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Benjamin Franklin Leadership Style

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jthoman
Words 1690
Pages 7
1 Anthony Tucker Jr.

MANG 4424-M477

Professor Wilson

24 March 2013

2 Leader Profile of Ben Franklin

3 Outline

Benjamin Franklin is a renowned American known for his keen business skills and leadership. Franklin was trained by his older brother James how to run the printing business. Having learned the skill he moved to Philadelphia to become his own man.

Franklin’s success in business and other disciplines are of exceptional interest to the entire world because of his initiative.

1. Background
Franklin always wanted to write his own stories after having learned how to read and write at an early age. He wrote compelling letters that made him popular in Boston. His brother James was jealous of the development and often scolded him. He decided to move to Philadelphia where he started his own printing business.

2. Accomplishments and Failures
The printer business thrived and grew to an empire while he pursued interests in science. He made significant scientific inventions that made a great significant in the world. He had low moments in his career due to his stance on issues pertaining to justice.

3. Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses
He displayed exceptional leadership traits that enabled him to achieve much in his career. He managed to lead people and motivate them to take part in some of his ventures (Northouse 21).

4. Points of View on Benjamin Franklin
Franklin’s self discipline is an influential factor in the extraodinary things he has done throughout his career. He was able to take diverse views silently easily avoiding confrontations.

5. Leadership Lessons
Franklin’s leadership skills are of immense significance in management application (Northouse 21). This is seen in his sociability and technical abilities.

4 Leader Profile of Ben Franklin

5 Background

Benjamin Franklin was born to Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin in the year 1706, in Boston (Franklin et al, 32). He later moved to Philadelphia where he started his own printing business at the age of 16. He married Deborah Read and sired two children and seven grandchildren. He is a renowned scholar in the field of history, politics, philosophy, science, poetry and music. He made strides in the field of physics, where he made numerous inventions like the lightning rod. He contributed to the writing of books featuring the leadership structures and styles. He displayed exceptional leadership skills in his career, which led to substantial accomplishments.

He knew how to relate with people around him. This quality enabled Franklin to achieve a lot during his career (Fleming 18). He gained this by his ability to motivate people around him to believe in his work. During the time Franklin lived, there were no defined systems that would enable him to practice his leadership skills. He was able to change people’s perception and lead them without formal training. His direct approach to people easily convinced them that he could be trusted if they participated in his projects. His drive and determination made him influential in the American parliament.

Major Accomplishments and Failures

Having attended formal school for only two years, he seemed like he would not achieve much in his life. His investigative abilities led him to consummate innovations that changed the world. He invented the lightning rod, and the Franklin stove. This invention made him a hero in the field of electricity in the whole world. This rod helps in protecting buildings and other structures from thunderstorms and lightning. Through his sociable skills, Franklin was able to develop leadership skills that boosted his projects (Fleming 19).

This was evidenced when he moved to Philadelphia with almost nothing but ended up owning a major newspaper in Philadelphia. He managed to start a top selling book that was popular in the town through his hard work. The book titled Poor Richard’s Almanac brought fame to his name in many British colonies. Franklin used the fame the book had brought him to influence people to his way of thinking (Fleming 45). He took the initiative to learn other languages including Italian, Spanish, French and Latin.

He formed the Junta group, which improved the living standards of the middle-income people, expanded the private sector and improved the economy at that time. This group created a library, which led to improvement of literacy levels of the nationals. He influenced the members of this group to mobilize funds for equipping the library, and this initiative gave rise to a library company in the state of Philadelphia.

He was also a good diplomat. He managed to establish a newspaper in the German language in the US (Fleming 67). In addition, he became the head of the Mason Lodge and helped in the creation of statutes supporting the masonry missions. His Kite exhibit gave him the honor of meeting the king of France. Furthermore, he owned a large newspaper company. He also invented the swimming flippers, which enhanced effective swimming of the swimming lot. His biography is inspirational literature to many people in the US. He contributed to the communication system through the upgrading of the mail system. This initiative resulted in effective communication (Fleming 71). Franklin also invented the odometer, which enabled him to measure the distance between different towns from different dimensions of roads.

However, members of parliament embarrassed Franklin because he clamored for the independence of the British colonies. He also became a hero of many people when he publicly denounced the brutal British armies. He managed to strike a deal, which culminated in a peaceful pact between the British and France. Franklin’s credibility was put into question by the supporters of the colonies of the British. As a result, the staff he had under him lost confidence in his leadership. His dismissal as deputy postmaster of the British colonies led to prejudice. This led to many anti-British articles on the atrocities they committed. In some instances, he denied writing some articles, which he had written. This compromised his work etiquette because people knew the literature he authored.

Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses

Some of the strengths in his leadership were that he was able to motivate many people to believe in him. This trait enabled him to accomplish most of his projects as he involved other people (Fleming 45). Because of his charisma he got help from the French King who supported America in their independence war. He was assertive and authoritative in his reign. This enabled him to control his subjects with ease (Northouse 21).

He always advocated for change. He was innovative, an entrepreneur, and a mobiliser because he managed to form the Junta group by himself. He advocated for democracy, by fighting for the rights of the oppressed. This has been practiced by his successors to date. This was the reason why he clamored for the abolishment of strict and harsh polices imposed on the American people.

Some of Franklin’s weaknesses in leadership were his defiance and adamancy to comply with policies he did not like. He rarely sought counsel of his fellow scholars on governance (Fleming 105). He proved to be a traitor to his subjects because he failed to stop the publishing of anti-British letters (Nattrass 240). This aggravated the situation as the British became more brutal and ruthless than before publishing of the letters. This fueled more animosity and arrogance of the British army

Points of View on Benjamin Franklin

Franklin was able to accomplish a lot on his own. He had self-discipline that enabled him to learn different languages all by himself. He was a man of the people in the sense that he fought for the rights of the people who were exploited by the British troops (Fleming 140). He was development-oriented. This is manifested in his relentless effort in empowering the youth and the low income earning class in society. He proved to be a weak leader because he was not able to control the information that his seniors accessed. This led to the access of defamatory information by the British seniors.

Leadership Lessons

His motivational skills helped in boosting the morale of the people he worked with in his career (Northouse 20). His entrepreneurial risk taking abilities were an asset to the US economy because this led to the trickledown effect. He involved others when making leadership decisions. This illustrates that democratic leadership works well with many people. Franklin’s selflessness is obvious, as he turned his lucrative business to a scientific venture to change the world (Northouse 20). He did not see the importance of being wealthy and not being able to affect the world positively. He was good at building partnerships and maintaining them. For this reason, he was viewed as the best diplomat that ever lived.

The other trait that can be borrowed from him is quickness in embracing change. This was manifested in his fair treatment of all the British colonies. He did not discriminate any colony in his administration. This implies that democracy and order prevailed in his jurisdiction. He made his seniors obtain grassroots information with regard to their leadership. This earned him promotions in the personnel ranks.

The aspect of pragmatism is traced back to his tender age. A leader should possess this quality. This feature enabled him to succeed in the field of science and art. This background gave him a strong foundation with regard to practicality in application in daily life including leadership. This aspect helps a leader to pursue strategies and ideologies that are realistic in nature.

Works Cited
Burt, Daniel S. The Biography Book: A Reader's Guide to Nonfiction, Fictional, and Film Biographies of More Than 500 of the Most Fascinating Individuals of All Time. Westport, CT: Oryx Press, 2010. Print.
Fleming, Thomas J. Ben Franklin: Inventing America. New York, N.Y: Sterling, 2007. Print.

1 Fleming, Thomas. The Illusion of Victory. America in War, Vol. 35 (2), pp 789-795.


Franklin, Benjamin, and Thomas J. Fleming. Benjamin Franklin: A Biography in His Own Words. New York: Newsweek, 2008. Print.
Nattrass, Nicoli. Journal of the American Revolution, Vol. 54 (3), pp 234-239. 2007. . Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2010. Print.


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