Leaders and Leadership

Powerful Essays
Topics: Leadership
Leaders and Leadership What is leadership? Leadership is a special form of power, one that involves the ability, based on the personal qualities of the leader, to elicit the followers’ voluntary compliance in a broad range of matters. Leadership is distinguished from the concept of power in that it entails influence, that is, change of preferences, while power implies only that subjects’ preferences are held in abeyance (Etzioni, 1965). There are two approaches that we are going to discuss in this paper, the leader trait approach and the leader behavior approach. Leadership trait theory is the idea that people are born with certain character traits. Since certain traits are associated with proficient leadership, it assumes that if you could identify people with the correct traits you will be able to identify leaders. Most of the time the traits are considered to be naturally part of a person’s personality from birth. From this standpoint leadership trait theory tends to assume the people are born as leaders or not as leaders (Leadership Trait Theory, 2007). The leader behavior approach involves either consideration or initiating structure. Consideration is a behavior indicating that a leader trusts, respects, and values good relationships with his or her followers while initiating structure is a behavior that a leader engages in to make sure that work gets done and subordinates perform their jobs acceptably (Leader-Behavior Approach, 2011). In addition to consideration and initiating structure, leaders use reinforcement and punishment to affect the behavior of followers. Reinforcement on one hand can increase desirable behavior while punishment can decrease undesirable behavior.
Fiedler’s Contingency Theory
One of the most popular approaches to understanding leadership is the Fiedler’s contingency theory of leadership which focuses on two main issues; why would a leader be more effective than another in a particular situation knowing that both have the same



References: Apple Inc (2011) Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on October 12, 2011 from website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc. Charismatic Leadership Ethical Leadership (2011) Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on April 17, 2011 from website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_leadership Etzioni, A Fiedler contingency model. (2011) Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on July 17, 2011 from website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiedler_contingency_model Leadership Behaviors and Attitudes of Steve Jobs (2010). Davidkramer.wordpress.com. Retrieved on February 15, 2010 from website: http://davidkramer.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/leadership-behaviours-and-attitudes-of-steve-jobs/ Leader-behavior approach Leader Mood. (2007) Smallbusinesssuccess.biz. Retrieved on December 5, 2007 from website: http://www.smallbusinesssuccess.biz/articles_week/leaders_mood_and_performance.htm Leadership Trait Theory Path-Goal Theory of Leadership. (2011) Changingminds.org. Retrieved on September 2, 2011 from website: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/path_goal_leadership.htm Steve Jobs: an unconventional leader (2011) Transformational Leadership. (2011) Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on October 11, 2011 from website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformational_leadership Wozniak, S (2004)

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