your work should be submitted in a Word document, 2–3 pages in length (excluding the title, the table of contents and the references pages), typed double-space in 10- or 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. The page margins on the top, bottom, left side, and right side should be 1 inch each. Use APA guidelines for citing and reference sources.

See the Course Calendar for due dates.

Keep the following points in mind:

Relevant leaders are identified and their leadership style/behaviors are accurately summarized.
The traits commonly assigned to male and female leaders are accurately identified and contrasted with pertinent examples.
The analysis integrates course material and is presented in a logical, organized fashion.

Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer. For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided by your instructor.

Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Upload Submission.” Enter the submission title and then click on “Select a file to upload.” Browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct file name has appeared next to Submission File. Click on “Continue.” Confirm submission is correct and then click on “Accept Submission & Save.”


This course has Turnitin® fully integrated into the course dropbox. This means that you should only submit your assignments to the dropbox below. Please do not submit your assignment directly to Turnitin.com.

Once submitted, your assignment will be evaluated by Turnitin® automatically. You will be able to view an Originality Report within minutes of your first submission that will show how much of your work has been identified as similar to other sources such as websites, textbooks, or other student papers. Use your Originality Report as a learning tool to identify areas of your assignment that you may not have cited appropriately. You may resubmit your assignment through this dropbox as many times as you need to check to see if you have made improvements, until the due date of the assignment. However, once you have made your first submission, you will need to wait 24 hours after each subsequent submission to receive a new Originality Report. Plan accordingly as you draft your assignment. Once the due date has passed, your assignment submission will be considered final.


This assignment will be graded using the SBT Mini Paper Grading Rubric located on the Course Rubrics page within the Start Here section of the course. Please review the rubric prior to beginning your work so that you ensure your submission meets the criteria in place for this assignment. Collectively, these assignments are worth 10% of your final course grade.


Expert Answer


It is common knowledge that a majority of people, both male and female, have a preference for male leaders, especially in organizations. In the last decade, little has changed in how society perceives male and female leaders. A stereotype that male leaders possess masculine traits that are necessary for effective and transformational leadership exists in society, which explains why people have a preference for male leaders. However, several studies have shown that women are better transformational leaders than men. Transformational leadership refers to a form of leadership that enables the leader of an organization to help their followers or employees in becoming fully engaged and to work together towards the achievement of the organizational goals and success. Leaders need both feminine and masculine aspects in order to become transformational (Blagg & Young, 2001). In this paper, the leadership styles and characteristics of two different exceptional leaders – Jeff Bezos and Martha Stewart – are evaluated to identify their gender-related traits and to evaluate how effective each of them is perceived to be.

Leadership Styles and Personal Traits

Jeff Bezos is the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon. Bezos is currently the world’s richest person and is an investor in Twitter, Google, and Uber. He is also the owner of the Washington Post and runs his own version of the popular SpaceX, known as Blue Origin (Drexler, 2007). The leadership style of Jeff Bezos provides important lessons that upcoming leaders can learn from. Through his leadership style, Bezos has been able to lead Amazon to great success. The company is one of the best-performing companies in the world and is even estimated to be on track to become the first trillion-dollar organization in the world (Drexler, 2007). Martha Stewart is an American writer, entrepreneur, and television personality. She is the founder of the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where millions of people depend on her to provide assistance on “how-to” information (Fombrun, 2005). Martha helps people through guidance on issues related to home renovating, gardening, cooking, entertainment, holidays, crafting, and healthy living.

Jeff Bezos’ leadership style is visionary, placing a lot of focus on the needs of the customers. As the CEO of Amazon, Bezos ensures that customers do not suffer from delays, defects, and stock outs. In addition, he is an individual who has high expectations for all his employees and has a strategic vision for his company (Lunenburg, 2012). Bezos possesses personal traits that are important for transformational leadership, including being ambitious, adventurous, and a power drive. He is also persuasive, sensitive, competitive, happy, and innovative. These traits, which are both masculine and feminine, have enabled him to become a great leader. The leadership style of Martha Stewart is autocratic (Fombrun, 2005). She is very specific and demanding on all her staff, paying keen attention to all aspects of her business. Her autocratic management style has made her successful in all her ventures, enabling her to build a business empire. Her personal traits are a mix of masculine and feminine traits: Martha is self-motivated, rational, competitive, and ambitious, traits attributed to men; she is also gracious, nurturing, stylish, and sensitive, traits that are attributed to women.


Both Jeff Bezos and Martha Stewart show masculine and feminine traits that enable them to become transformational leaders. While the masculine characteristics such as being rational, competitive, and ambitious help these leaders to manage or run their companies and strive for greater achievements, their feminine characteristics such as being sensitive, nurturing, and gracious enable them to relate well with their employees and customers. It is, therefore, true that there is a need for both feminine and masculine traits for transformational leadership.


Blagg, D., & Young, S. (2001). What makes a good leader? Harvard Business School Bulletin, 2.

Drexler, K. M. (2007). Icons of Business: Jeff Bezos (Vol. 1). Greenwood Publishing Group.

Fombrun, C. J. (2005). The leadership challenge: Building resilient corporate reputations. Handbook on responsible leadership and governance in global business, 54, 68.

Lunenburg, F. C. (2012). Power and leadership: An influence process. International journal of management, business, and administration, 15(1), 1-9.

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