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Leadership Studies Essay on J. P. Morgan

J. P. Morgan


  1. John Pierpont Morgan, commonly referred as J.P. Morgan, was born on 17th April, 1837 in Hartford, USA. He was well known as the most famous industrial organizers and financiers in the world in the period that preceded World War I (Alef 2). Among the areas he succeeded was the railroad industry where he was able to reorganize numerous major railroads, stabilized the US Steel industry and General Electric Corporations. As the one to the most powerful financiers of the 19th century, Junior Specer Morgan, J.P Morgan studied at the Gottiengen University in Boston and started his career in accounting in 1857 in the banking firm of Duncan, Sherman and Company based in New York. In 1861, he joined the banking company owned by his father by becoming an agent (Alef 6). He joined Drexel, Morgan and Company, in 1871 as a partner. Soon the banking company became a predominant and major source of finance to the US government. In the late 1895, Drexel, Morgan and Company was reorganized to become J.P Morgan and Company. Through his expertise and skills, the firm grew to become the most powerful banking house in the world. Consequently, his fame grew and earned his position in the banking sector. Morgan ventured into the railroad sector and the US Steel company due to his fame. Further, he also became a financial advisor to the government during the era of depression. These and other successes in book collection and art, earned him dominance in various sectors not just in the USA but in the world’s capitalistic economy till his death in 1913 (Alef 13-14).

    Field in which he demonstrated leadership

    Morgan demonstrated great leadership aspects when he became partner in New York City’s Drexel, Morgan and Company. This is because upon his arrival, he started advocating for the company to be the government’s financial supporter. The aim of this was to expand the mandate and capabilities of the company (Alef 10). Additionally, in 1895, he assumed full ownership of the firm and transformed it into J.P Morgan and Company and used his skills in leadership and experience to ensure the company became a powerful force within the global economy. He enjoyed powerful relationships with other firms such as Peabody firm which helped him penetrate the London financial world which in turn enabled him to provide the US government with the capital resources that were much needed from British bankers (Alef 12-13).

    Leadership requires that an individual to understand the needs of people as well as possible solutions to the said needs. During the start of 1885, Morgan was involved in the rearrangement agreement between 2 of the biggest railroads in America. These were the New York and Pennsylvania railroads (Alef 14). This was in the bid of providing a solution to the chaotic and destructive competition between the 2 railroads. Leadership in the railroads had experienced severe competition which threatened existence of railroad sector. Additionally, Morgan also took part in the reorganization of 2 more railroads hence providing a solution that was sustainable to their financial bases (Alef 13-14). His skills of leadership made is possible for railroads in the West and in the East realize railroad rate stability therefore discouraged competition that was overly chaotic. This also aided the railroad sector in gaining control over a large percentage of stock.

    J.P Morgan’s most successful sector still remains to be the financial sector as it allowed him to improve and even provide the necessary rehabilitation in the sectors affected. During the 1890 depression era, there was panic within the American stock market. To provide the much desired solution for to American economy, Morgan formed the group that resupplied the exhausted gold reserves of the US with over $ 60 million in gold. The aim of this was to relieve crisis in the treasury. This was followed by provision of financial resources to large industrial consolidations so as to reshape corporate structure of the manufacturing sector in America (Alef 7).

    J.P Morgan’s leadership attributes

    J.P Morgan was known as a creative leader. This is attributed to the fact during the chaotic competition threatening to collapse the railroad sector, he was able to come up with initiatives that could make sure all competing factions got a solution to the problems they were facing without interfering with liberties enjoyed by other railroads. He also engaged the railroads in corporate reconstruction in order to ensure leadership and financial stability. Thanks to his creativity, he was appointed as the member of board of directors to numerous companies giving his influence over most of them. The influence enabled him to acquire the much needed authority and power in application of reconstruction procedures. As a member who was powerful and with legit authority, he was able to be one of the most powerful tycoons in the railroad industry as he held control of more than 40,000 miles of American railroads by the start of 1902 (Alef 8-9). Creativity is an important leadership trait that makes it possible for one to maneuver their way in problematic conditions as such, finding solutions to problems without harming interests of competing groups.

    J.P Morgan was a skilled leader. This is attributed to the fact he acquired skills and knowledge from Gottingen University especially on financial matters. This explains his reasons for building the most successful banking company during the late 19th and 20th centuries. By using his skills he was able to bring several firms in America together for example, in 1901, he managed to merge several steel companies forming the US Steel Corporation which became the first billion dollar company in the world. Additionally, he also merged a large number of transatlantic shipping lines which included White Star which went on to construct the largest passenger ships of that time, Titanic (Alef 7)

    J.P Morgan without doubt was a solver of problems. This is can be lined to the fact he aided in stabilizing sectors and firms of the U.S government. For instance, the stock market company was threatened by general financial collapse in 1907. As the leader of American Financial Community, Morgan allowed a group of bankers to assume charge over financial deposits from the government, decide on how the resources would be spent with the main objective of providing the financial relief that was much needed. As a solver of problems, he was appointed to lead a team of financiers, demonstrating great authority and power by influencing the government and allowing bankers access to deposits as the way to averting looming financial crisis (Alef 8).

    Leader-Follower relationship

    Towards the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, J.P Morgan was the greatest financier in the US. Among the many titles accorded to him was that of a banker. This was attributed to his successful banking career where he took part in leading and owning several banking institutions like J.P Morgan and Company and Dabney, Morgan and Company among others (Gittleman 68). Apart from banking, he also acquired the title of a capitalist. This is attributed to the fact after he stopped taking part in firms reorganization, he and his banking teams amassed great wealth through a system of interconnecting affiliations in boards of companies he had already helped to restructure. Therefore, he was able to acquire heavy concentration to control the leading U.S corporations (Gittleman 69-70).

    Internal and external drives

    Internally, Morgan was driven by the urge of maintaining the name of his family in the US financial sector. His father was one of the most known banker in the mid-19th century and was also a major partner in Dabney, Morgan and Company. His banking desire helped in development of J.P Morgan and Company which played an important role in development of the United States economy (Alef 4). Externally, Morgan was driven by availability of numerous opportunities which were presented by capitalist system. Through his expertise and skills in the financial sector, he was able to seize opportunities that made it possible for him to acquire wealth. This also earned him mistrust in the federal government and also turned him into a capitalist by nature (Alef 6).



    Works cited

    Alef, D. J. P. Morgan: America’s Greatest Banker. Titans of Fortune Publishing, pp. 1-14, 2009.

    Gittelman, Steven H. J. P. Morgan and the Transportation Kings: The Titanic and Other

    Disasters. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, pp. 68-70, 2012. Print

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