Leadership is a concept that can be perceived in different ways. Generally when people are asked to describe their vision of a true leader, often times it would be an outstanding politician or a CEO of a company. However, it does not matter whether a person is an imminent figure with huge audience or just an average citizen, as long as, one has an influence over at least one life , he or she can be considered in a leadership position.The word “leadership” is a controversial one as it has many definitions. It can be explained as a mindset which governs your brain to make decisions and act in a concise, honest and rigorous way. Furthermore, leadership is considered to be a process by which one can thoroughly influence others to fulfill their potential and achieve their goals. Also, it is contagious ,meaning that it can spread, because leadership is a skill that can be practiced.Thus to put it short ,the word “leadership” is what a leader does.In order to become a good leader, one must have a right attitude, behavior and beliefs.Great leaders, have significant amount of followers, people who strive after them for their identity despite their social status or even any mental or physical disability.For what reason do people follow them?Since they sincerely believe in their ideas, capabilities and get inspired by them.Therefore, there is a contradiction between a leader and a boss or ruler, due to the fact that leaders do not “lead” they inspire.Position of a leader is a mandatory one not only in civil society but also in companies and governments. Leadership can aid to maximize efficiency and sustain the organizational behavior because leaders motivate, initiate actions, helps people to integrate personal goals with organizational ones, builds work environment and encourages cooperation.Consequently, it is evident that leadership is a function that is required at all levels of society or work management.With all these characteristics it is no doubt that great leaders have an ability to put a significant impact on people and completely change history.
Globally ,Hope and Bravery are the first words that come to mind in mention of Helen Keller’s name . Yet, she is much more than just a name or a symbol, she was and still remains a universal “panacea” for many generations of disabled parts of the societies.She was a woman of high morality, exceptional intelligence, immeasurable courage and strong social and political position.She dedicated her entire life for the betterment of an American society and later worldwide.Her main goal was to help physically disabled people better understand their full potential and explain others that disability is not an inability.She became the first deaf and blind person that could efficiently communicate with an outside world.By doing this, she turned out to be internationally recognized, even before the era of mass communication.
Hellen Adams Keller was born on June 27,1880 in the small town of Tuscumbia, Alabama.At first, she was completely healthy in terms of her physical abilities and there was nothing noteworthy, however, when she was nineteen months she contracted a fever called “scarlet fever” which left her completely deaf and blind.She could not at all interact with the signed and hearing world until the age of seven ,when her parents hired the governess and also teacher,Ann Sullivan. Sullivan herself was contacted with the disease called “trachoma”,which left her blind with no ability to write or read, in spite of the fact that she went through a variety of operations prior to her sight being partially restored.She graduated from the Perkins school for the blind where she learned the manual alphabet developed for deaf people, which later helped her to communicate and teach Hellen.The technique of manual alphabet is that each letter an alphabet is formed with an alternative hand sign.For a person who is deaf-blind, words are marked into the palm of the hand.The individual feels the movements of the fingers which are encompassed by the listener’s hand.In her childhood years,Helen was a very stubborn and disobedient child ,thus Sullivan decided to first try to teach her compassion and obedience as she saw the substantial lack of discipline in Helen’s behavior.Sullivan began her teachings by signing into the child’s hand.She brought a doll and by spelling “d-o-l-l” into Helen’s hand she planned to instruct her to interface objects with letters.At that time Helen was quickly learned spelling letters and their order, but still she was not aware of the fact that she was spelling a word or even that those words existed.However,Sullivan was reluctant to give up and one day she took Helen to the water pump.In that moment Sullivan spelled the word “w-a-t-e-r” into the palm,all the while the water was pouring over the other hand.This made Helen finally understand that “water” implied the liquid streaming over her palm.After mastering manual alphabet,Helen proceeded to learn how to speak.Still her entire life, Helen was dissatisfied with her speaking skills because it was unintelligible and in most cases she needed middleman to purely express her ideas.Despite all the hardships on her way, Helen had a clear goal-she wanted to attend college.So after finishing school of Cambridge for young ladies,Helen enters Radcliffe College, sister school to Harvard university.In 1904 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude, thus becoming first ever deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor degree.While still studying in college, she began to introducing herself into the sphere of writing.By the time Helen was twenty-two years old, her famous memoir “The story of my life” was published.The memoir is divided into three parts, which is early life, her letters to friends and family and Helen’s education process. “The story of my life” became an all time classic of American literature and also published worldwide with more than 50 language translations.She was writing on various topics including religion, feminism and socialism.In total ,for her whole life ,she published twelve books and wrote a plenty of articles.Helen first and foremost positioned herself as an author, yet she was confident that she has capability to help people with vision loss or earning disability.In the beginning she communicated and carried out her ideas to Americans and consequently to thousands of individuals around the globe through her writings.Later she co-founded the non-profit based organization Helen Keller International (HKI),which still functions today in over twenty-two countries.The organization mainly specializes in the fields of eye health and nutrition, as it tries to prevent the causes of blindness and malnutrition.Having been working for almost 103 years,HKI ranks among one of the most effective charity based organizations in the world that constitutes advantageous programs, helpful for millions around the world.Helen was also an integral participator of American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).The establishment implemented her with a stage where she could advocate for the necessities of the individuals with blindness.Her identity and universal notoriety provided large amount of contributions for ABF from well-off people including Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller. More than forty years of her life, Helen dedicated to fund raising for ABF. Therefore, today AFB is a leader in expanding possibilities for more than twenty million Americans living with vision loss.While traveling around the globe and giving emotional speeches, Helen rightfully saw herself as a “world citizen”.She made speeches not only for the physical disabled people but also for other deprived parts of society.One of the most famous examples of her great popularity was the convention in Japan where around two million people came to see her and listen to her speech.All these contributions and accomplishments endowed Helen with many international awards including the highest civilian award in the United States-The Presidential Medal of Freedom. After suffering from stroke,Helen died on June 1,1968 at the age of 87 and buried at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The life and struggles of Helen Keller will always remind people that any obstacles, even the most severe ones such as deafness and blindness, is possible to overcome with hard work and faith.With endurance and determination, we can help to better the lives of those around us. With love and patience, we can leave this world a better place.
Although it is indisputable that Helen Keller left a huge impact on today’s world, it is still not clear what exactly or which qualities pushed her to become a great leader.First of all if we analyze the begging of her journey, it is evident that Helen had a great mentor and teacher,Anne Sullivan, who helped her to get out of the darkness of deaf and blind world.Sullivan never believed in formal class-room teaching.She made Helen study outdoors to actually feel the nature.Sullivan made Helen to feel and understand things around her by explaining all about earth.She was very patient mentor and truly believed in her students.However, there are two types of mentoring: formal and informal.According to the book written by Afsaneh Navahandi it is suggested that formal mentoring is less effective than informal because mainly mentoring involves establishment of a professional personal relationship based on trust.(Navahandi,1996)Trust is the main component in Helen’s and Sullivan’s relationship which put great impact on the development of Helen as a leader.Also later they not only became friends but life long companions. Thus, it is clear that most of accomplishments of Helen can be prescribed to Sullivan’s work because she made the foundation for her later achievements.
Speaking of the qualities that the true leader should posses,Helen had the greatest ability of being concrete in what she wants to obtain.She always made clear decisions and worked on her organizational skills.The secret of an effective leadership is in clear organizational goals, meaning that if a leader has a clear objectives which must be developed at the begging of the journey, then with proper management most of the goals can be attained in the end(Navahandi,1996).Moreover, despite Helen’s physical disabilities she never failed to communicate with her audiences.At first she constructed relationships with followers through her writings and later she was engaged in many social activities, charities and had lots of public presentations. Consequently, we can classify Helen to democratic communication style due to the fact that democratic leaders willingly involve in communication that assists interaction between leader and a follower.