Motivation and Leadership

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Research by T. J. Owston
An examination of various Leadership theories

The dictionary definition of a leader is that of one who leads or goes first. Clearly the leader does not always go first but a separate definition would develop out of the idea of one who leads, ie., one who motivates. Thus it is very difficult to separate out theories and concepts of Leadership and Motivation. The leader to fulfil their role has to know how to motivate people and must seek ways to do this so as to maintain their role as leader. There are many theories of motivation so the leader has quite a scope for their own style of leadership. My research has found that many of these have developed since the end of the Second World War as peoples attitudes to leadership, motivation and management have developed and changed to a more intelligent level. Motivation and leadership

People exist according to Maslow in an hierarchy of needs, going from Physiological needs through Safety, Social, Esteem to Self Actualization. As each need is satisfied the person moves up a level. Thus people can be motivated by basic needs, but also by the 'spirit' and 'noble cause'. The best example of this is warfare and the partial change of motivation from pay to glory, and a belief in ideas. Indeed the use of propaganda this century has become important in motivating armies, in the sense that your side has more moral worth than the others, though this of course can be true. Some leaders would consider that it is necessary to use pain or threat of pain to motivate, but others consider that this only motivates no one but the dullest and most idle of people. Promises of food, excitement, companionship, involvement and the appreciation of other benefits are better motivators. Slight changes, the 'butterfly's wing', produces nearly negligible changes in management motivation but can gradual produce slow positive change. The industrialist and entrepreneur who...
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