High Performance Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Fiedler contingency model, Situational leadership theory Pages: 93 (22731 words) Published: July 31, 2011

Chapter 1 : Leadership

Chapter 2 : Leadership Theories and Styles

Chapter 3 : Leadership – Leadership Skills

Chapter 4 : Leadership Lessons through Literature

Chapter 5 : Team Work and Team Building

Chapter 6 : Interpersonal Skills – Conversation, Feedback, Feed forward

Chapter 7 : Interpersonal Skills – Delegation, Humor, Trust, Expectations,
Values, Status

Chapter 8 : Conflict Management – Types of Conflicts

Chapter 9 : Conflict Management – Coping Strategies

Chapter 10 : Conflict Management – Conflict Management Styles

Chapter 11 : Positive Thinking – Attitude, Beliefs

Chapter 12 : Positive Thinking – Martin Seligman’s theory of Learn Helplessness

Chapter 1


From ancient times, the topic of leadership has generated excitement and interest. When people think about leadership, images come to mind of powerful dynamic individuals who command victorious armies (Alexander, Napolean, Shivaji), shape the events of nations ( Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln), develop religions (Gautam Buddha, Guru Nanak) or direct corporate empire ( Bill Gates, Jack Welch, JRD Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani). How did these leaders build such great armies, countries, religions, and companies? Why do certain leaders have dedicated followers, while others do not? It wasn’t until the twentieth century that researchers attempted to scientifically answer such questions, using many different definitions.

Defining Leadership

In his survey of leadership theories and research, Ralph M. Stogdill pointed out that, ‘there are almost as many different definitions of leadership, as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept’.

“Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement”
(Stogdill, 1950, p. 3)

Three key components to this definition:
- an interpersonal process between one person and a group
- can’t have ‘leaders’ without ‘followers’
- criterion for effective leadership = goal achievement

Some working definitions of leadership and related concepts:

• While management works in the system, Leadership works on the system.

• “ …. The genius of leadership lies in the manner in which leaders see and act on their own and their followers’ values and motivations.

• Leadership is an affair of heart, not of the head.

• Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leadership or shared by the leader and his or her followers.

• Leadership is what gives an organization its vision and its ability to translate that vision into reality.

• Leadership is an art, something to be learned over time, not simply by reading books.

• Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts toward goal achievement in a given situation.

• Leadership is a privilege to have the responsibility to direct the action of others.

• “Power” is the ability to get others to do what you want them to do.

• “Leadership,” as distinct from power, consists of three components: • The ability to influence others
• The willingness to do so
• The ability to influence in such a way those others responds willingly.

Often these definitions are like the blind man’s description of an elephant. When touching the elephant, the blind men determined an elephant was four pillars and wall with a rope on one end and a hosed on the other. He was able to discern the parts but unable to see the whole.

Leadership may be one of those things that are easier caught than taught. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, attempts at defining leadership tends to focus on the parts rather than the whole. Various leadership definitions tend...
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