ORG30002- Robbins Leadership Effectiveness Model Essay


Over the course of this unit, you have been introduced to a number of different theoretical perspectives on leadership. This assignment will enable you to integrate your learning across these topics as you analyse the portrayal of effective leadership within a feature film.
Related learning outcomes

This assignment assesses the following unit learning outcomes:

1.Identify and describe the elements of effective and authentic leadership.

2.Research and apply leadership theories to develop critique of leadership practice in order to evaluate challenges to leadership in a range of contexts and sectors.

3.Understand the value of reflective practice and apply self-reflection to develop an awareness of diversity and personal leadership contributions.

4.Reflect on the contribution of shared meaning and values in shaping organisational culture and building social capital in increasing complex organisational environments.



This topic analyses the value of using a film and using it to develop Robbins’s leadership effectiveness model. This report focuses on teaching various leadership styles through films. It analyses the principles of authentic leadership to demonstrate how a film can help in applying the concepts of leadership (Edwards et al. 2015). In this study, it is required to select and use scenes from one of the following movies Mandela: a long walk to freedom( directed by Justin Chadwick, Lincoln(directed by Steven Spielberg),Thirteen Days( directed by Roger Donaldson), The Devil Wears Prada(directed by David Frankel),Wall Street ( directed by Oliver Stone), Money ball(directed by Bennett Miller) and The Iron Lady( directed by Phyllida Lloyd) to determine the effective ways of leadership styles and to identify moments where leadership traits were most evident(MacDonald 2014). The examples provided by these films were proved to be a sensible substitute for the multifaceted real-life leadership situations of role plays and case studies(Valcour and Janasz 2015). The leadership styles exhibited by these leaders portrayed different styles and kinds of leadership. While Lincoln and Mandela embodied a visionary leadership style, Moneyball’s Billy Beane practiced a coaching leadership style. A visionary leader channelizes people towards achieving a higher purpose or a vision. A coaching leader, on the other hand, develops people for the future. Billy was a complete revolutionary when it came to revolutionizing the way baseball played and improved the performance of his players. These situations are therefore appropriate for real-world learning experiences.

Selection of Film

Since films are scripted enactments and constructions, they need to reach a high level of originality and appear authentic.This is because the films need to stand in for texts that students might encounter in case studies, experimental outcomes or work placements. Recent research indicates that a well acted and directed film present a dramatic material more engaging than case study(Lorence 2016).The specific film that is chosen in this study represents historical significance and represents one of the greatest leaders of all time .Through the film, there is an evidence of diverse leadership styles , as evidenced by the Robbins is one of the most critically acclaimed movies in the last decade, directed by one of the all-time greats.There is a growing potential of this film to portray diversity as one of its strengths(Winston 2016). Movies also portray an authentic and real like world experience to real-world issues(Klenke 2016).This film highlights a real-life leader who commanded the respect of his people. Even 400 years after his death, he continues to be an inspiration for political leaders all over the world.

In this case study, out of the six movies that have been provided the film Lincoln(2012) has been selected. This movie has been directed by Steven Spielberg, starring one of the modern-day greats Daniel Day-Lewis in the titular role. Steven based his movie on the book Team of Rivals :The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln. He acquired the rights to that movie before making the is one of those rare movies that challenge one's intellectual and mental faculties.It is a heavy and intense movie that recapitulates the book that Goodwin wrote.It also shows some typical traits of leadership that President Lincoln imparted in the last four months of his life.We observe a multitude of leadership traits from Abraham Lincoln in the movie.This movie mainly dealt with the efforts of Lincoln in spearheading the 13th amendment , which eliminated the growing practice of slavery which was passed by the House of Representatives within January 31, 1865(Pederson and Williams 2016).The final days of the Civil War formed the backdrop of the film, which also included a likely conveyed peace with the Confederacy and the many difficulties the President had to deal with .Giles and Kaufer 2015).

Selection of character

The character selected from the movie Lincoln , directed by Steven Speilberg is obviously the main character Lincoln himself.Some of the examples of the effectiveness of Lincoln's leadership include:

  • Listened to different points of view-Early in the film there is a scene where Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet members are discussing the possibility of attacking Fort Wilmington. It was a way to capture Richmond and inevitably end the civil war.Lincoln, being the leader of the political group sat back and listened to the opinions of his cabinet members who discussed their opinions about the future of the war(Mitchell 2015).Each person had valuable opinions and made relevant justifications to support them.After listening carefully to all of their opinions, Lincoln made a decision.He narrowed their wide range of opinions on the matter towards a more direct, foreseeable vision that aligned with his personal objectives.He was of the opinion that if Wilmington was taken, the South would not have a representative to make a ruling on the 13thamendment, which would abolish slavery(Barber, 2017).He listened to different points of view intently but never let anyone made his decisions for him.He was truly a man of the people.
  • Balancing short-term wins and long-term victories- Along the same lines as the previous section.There is another thing that can be taken note.While most of his cabinet members chose to disregard the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13Thamendment because they felt the end of the war was more important. Lincoln found the real war to be the war on human dignity(Barber 2017).He wanted to end slavery and the war as well.Lincoln very much considered the long-term effects of their efforts in Congress(Mitchell 2015). While most of the citizens wanted to see a bloody war among the states, only a few had the long-term vision to think about the world free from slavery.As David Strahan's character , William Seward noted: "it's either the amendment or this confederate peace; you cannot have both.”There was an air of negativity surrounding that stance at that point in time. Obviously, some disagreed with that notion. However, there was a large group who wanted to end that practice but did not want to sacrifice peace for something that was neither attainable nor beneficial to their interests(Galston 2014). The job of Lincoln was to make the impossible action seem possible.
  • In times of crisis, reflection matters-There was a point in the film where Lincoln had the occasion to bring three southern delegates to D.C. There was supposed to be peace negotiations and as a result, this could have ended the war. He knew that if he was willing to bring them to the north for these peace talks, it could have ended the war(Mitchell 2015).However, he also knew that if he ended the war on a proactive basis and invite the southern states back into Congress, it would surely destroy any chance he had of abolishing slavery(Barber 2017). As the commander in chief , he was faced with a moment of crisis. Many young lives were lying in the stake . He needed to reflect in solitude.Being a man who constantly kept other people by his side and valued their counsel, he knew that the decision was solely his own(Mitchell 2015).He knew that he could take this decision only when he has a clear mind and a clear conscience.
  • Never compromising his ethical principles-At the beginning of the film Lincoln justifies his anxiety of slaves in the southern states through the particular state laws that were in effect. He pronounced “If calling a man property or war contraband, does the trick “-then he could justify the removal of slaves.He did not falter from his ethical values but certainly operated within the configurations of the time period(Mitchell 2015). Behind every one of Lincoln's decisions, there was a principled component that guided his every decision.He always laid most importance on dignityBrown 2016).It was the guiding mechanism that channeled his every decision. Thousands of lives were lost to fight for that belief.Inevitably, it all comes down to his analogy about navigating a valet of swamps and rivers:if you trudge through without accounting for the bumps along the road, you will surely fail(Brown 2016). Travelling that distance may take longer than anticipated.Leadership is all about navigating those bumps along the way in a planned manner while staying true to its course.

Robbins’s Framework

According to Robbins , leadership is about channelizing one’s internal instincts and then developing those inherent qualities(Su, Golubovich, and Robbins 2015) .There are four elements of the Robbins’s Framework. The film ‘ Lincoln’ displayed all these leadership attributes.They are as follows:

Decisiveness- Decision making is the power that guides all important choices. The power of a leader comes from the capability to be decisive and making tough choices when needed.While most people are conflicted with making the correct choice, they lose valuable time in doing it (Goethals 2015).In the film, Lincoln made the impossible choice between abolishing slavery and ending the civil war(Goethals 2015).He could have invited the southern delegates to come up to the north and undergo peace talks. That would have effectively ended the war.however, this would have made the South a part of the Congress.This would have killed all hopes of abolishing slavery. He made that decision by being decisive(Goethals 2015).

Resourcefulness- Top leaders know the value of resourcefulness. There is no such thing like non-availability of resources like time, people etc. Good leaders know that being resourceful is enough to get all the resources you need(McCrary 2015). Lincoln always knew how to get things done. He was resourceful enough to assemble highly functioning teams.He surrounded himself with highly revered people.His cabinet comprised of members who were his rivals I the 1860U.S Presidential race.Abraham recognized the value of these people and what would they bring to his presidency.

Purpose-driven- The best leaders are often purpose driven .They set a higher purpose that is much greater than themselves. When a leader serves a greater good, there is a legacy of leadership that lasts beyond his name(Steffens et al. 2015).For Lincoln, it was all about abolishing slavery and voting in favour of the 13thThat created a lasting legacy in the minds of the people and made him possibly the greatest political leader of the USA of all time.It certified his greatness in the history books.

Influence-Leaders are controllers of influence.They have the ability to elevate themselves and guide others to move forward in life.They know what would influence every individual.They are aware of who they are and what they represent to others.When one master the skill of influencing people, he or she controls the ultimate driving force that gives, shares or wants to contribute more(Randall 2017).In the film, Lincoln showed his considerable influence by influencing the Seward lobbyists into supporting the thirteenth amendment.

Elements of Robbin’s framework

Characteristics observed

Corresponding scene

Leadership characteristics

Vision to see the big picture

(Jones. and Peterson 2017.)

Underlined in the whole story.Every action that he took in the movie certified his vision of abolishing slavery

Humility and showing respect for everyone(Northouse 2017).

The scene in which General Lee makes his way out of the Appomattox home of Wilmer and Virginia.This happened when he surrendered his territory and signed the documents involving General Ulysses S. Grant. Him and the members of the Union all come together on the porch to show their respect for General Lee. This happened on the behest of President Lincoln,who acknowledged the man to show his and the country’s respect.

Strategic planning followed by flexibility(Fox 2015)

Lincoln understood the importance of planning and wanted to accommodate any contingency the plan could have.In this scene in the White House kitchen , Lincoln is seen justifying why he did not abolish slavery outright.He figured that without the amendment, the border sites would have gone over to the Confederacy and the war would have showed his true mettle in strategic planning.

Unraveled by obstacles(Barber 2017)

The scene in which Seward makes a relevant opinion about the impending obstacles the president might face if he proposes to amend the 13th amendment. It is a divided subject in the House of Representatives and it might put his presidency in jeopardy.Considering that they would win the war soon, it seemed a huge gamble for the president to make.However, Lincoln calmly smiled and felt confident that the amendment would pass and as a result, the war would end.A true leader never feels wavered by challenges.He rises above them.

Leadership style

Visionary(Fox 2015)

Abraham Lincoln was a true visionary who channelized his presidency towards realizing a vision. The vision was that of amending the 13th amendment and ending slavery once in for all.He believed that this brings equality and freedom in the truest sense of the term.

Leadership behaviour

Winning over the public(Brown 2016)

Lincoln had a public outreach program where members of the public could come and voice their grievances.The scene in the movie where Mr. and Mrs. Jolly from Jefferson City, Missouri came to visit him is evidence of this.He personally assures them that h would take steps to address their land dispute .A one on one with general public members is a great way to reaffirm one’s position to the people.

Lincoln was truly an extraordinary leader.He had a far-sighted vision and was full of purpose.He wanted to amend the 13th amendment and abolish slavery once and for all,He figured that the only way to end the war was by abolishing slavery(Jones. and Peterson 2017) .He had respect for his cabinet members and valued their opinions. However, he did not allow himself to get swayed by his cabinet's opinions(.He had a firm stance on his principles and never compromised his integrity(Fox 2015).This film showed Abraham Lincoln as a man who firmly believed and committed to upholding the law as President of the United States Of America.He believed that as President, he had to expand his power in the full scope of the law and make relevant changes to the political climate of USA. The political climate of the USA was very uncertain and chaotic at that time. There was a war between the Confederacy states and the capital states , which divided the entire nation(Brown 2016).There was a widespread disregard for Negroes, which amounted to total disregard for human equality.Lincoln wanted to change all that and restore equality to every person in the country(Fox 2015).The film shows the final few days leading up to the vote of the 13th amendment.Lincoln displayed admirable leadership qualities like showing humility for people, having a vision, not wavered by obstacles and showing decisiveness and influence(Northouse 2017).


This report has been discussed in reference to the film. Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Steven Spielberg. All relevant leadership traits have been analysed with reference to his leadership traits, characteristics, and Robbin's framework.Lincoln displayed all four leadership traits like decisiveness, resourcefulness, purpose-driven and influence in abundance.All four of these traits have discussed as part of the discussion, with relevant extracts drawn from the film to analyse his leadership effectiveness.He displayed his leadership traits throughout the movie.All of his efforts were directed at achieving the most significant outcome,i.e, abolishing slavery and ending the Civil War.The leadership behavior and style of leadership of Lincoln have also been this film we see the greatness of Lincoln as a leader.he was a man of the people and showed admirable integrity throughout his integrity.He was fondly called” Honest Abe” by the people. He commanded respect from all his people and believers.The Robbin's framework helps in understanding the various facets of leadership through one of the most well known and inspiring leaders of all time in Abraham Lincoln.The report finds Abraham Lincoln's leadership style to be of a very high standard.It truly justifies his status as one of the most respected and well-revered leaders of all time


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