The personality of Golda Meir is significant in many ways. This woman has achieved everything only thanks to her own abilities. Desires and ambition. She has reached the peak of political career at quite an old age. Golda Meir was ready to retire from politics, but the circumstances made her stay and become the first female prime minister of Israel. Finally, Golda Meir was greatly admired by people because of her values, concise thoughts and well-presented ideas. This study explores the leadership style of Golda Meir and tries to define the reasons for her success and popularity.
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Golda Meir was a truly charismatic leader. In a community, which respected the traditional role of a woman she has managed not only to reach the top of political life, which was a male-dominated sphere, but also to lead the whole Israeli people (Butt 1998). Although this woman was a charismatic leader, at the same time she wasn’t a visionary. Past and traditions played a very important role for Golda Meir and that was the main basis of all her actions. Thus one can say that she was quite surprised with the Yom Kippur war of 1973. This happened because while being a tough and intelligent prime minister, Golda Meir still lacked the ability to foresee all possibilities. But despite this disadvantage she has managed to keep control over Israel and its government, as well as continue developing foreign relations with other states. Meir was a very logical leader and made her decisions on the background of facts, not emotions. Moreover, she was carefully evaluating all pros and cons, especially in complicated situations. It can be clearly seen from her actions before the Yom Kippur war (Rabinovich 2005). On one hand Meir realised that Europe won’t be of much help in the conflict. On the other she understood that Israel won’t get much help from the United States if they attack first. Thus basing on logic the prime minister made an important decision. But at the same time Golda Meir was never afraid of tough actions, such as ordering Mossad to assassinate the leaders of Black September and PFLP – organisations that were responsible for murdering Israeli citizens (Butt 1998). And at the same time there were many cases when this female politician was trying to solve conflicts in a peaceful way.
The Vroom-Yetton-Jago (VYJ) Normative Decision Model is used to define different types of leadership by the ways in which leaders make decisions. It is quite complicated to define the type of Meir’s leadership, as not everything is known about her decision-making processes. From available information she can be defined as the Consultative ll (Cll) leader. This type of leader usually meets with the whole team, listens to all opinions, but makes decisions alone (Vroom & Jago 1988). Golda Meir always took into consideration the ideas of her team members. This is clearly seen from her pre-Yom Kippur war actions. Although the prime minister at first listened to her advisers who proposed to remain calm, Meir later met with her Minister of Defence and General and asked for their opinion. After hearing two different action plans, she has made a decision (Rabinovich 2005). This is a bright example of a CII leader.
Golda Meir had a mixed style of leadership. On one hand it was a servant leadership, as values and traditions were as important for her as political life of the country or integrity of the state. Being among the signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence Meir was concerned about the idea of the state and its’ importance for everyone. Noting that she had to come out of retirement, which means that serving the country was extremely important for Golda Meir. Although there is not enough information to say if she demonstrated superleadership, there are still facts that this woman has become an inspirational leader and was truly loved by her people. Thus one can say that Golda Meir has entered a path to Superleadership.
The first female prime minister of Israel was a truly outstanding person and leader. She has succeeded in a male-dominated field and she has managed to lead a country while being at quite an old age. Despite all the complications that Meir’s government had faced, she has always managed to strike a balance between diplomacy and harsh actions. Golda Meir was always listening to her advisers and colleagues, but she made all decisions on her own and carried the burden of responsibility alone. This woman has combined a lot of different qualities. Golda Meir was charismatic and diplomatic, but at the same time she was ready to make complicated decisions and be fully responsible for them. And it is clear that Israel was the most important thing in her life and for many years Golda Meir has served her country well.