Running head: LEADERSHIP
Since the beginning of humankind, all types of leaders have existed. Some led with fear others with respect. In modern society, we attempt to isolate all the characteristics and attributes that go into good leaders by studying leaders of the past and leadership styles that have proved to be successful. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A leader is not someone who searches for consensus but molds consensus”. This is how we view leadership today, an individual that has the ability to affect the motivation and competencies of the individuals in a group. As a society, we attempt to not only identify leaders but also to train them in effective styles and techniques that are efficient at motivating a group to be innovative and perform efficiently. The Trait Theory of Leadership is an attempt to identify characteristics of individuals that are associated with successful leaders. These characteristics are based on various researches that that relates physical, mental, and personality traits to success criteria. The idea is that if an individual exemplifies all these traits, their ability to be a successful leader is reasonably assured. The first category of traits is the personality traits of a leader. These traits usually include someone with a high energy level, high stress tolerance, substantial self-confidence, emotional maturity and strong integrity. Being a leader presents its self with a plethora of challenges that can create high levels of stress. A leader more able to deal with these challenges with good stress tolerance and emotional maturity will have greater success. The second category of traits is the motivational traits of a leader. These traits include socialized power orientation, strong need for achievement, week need for affiliation, and persuasiveness. Persuasiveness goes without saying, however it is important to note that a strong need for achievement is a tough trait to have in combination with a weak need for affiliation. As most people who desire achievement do so with the added incentive that the social structure will accept or praise them, which does not necessarily mean good leadership. The finale category of traits is the ability traits of a leader. These traits include interpersonal skill, cognitive skill and technical skill. These traits are largely intuitive as in any organizational setting a person who interacts with others well, is highly cognitive and has good technical skills will be very successful. As a leader, these traits are arguably of the most importance as they are directly tied to the organizational dynamics at hand. The idea of an effective leader determined by a person’s leadership efficiency. This can also be analyzed as to what leaders do in relation to accomplishing the task and to maintain the effort of people doing the tasks. There are several different terms to refer to these two important leadership behaviors such as job-centered and employee-centered leadership and initiating structure and consideration leadership. Firstly, job-centered and employee-centered leadership is used to determine the best way to manage the efforts of individuals to achieve desired production and satisfaction objectives. Employees prefer to use this style of leadership because it is broken down into two main categories so it is easier to understand. A job-centered leader is a person who closely supervises and observes the work of others. Their main focus is to make sure that the task is completed. (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly, Jr., & Konopaske, 2012) The employee-centered leader is a person who supervises the general work of others. These leaders are mostly concerned with personal advancement, growth and achievement. However, they tend to influence and utilize the group development more than the others with the expectation that effective work performance...
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