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Topics: Leadership, Management, Fiedler contingency model Pages: 11 (3225 words) Published: March 29, 2009
Leadership & Ethics '' Final Exam

1. Are leaders born? Please provide examples to support your statement.

According to Avolio (1999) some people are born to move and shake the world. Their blessings: high energy, exceptional intelligence, extreme persistence, self confidence and a yearning to influence others. He also stated that after 50 years of collecting data on the topic, most psychologists believe that leadership qualities are innate or genetic and thus impossible to learn. However research has proven that leadership skills can be developed and mastered. For example, our parents can instill us with the tools and drive to lead and set challenging goals for us to accomplish but we could also develop good leadership skills from attending any educational institution.

Stogdill (1948) Stated that recent research done using a variety of methods, has made it clear that successful leaders are not like other people, and the evidence indicates that there are certain core traits which significantly contribute to business leader ‘s success. Research also suggests that 48-59 percent of effective leaders are associated with genetic factors but there are environmental factors that shape individuals to become great leaders. In conclusion, it is clear that some individuals were born to lead as they possess the traits that differentiate them from other. It was also evident that not everyone has the ability to master challenging tasks, takes on great levels of responsibilities and set defined goals and objectives to accomplish. Also it is not impossible that an individual can be trained to develop good leadership abilities, but in order to select that person they must have displayed some great attributes or qualities. Individuals with these key leadership traits are more likely to engage in the behaviors associated with leadership than those individuals who possess these traits to a lesser degree. Therefore it is evident that good leadership truly depends on the individuals behind it.

2. How are leadership traits established? Provide examples to support your prospective.

Ridley (2003) defines traits as distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, and the more of these you display as a leader, the more your followers will believe and trust in you.

Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) added that some individuals were born with leadership traits which differentiate them from others and evidence shows that there are six traits on which leaders differ from non-leaders. These include drive, the desire to lead, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability, and knowledge on the business. For example an individual who possess these traits tends to be very goal oriented, they set high standards and they have a strong desire to be successful. They have a strong desire to lead and influence the behavior of others and also strongly believe in themselves. Lastly they believe in lifelong learning to be knowledgeable of things and to develop their cognitive abilities. For example people who posses these traits are more likely to engage in the behaviors associated with effective leadership, also these traits help leaders acquire the necessary skills needed for effective leadership.

3. How does a leader establish a good working relationship with staff? It order for leaders to be successful within an organization, there must be good working relationship between themselves and their followers. As a leader you must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader who determines if a leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed.

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