Leadership Term Paper Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

When trying to identify a particular individual that exhibits characteristics of a leader, it is important to find someone whom you can identify yourself with. There are many leaders both past and present to choose from but there are a select few that would not allow them to be defined by their circumstances or environment. These individuals found a way to rise above their challenges regardless if others have tried but failed around them. Governor Deval Patrick of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the end of chapter 10 of the text (Lussier & Achua, 2010, p. 387-389) is someone who exhibits these unique traits. Politicians typically demonstrate many different leadership traits and it’s interesting to see how their decisions can impact society as a whole. Much like any organization their decisions can affect their entire organization either positively or negatively and also how people perceive them to be. Below we will analyze his leadership style based off of leadership models and how they can impact leadership decision-making on an organization.

It’s important to take a moment to learn about the person’s background to get a better understanding on how they developed into a strong leader. For Governor Deval Patrick this did not begin when he became Governor of Massachusetts in November, 2006. It began early in his life as a child and the events and circumstances would be a defining moment that would lead him down the path to become a Governor in one of the 50 states in the United States of America. Unlike other politicians, Governor Patrick’s childhood was far from the comfortable and wealthy lifestyle that so many other politicians have come from. He was raised by a single mother in the south side of Chicago and grew up in a poor and violent neighborhood but that did not prevent him from being a motivated student. It’s was at age 14 that Governor Patrick came to Massachusetts when he

was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance organization that identifies and

develops leaders from academically gifted minority students. Here was a young man you would not be identified by his environment and sought out a way to better his life. This is where the foundation was built in being a leader.

He then went on to be the first person in his family going to college and then he graduated from Harvard College. One thing to understand about Governor Patrick is that he did not just try to succeed by getting by, but he strived for perfection and graduated an A.B. cum laude. Later he went back to Harvard and attended Harvard Law School where he once again graduated with honors with a J.D. cum laude in 1982 (Lussier & Achua, 2010, p. 387-389; The Tufts Daily). It is important to note that things did not always come easy for Governor Patrick. Most of us can all relate to the Governor as you have to work hard for the things in life. He was faced with setbacks and failures much like everyone experiences in life. The difference is he did not give up but continued to be persistent and achieve his goals. A great example is how he failed the State Bar of California exam twice but passed the bar on his third try. This would prove crucial in developing Governor Patrick as a leader.

Governor Patrick would later serve as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to joining the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund which he focused on the death penalty and voting rights cases. He later joined the law firm of Hill & Barlow in Boston and became partner at the age of 34. His career progressed to being nominated by President Clinton as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division where he worked on issues including racial profiling, police misconduct, and even enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. While his career has gone well for him, he was still faced with trials and controversy due to his stance on certain issues and beliefs. One such instance was his role in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals case Piscataway v. Taxman that can be read at the Washington Post, Affirmative Action: Piscataway Board of Education v. Taxman, Sharon


After serving the government, Governor Patrick went back to the corporate world working as Chairman of Texaco’s Equality & Fairness Task Force, served on the United Airlines board, served on the board of directors of ACC Capital Holdings as well as Reebok, Coca Cola, and the Ford Foundation. Once again while serving on the board at United Airlines he would face criticism from gay activist over domestic partnership benefits. He eventually was able to encourage United Airlines to offer the same domestic benefits to all employees which made United Airlines the first airline to do so In (The Tufts Daily). Governor Patrick has always persevered and maintained his beliefs even when others think he has forgotten about them.

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