Is Helle Thorning-Schmidt a leader or a manager?

Essay, 2015
6 Pages, Grade: A

Free online reading

With the overwhelming bulk majority of a society, there bounds to be a few lot exceeding the others in terms of primacy and ordain.It does not come as a surprise to modern historians and scholars that patterns and similarities exist within the personas and behaviors of the many rulers and leaders throughout time. However, as events played out and situations unfoldedhumanity has found itself in the ‘modern era’. Recently, there have been outstanding developments in the science of politics as tremendous amounts of usurping regimes (mainly Eurocentric and western) engrossedand entranced the dominating majority of what is recognized today as an universal international community. Comprising of several federations and economic systems, nations cohesively serve under one system of regulative authority and sustaining equality. With this regimen came the admiration of female commission as the last half-a-century or sowitnessed a tremendous improvement in gender equality as the voices of female activists and leaders had now been more accessible to the community at large and, more importantly, the government. In the case of the European Union and especially the Danish ‘Folketing’, its diverse party leaders and loyal administration makes it one of the richest and most participating legion amongst its neighboring European states. One of the most recent breakthroughswithin the Folketing was the cabinet of Helle Thoring-Schmidt, who had been elected prime mister of Denmark in 2011.Throughout her career, herfeministic behaviorshas been both criticized and acclaimed due to her fondness of fashion and American Television. Nicknamed ‘Gucci Helle’, she became the first women to lead the Danish democratic socialist group at the age of 38, which according to the Swedish Wire was the leading and dominating party in Danish political history during the 20th century.Not only had the public had admired Schmidt, she was also an effective leader amongst her colleagues. Moreover she was a solid resilient leader who performed exceptionally well thought-out strategies within her career as PM. According to the Wire, “She has a reputation for being tough but also an accomplished team player who is credited with uniting the party she inherited in a state of disarray after the 2005 election loss.” This Essay will attempt to address the leadership traits, behaviors, and styles of Helle Thorning-Shmidt with respect to her political position in the Danish ‘ Folketing’ as well as her career as an activist and humanitarian. Although her political situation and circumstances will be discussed, it will not be the main sphere of this paper’s concern; rather it will emphasize on leadership and the archetypal actions that come along with it.

Warren Bennis’ ‘primary difference between leaders and managers’ lists several distinctions between styles of management and leadership. When comparing and contrasting the differences observed towards Helle’s leadership it is noticeable that not all fall under one category. Table 1 displays the level of Helle’s style of leadership in relation to the Bennis’ work and is based on research and sources cited within this document. However due to insufficient means of collecting data some statements may only be presumed assumptions.The median score for Helle is 3.6 which suggests that although certain situational restrictions within the government are present and thus suppresses quite a bit of Helle’s decisions, overall she has played a major role within the Danish community and has impacted much of its political course as well as the beliefs and parties involved.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1: HelleThoring-Schmidt’sstyle of leadership in relation to the Bennis’ work, own table.

When it comes to discussing the leadership traits of Helle, however, it is sometimes hard to make comparisons because the ‘ideal leader’ is commonly attributed with virile characteristics, yetSiim and Meret argue that “if masculine ‘copycat’ models are criticized, so do glamorous excess of consumerist femininity… average voters’ background”. However if we were to assess Helle based on this we would come to a score of 8, as shown in table 2 below. The higher the score, the closer the person evaluated is to the ‘ideal leader’. In Leadership Through Coaching: An interview with Susanne Madsen, Bruce elaborates on Helle: “In the political world, I am impressed By Danish Prime Minister Helle Thoring-Schmidt… of making unpopular decisions”.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 2: HelleThoring-Schmidtas an “ideal leader”,, own table.

The Leadership behaviors, on the other hand, attributed to Helle are quite interesting and, in my opinion, well balanced. Moreover her ability to find more than common ground between her subjects and her followers as well makes her one of the leading and influential female leaders in Europe. Bang and Jørgensen, referring to Helle, states that “her background in a single-income family and her… part of the social-democratic electorate”. Not only does Bang and Jørgensen state that Helle’s positive relationship with her followers prove her to be people intensive and an extrovert but it also suggests that she belongs more into the ‘employee-centered’ leadership / consideration behavior category. As illustrated by the Blake/Mouton Leadership grid in figure 3, Helle is exemplified as exhibiting a higher concern for people than for production, although this does not indicate that she lacks a sense of initiation of structure or that she does not pursue her objectives clearly or thoroughly.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: HelleThoring-Schmidt in the Blake/Mouton Leadership Grid, own figure.

Helle’s style of leading is one that resembles ambition and aspiration. As the sources mentioned state, Helle deeply intervenes and wholeheartedly aspires to develop, improve, and protect her followers. One generalization of the types of people who most admire Helle and whomHelle , in addition, most sympathizes with are Middle-aged women, mothers, female activists, and much more. Indeed her heart lies deeply within the feminine sphere, however she has much contributed to other aspects of the state as well such as education, health, and more importantly, the regulation of simple rights. The situational environment of Denmark definitely aids Helle in her endeavor to motivate and build upon the Danes. According to Fielder, a well renowned researcher, in order to appraise a leader more appropriately, it is important to determine the leader’s effectiveness by assessing the performance and conduct of the people they lead rather than the traits and behaviors the leaders themselves possess. This method also brings into life the notion of ‘style’ that comes along with leadership. A theory suggested by Fielder states that the more favorable a situation is, the more likely a leader is to have a greater impact on a community. Based on the sources and research, it can be concluded that Helle possesses a high degree of situational favorableness. Because her followers respect and trust her, and due to her task-oriented routine in the office as well as her incredibly high rank and position in the government, it can be safely said that Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s situation is highly favorable.

In conclusion, many factors have affected the overall premises of politics in the 20th century as situations and events shaped and carved the modern unified European and international alliances known to us today. As former leaders and politicians enacted the dilemmas and situations of the past, they have bestowed new forms of global governance in order to maintain and sustain the perpetual political predispositions of humanity. With this came many organizations and economic/political systems (most of whom are indigenous to Europe) such as the EU and the UN. This, additionally, encompassed the realm of human thought and progress in such a manner that it has now expanded into the many systems and sub systems that manage and control societies within governments as well as households. For instance traces of these past endeavors can be seen within the Danish ‘Folketing’ and, also, Schmidt. Not only was the point of this essay to underline the importance of the past and its situational impact on the present, it, more strictly, discussed Helle Thorning-Schmidt as PM and a social democrat in Denmark in the beginning of the 21st century. It has been concluded that she has a deep concern for people and the environment as she leads with style and confidence.Moreover her brilliance and profound motivation to serve both her country and her people shows how much Schmidt is committed to the Danish Regime and the European union. Therefore, her esteemed philosophical devotionto inspire along with the ingenious spark of cordiality positions Helle among the strongest and influential female leaders worldwide.


The Swedish Wire:

‘Female leaders for Männerparteien? A comparative and explorative study of poplist right-wing leaders Pia Kjaersgaard, Marine Le Pen and Sic Jensen’ (Susi Meret&BirteSiim) – Abstract

Political Authority as genuineness: how to transgress new public spheres (Henrik Paul Bang and Signe KjærJørgensen) – The changing basis for identification and legitimization

‘Leadership Through Coaching: An interview with Susanne Madsen’ (Bruce) – (7) which leaders inspire you and why?

‘Discourse, Politics and Women as Global Leaders’ (John Wilson and Diana Boxer) – Chapter 3 under fire: pronominal use and leadership in the discourse of Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Sharon Miller)

6 of 6 pages


Is Helle Thorning-Schmidt a leader or a manager?
European Business School London / Regent's College
Catalog Number
File size
506 KB
helle, thorning-schmidt
Quote paper
Mohammad Hamza Shoman (Author), 2015, Is Helle Thorning-Schmidt a leader or a manager?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Is Helle Thorning-Schmidt a leader or a manager?

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free