December 10, 2008
1. Identify and describe the predominant leadership style of Gordon Gekko.
Gordon Gekko was without a doubt a charismatic, machiavellian, and
autocratic style leader. He was charismatic because he was a lot like Hitler in that
he was a ruthless man that would do anything to get what he wanted. He took no
prisoners and he spared no one. He was willing to destroy thousands of lives if it
meant that his would improve financially. Hitler did the same thing with the Jews.
Gekko was also an autocratic leader because he loved to give orders and demands
to anyone and everyone. He was very dogmatic about everything he did and if
anyone tried to get in his way he would use his plethora of wealth to demolish
them. Of all his characteristics, machiavellianism was his strongest one. Chapter
eight says that Machiavellian people are “people in the workplace that ruthlessly
manipulate others and regularly practice deception, bluff, and other manipulative
tasks. He was an expert at this. Everyday he was on the phone with people from all
over the world, telling them what they wanted to hear, coaxing them into buying
certain stocks that would benefit him. He was a mastermind when it came to taking
control over other people and using them to enhance his own life. He took
advantage of Bud Fox and then when Bud got in trouble he left him out to dry.
Gordon Gekko was an excellent at what he did and unfortunately, that expertise
costs a lot of people their entire financial security.
2. Identity and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of his style.
In the fast paced life of the New York stock exchange there’s a kill or be
killed/ survival of the fittest way of life. People that are willing to do anything and
take the most risks are the ones that are going to be the most successful. Gordon
Gekko was a wolf among lambs in his time; he feared nothing. He was willing to
do whatever it took to get himself more money. This is why he was so successful.
Many people are not willing to destroy a company, lie directly to someone’s face,
or wipe out thousands of jobs. Gordon didn’t think twice before doing these types
of things and that is why he was alone at the top. If you’re not willing to do
whatever it takes then you will be passed by those who are.
On the other side of this equation, there are some negative issues that come
along with being a bloodthirsty villain in New York City. Gordon, and people like
Gordon will always have more enemies than friends. There will always be people
out there trying to knock him off the top or wreck his empire. You can’t go about
your daily life treating people poorly and destroying lives and businesses without
establishing a sufficient amount of enemies. This causes a fear of the unknown, a
fear of the inevitable fact that we do live in a finite world and all things do come to
an end. With a person like Gekko, that end will most likely come sooner than later
because there will be thousands of people trying to bring him down. Bud Fox tried
to do this to Gekko when he convinced him to drop BlueStar and sold it to the other
big wig. Unfortunately for Bud, he got caught and spent some time in jail.
3. What factors/issues led to Bud Fox getting in trouble? Did he redeem himself
in any way?
Bud Fox, like many young upcoming stock brokers in his time idolized Gekko, they
wanted to be just like him. Bud started to become just like him when Gekko took him
in and became his mentor. Bud started doing things “dirty” so to speak, taking the short
cuts and getting rich the wrong way. He had is coming to him from the very beginning.
His dad saw it and so did Lou, his boss. When Lou said to him, “I don’t know where
you’re getting these tips Bud but I don’t like it. You better be careful son because
money will make you do things you don’t want to do.” He hit the nail on the head. He
knew exactly what Bud was doing. He fell in love with the fast track lifestyle, with the
girl, the new house, the fancy suits and business meetings. The only thing that could
slow Bud down would be the very thing that stopped him in the end; the law. He
ignored good advice numerous times and listened to the devil himself, Gekko. Those
decisions are what cost him his career.
I would say that as far as BlueStar goes, he did redeem himself. He made a promise
to his father that he couldn’t keep because the only one that could honor that promise
was Gekko, and everyone knows he’s in it just for the money. As soon as he found out
Gekko’s plans he went and found the other rich man and had him buy BlueStar, this
saved the company from being another one of Gekko’s chopped up meat that he
squeezed a few million out of. Bud learned his lesson, and he learned it the hard way. I
would have to say that the best kind of leader is the value based, servant leader. They
always seem to live a clean, satisfying career and never risk losing everything. This
was definitely my favorite movie and I’ve really enjoyed your class. Thanks for
everything and Merry Christmas. Take care of that shoulder so you can get back on the