Leader in Action


There are differing definitions of leadership but all these definitions aim at the same thing, the art of influencing or motivating people toward a certain goal. A leader is an inspiration and director of action. He/She posse’s personalities and qualities that could lead to achievement of a goal. There are always questions whether a leader is born with those qualities or the qualities are acquired. What is important though is that a leader determines whether a team would achieve its objective or not. There are leaders in all field of life: political leaders, church leaders, organizational leader and non formal leader. At every level there is leadership, even between two people; one of them becomes a leader. Leadership at organizational level determines whether the organization achieves it objectives. There are various models that try to explain leadership: Transformational, contingency, functional, trait, organizational, situational, and action based models. Human resource manager usually have the mandate of influencing the human resource and thus they usually takes leadership roles. Every leader has His or Her strengths and weakness. For success of leadership the strength should outweigh the weakness.

Muhammad Yunus and Grameen bank

Pro Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, a bank for the poor. Muhammad is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. As a professor of economics he was inspire by the idea of micro finance. Move by the fact that most of the poor at his country could not qualify for loans in the other bank out of lack of collateral; He initiated the idea of micro credit. The micro credit has made credit facility available to the poor and thus improving their welfare. Grameen bank for the poor is a micro finance institution and is referred to as community bank [Grameen bank, 2009]. The bank is exceptional by its taking a structure that is very different from other traditional banks. Instead of requiring collateral from their client it used a group as guarantee. The bank name Grameen has the meaning of village bank to explain its form. Muhammad and Grameen bank were awarded the coveted Nobel prize of peace for 2006 for theirs effort to create economic and social development from below [NobelPrize, 2006]. The success of such ambitious undertaking could not have been achieved without good leadership from Muhammad Yunus. Indeed Yunus could be referred as a leader in action for the visible positive results of his

Leader in Action


Success of Grameen Bank

The bank was founded in 1983 as a microfinance institution. The people it targeted were poor village who did not have banking tradition. Today the bank has grown and it has become to of great influence to the economic and social development of the people of Bangladesh. It has succeeded in economic empowering of the poor especially women who comprises owns 90% of its shares [Grameen bank, 2009]. The majority of the bank clients are women who traditionally could not access banking facilities. The success of Grameen bank could be evaluated, unlike other banks who tag their success by the increase in profit, by the social economic empowering of the people. The bank was awarded the World Habitat Award in 1998 for its low housing program. Grameen bank is a model of how brave and ambitious leader can contribute to development of their communities

Analysis of leadership Qualities in Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad was a professor at Chittagong University when He came up with the idea of a micro credit institution. He was irritated by the economic theories he was teaching at university for He could not see its application in the economy he was living in [Yunus, 2003]. He viewed access to credit a human right and wanted to make it available to the village poor. Access of these credits was not available to his people and thus it impeded their economic development [Yunus, 2003]. Yunus was able to observe and critically analyses the situation of people he was living in. He also evaluates and critically analyzes his own state, he was a professor of economic but the philosophy he was teaching could not be applicable to his people.

Great qualities are seen in Yunus. Trait theory of leadership could explain these qualities [Cashman, 2008]. He is an intelligent individual by the fact that he was able to be a professor in economics at a very young age. His intelligence is also seen in the fact that he could criticize the economic theory he was teaching. Yunus charisma is seen in his bravery in initiating a research to counter the problems he observed. Against the advice from the banking experts and the government Yunus goes ahead to implement an experimental project, which many critics believed that it would fail.

Leader in Action

Situational leadership is also observed in Yunus leadership. Yunus project was implemented at a time that called for similar interventions. The people of Bangladesh were in poverty. They wanted a liberator from this poverty. Yunus leadership addresses this situation of the people[Gimbel, 2000]. The Bangladesh culture also contributes to the success of Yunus’ ambitious project. The people have social structures that supported trust. His model of guarantee depended on influence of peer pressure in the borrowing groups. Yunus used this state of the people as a pillar for the success of his project. The people were lacking access to credit. The idea of being to access this credit, which they considered as a reserve for a few, really moved them and made them commit themselves to the rules of the credit. Pro Muhammad educational stance gave him influence. He could be to convince people of the viability of his project. Yunus understanding of the field of economics increased his public confidence.

Muhammad Yunus is more of a transformational leader [Miner, 2002]. His transformational trait is seen in the growth of such a successful bank as Grameen from a mere idea. In addition transformational trait is seen in His being able to bring positive changes to the people and also to the growth of the bank. He was able to unite the minds of people towards a common goal: eradicating poverty. The people were convinced of the idea and they responded positively by forming support groups through which they could apply for credit. The new idea obviously would have brought objection. Yunus is able to convince the people and build their confidence to the idea. Despite critics Yunus won the trust of the poor villager. Yunus was able to create a philosophy for his bank. The bank and the people had one common enemy: Poverty [Yunus, 2008].

As a transformational leader, leadership strengths are observed in his charisma, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and personal attention. His charisma allowed him to question well founded principle and enabled him to influence other stake holders to join him in such an ambitious project [Yunus, 2003]. His charisma gives the people working under him the confidence. He is a point of reference in times of anxiety. Yunus inspirational motivation inspired the poor villager, who didn’t believe that they could qualify for credit, to see themselves from a different perspective. The Bangladesh women were especially influenced and they responded very positively to the project [Yunus, 2003]. The idea of micro-credit was highly creolized by the other financial institution and financial expert. In addition the government was against the idea. The people who worked in this project needed inspirational motivation, which Yunus provided.

Leader in Action

Grameen bank structure is totally different from the traditional banking structure. Yunus intellectual motivation helped to motivate the bank into initiating and developing its own structure.

Yunus innovation leads to his success as a leader in action [Cashman]. Yunus clearly understood his motive of eradicating poverty. He noted that lack of credit was a major cause of poverty. Convinced that the poor could also be reliable borrower, Yunus built the innovative micro credit. His innovation is also seen in his focusing to the women as clients, which was against the tradition in the Muslim country. His structure of the bank was very ambitious and innovative. Unlike the traditional bank that required collateral and long and thorough process of evaluation, Grameen bank was based on the trust of the illiterate poor. By so doing Yunus turned the traditional banks head on by having a totally different approach to credit provision.

Since the year of its inception, Grameen bank have grown to be a recognized bank or and of great influence in the Bangladesh [Grameen bank,2009]. In addition it has influenced and contributed to growth of other micro finance in the world. Good organizational management has helped it to continue to grow in such a risky field. As the leader of the institution Yunus has provided the essential organizational leadership. His managerial qualities have allowed the bank to win the test of time.

Yunus action based leadership qualities influence him to make positive actions to solving the problems he observed. After being disillusioned by the economic theories he was teaching at university, he leaves and goes the village where he encounters the real situation of the village poor [Yunus, 2003]. In addition he takes actions to solve these problems.

Yunus strengths greatly outweigh his weakness. His weaknesses are well covered by the official he works with who complements his weakness.

Leader in Action


Leaders are of great influence to success or failure at there area of leadership. The leadership theories Explains the leadership at different situations. What is important about a leader is the influence he or she has on other people. Leaders in action are leaders who bring positive social and economic developments by their exceptional actions. Muhammad Yunus is such a leader. He has been committed to eradication of poverty in his society in Bangladesh and the world as a whole. Grameen bank and his other ambitious projects, such as community phone, testify to his leadership qualities. In human resource management leadership qualities are required. The leadership qualities could be innate but they can also be learnt.


Cashman (2008) Leadership from the inside: Becoming a leader for life 2nd edition;-Berrett-Koehler Publishers; pp57-63

Miner (2002);-Organizational Behavior: Foundation, Theories and Analysis;-Oxford University Press;- pp257-259

Gimbel, Schwartz (2000);-Leadership Resources: a guide to training and development tools;-Center for Creative Leadership pp106

Grameen Bank (2009) A short history of Grameen Bank;-Retrieved from http://www.grameen-i nfo.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=114

SquidWho(2009) Who is Muhammad Yunus; retrieved from http://www.squidoo.com/muhamm ad-yunus

Leader in Action

Yunus (2008);-Creating a world without Poverty; Social Business and the future of capitalism,-PublicAffair Suite. New York

Yunus (2003);Banker for the poor;-Micro-lending and the battle against world poverty PublicAffair Suite. New York