Topics: Leadership, Charismatic authority, Situational leadership theory Pages: 10 (3742 words) Published: May 8, 2013
The perfect idea of leadership evolves from the situation where leaders are required. There are many ways to describe what leadership is, it depends solely on the situation you’re in. leadership can be described as a combination of sociology, anthropology, political science and psychology. The main concern with this paper is to view the topic as ‘Leadership’ rather than focusing on the leader itself, the idea is that leadership can be found in everyone and that everyone can be a ‘Leader’ (Ladkin, 2010).

“What is the relationship between the questions we ask and our methods for answering them?” (Ladkin, 2010) this is one of the first questions asked by Donna Ladkin in her book ‘Rethinking Leadership’. ‘Transformational leadership’, this is a leadership theory introduced by James MacGregor Burns in 1978. His idea was that, in good transformational leadership there are four attributes; charisma, inspiration, individualized consideration and intellectual stimulation and that these attributes can be measured through the ‘Transformational Leadership Questionnaire’, this was an instrument developed by Beverley Alimo Metcalfe and Robert Alban Metcalfe, this approach does make sense; transforming the working style of a factory worker for instance may take many steps and different components, the manager needs to have charisma in order to be able to delegate jobs for the worker without coming off to strong and inspiring him or her at the same time. (2001, as cited in Ladkin, 2010, p. 4) The leader must work with the workers natural talents in order to utilize their best abilities. Ladkin described this as, “Having identified their strengths and weaknesses in terms of this quotient, potential leaders can create a ‘development plan’, to improve their performance on specific factors.” (Ladkin, 2010, p. 4)

‘Leadership as a phenomenon’ is a philosophical approach known as phenomenology. Ladkin uses this approach to “gain insight into the nature of leadership as a phenomenon”. (Ladkin, 2010, p.15) ‘The Lifeworld’ was introduced by Edmund Husserl, who is known to be the father of Phenomenology, he uses this notion to distinct wish between ‘aspects’ and ‘identity’ and the dissimilarity between ‘wholes’, ‘pieces’ and ‘moments’. ‘The Lifeworld’ in many ways refers to the underlining meaning, or value of something as one might see it, it specifics situations where something is worth, or represents more than it may seem, Ladkin uses a chair as Metaphor to explain how, ‘occupying’ a chair can mean different thing in different situation, the queen of England occupying a chair holds a much more important status than an office secretary occupying a chair in her daily working situation. It is not the physical chair that makes the difference, but it is the magnitude of responsibility that the two different jobs hold. Another example I can relate to is, the ‘trophy’ that is awarded to the winning team of the Rugby World Cup this year (All Blacks), it is not the physical attributes of the trophy that makes it so precious, but the value of the success and hard work it represents to the team that wins it, it represents the long years they have waited for the opportunity, it represents the long hours they put in and the sweat, blood and tears they have sacrificed in order to win the tournament. As Ladkin describes it, “ ‘Without Lifeworlds’ of human beings who would recognize, look for and respond to this phenomenon they agree to call ‘leadership’, there would be no leadership.” (Ladkin, 2010, p. 21).

The phenomenon of Leadership can be viewed as having many different ‘sides’. As in the example of the ‘cube’ explained by Ladkin; leadership is like a cube, it has many sides that form it. The perceived ‘leader’ and the ‘follower’ make two of the most important sides followed by the situation and the characteristics of the environment, the circumstances of the situation, and the level of the stakes. (Ladkin, 2010, p. 22). A leader cannot judge a...
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