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Hard versus soft leadership? Examples and illustrations

M.S. Rao (MSR Leadership Consultants India, Hyderabad, India)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 8 August 2016



The purpose of this research paper is to explore soft leadership to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.


The paper elaborates with 11 Cs that constitute soft leadership – character, charisma, conscience, conviction, courage, communication, compassion, commitment, consistency, consideration and contribution. It differentiates between hard and soft leadership.


It concludes that exploring soft leadership helps greatly for the leaders to satisfy all stakeholders to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Practical implications

It unfolds that soft leadership can work for any company and country regardless of its size or budget.

Social implications

The social implications of this research suggests that stakeholders of both profits and nonprofits must reap the rewards of soft leadership.


It emphasizes that soft leadership creates a resourceful environment to enhance employee engagement to achieve organizational productivity and performance.



Rao, M.S. (2016), "Hard versus soft leadership? Examples and illustrations", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 174-179.



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