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GRE Argument: Those In Power Should Step Down After Five Years - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: “Claim: In any field—business, politics, education, government—those in power should step down after five years. Reason: The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new leadership. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reasons on which that claim is based.”

John Quincy Adam writes, ”If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are an effective leader”. Do such leaders need to step down just for the unknown result of new leadership? I would not agree with the claim that those people in power should step down after five years whatever the field-- business, politic, education or government. This is just because, revitalization through new leadership might bring success at times, for that reason, it cannot be declared the “surest path to success”.

Changing leaders once in five years might be fruitful in some cases. That happens mainly when the present leaders are not so effective, when they are unable to manage the crisis, unable to bring development and on the whole they are lacking qualities for an effective leadership. Consider the President of America, John Buchanan; he was an inspired President until the outbreak of civil war. His inability to impose peace on the sharply divided partisans, led him to step down. So, in such cases there is a need for new leader to handle the case and take the nation back to the path of development. And that’s why Abraham Lincoln was elected right after him. He proved himself solving the disputes. Abraham Lincoln did not step down after five years. He was so efficient that he was just re-elected as the President in the next election. He continued as the President of America till his death. This clearly proves two main factors. First is, new leaders are required when the present ones are unable to handle any difficult situation. New leadership is inevitable in such cases; otherwise, the situation would stagnate and lead to the downfall of the nation or organization. Secondly efficient leaders should retain their position for further enhancements. That’s why people have re-elected him. They want effective people to stay longer time.

New leadership should not be opted under unnecessary conditions. Consider the CEO of Apple Computers Inc., Steve Jobs; he has proved himself as a successful CEO taking right actions at appropriate times leading to the development of the company. When the world was looking for compact and portable PC’s, he launched i-pads and i-phones making a clean sweep in the business. We cannot lose such clever, smart and shrewd CEOs just for the sake of revitalization through new leadership which may or may not prove successful. Moreover, such kind of CEOs should hold their position for a long period so that they can bring new advancements in technology as they have the technical as well as managerial skills.

So, new leadership can be opted only when there is requirement. Requirement here actually refers to adverse situations when the leader is unable to handle. Here it would prove a success. But, on the other hand making highly successful leaders to step down will bring downfall to the organization in most of the cases. On account of all these, I would like to conclude that revitalization through new leadership is not the surest path to success.



The argument is underdeveloped. It relies too heavily on examples and doesn't do enough to tackle the general problem. The purpose of the example of Steve Jobs (who is dead now) seems to be to argue that "clever, smart and shrewd CEOs" should not step down (you also mention "unnecessary conditions" but don't specify what you mean). That claim is much too specific to be of help in the evaluation of the original claim. Why not replace one clever, smart and shrewd CEO with another? Implicitly you answer that question: "new leadership ... may or may not prove successful." That ought to be a major argument in your essay, but instead is buried in a subclause in a sentence in the middle of a long paragraph. That's the kind of argument that you need to develop and organize the main thrust of your essay around. Generally, you need to ask these questions: What might be the advantages of changing leaders frequently? What might be the disadvantages? What qualities in general do leaders possibly have after five years in charge that would suggest it would be good for them to stay in power? What qualities might they have after such a period that would suggest it would be good for them to step down? You could also consider specific differences between different enterprises. Are there some particular enterprises in which experience gained from being a leader for five years matters more than, say, the energy or enthusiasm or freshness of approach that new leaders might be inclined to bring to their work?

Best, EJ.

P.S., The last sentence of the first paragraph, which is part of your thesis statement, is poorly worded and very vague (it's not clear what "this" refers to, for instance). The thesis statement is the one statement that must be clear and precise.
Submitted by: LakshmiRam

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