Qn. Leaders are born not made. Discuss.
Definition of leadership:
Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Simply put leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and value, charisma and intelligence among others. Theories of leadership:
A trait is a distinguished characteristic or quality of a person that will result a person to behave in a certain way. Trait approach is focused on dealing with the differences of each individual. A person is unique because of the combination of different traits. Trait approach states that individual personalities are made up of broad dispositions. Trait approach further states that there are only few people who are born with the qualities of a leader. There are only very few people who have excellent combinations of leadership traits. Successful leaders can be identified easily because they have the abilities, personality traits and interests that are different from those who are not effective leaders. Here are just some of the hundreds of traits of successful leaders that have been identified: 1. Is well adjusted and has emotional maturity;
2. Has the capacity to believe in one’ self and abilities; 3. Has the intense desire and motivation to lead other people to achieve common goals; 4. Possess integrity, honesty and trustworthy;
5. Has higher level of energy, ambition and initiative to accomplish things; 6. Capable of knowing things and the industry he is into;
7. Capable of making analytical abilities and sound judgment with other successful leaders. This theory hence concludes that leaders are born and not made since leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. Situational and contingency theories
The theory assumes that different situations call for different characteristics. According to the theory what an individual actually does when acting as a leader is in large part dependent upon on the type of the situation in which he functions. Tannenbaum and Schmidt Schmidt (1958) identified three forces that led to the leader's action: a) The forces in the situation
b) The forces in the follower
c) The forces in the leader
This recognizes that the leader's style is highly variable, and even such distant events as a family argument can influence decisions made in the work place. The theory further defines three leadership styles identifying which situations each style works better in as discussed below. a) The authoritarian leadership style, for example, is approved in periods of crisis but fails to win the "hearts and minds" of followers in day-to-day management; b) The democratic leadership style is more adequate in situations that require consensus building; finally, c) The laissez-faire leadership style is appreciated for the degree of freedom it provides, but as the leaders do not "take charge", they can be perceived as a failure in protracted or thorny organizational problems Thus theorist defined the style of leadership as contingent to the situation hence the term contingency theory. Four contingency leadership theories appear more prominently in recent years namely: a) Fiedler contingency model,
b) Vroom-Yetton decision model,
c) The path-goal theory,
d) The Hersey-Blanchard situational theory.
Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations. Success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation. Behavioral Theories:
Behavioral theories of leadership...
References: Chemers M. (1997) An integrative theory of leadership. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8058-2679-1
Businessballs management information website – Leadership Theories page, “Integrated Psychological Approach” section:http://www.businessballs.com/leadership-theories.htm#integrated-psychological-leadership
Blake, R.; Mouton, J. (1964). The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Houston: Gulf Publishing Co.
House, Robert J. (1971). "A path-goal theory of leader effectiveness". Administrative Science Quarterly (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University) 16 (3): 321–339. doi:10.2307/2391905. JSTOR 2391905.
"Review of Leadership and Decision Making". Sloan Management Review. Spring 1974.
Crawford, C. J. (2005). Corporate rise the X principles of extreme personal leadership. Santa Clara, CA: XCEO. ISBN 0-9769019-0-0 ISBN 9780976901907
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