What Makes a Good Leader

Topics: Leadership, Fiedler contingency model, Management Pages: 2 (522 words) Published: November 9, 2008
What makes a good leader?
Johann Von Goethe once said “The man who occupies the first place seldom plays the principal part.” This is quite possibly one of the best quotes I have read when talking about what makes a good leader. What Goethe is saying is simply that a leader, or rather a good leader listens to his followers and makes decisions based upon their input and once the decisions have been made, the followers are often the most integral part of executing the decision. To lead the people one must be a part of the people, one must understand the people and what they need to achieve their goals. Leadership, as defined in chapter fourteen of “MGMT What’s Inside”, is the process of influencing others to achieve group or organizational goals. In order for one to influence others, one must be able to connect with others and understand what drives them and how to motivate that drive. The chapter goes on to explain many different theories behind leadership and gives studies to support the best models of leadership depending upon the situation and theory discussed. To begin, the book discusses Trait theory which simply states that there are a certain set of traits and characteristics possessed by the most effective leaders. Although not an indisputable fact, through studies and observations, many of these traits can be found in today’s top executives. Some of these traits are drive, the desire to lead, honesty, integrity, self-confidence and emotional stability. These traits are not in themselves enough to be a good leader however, one must also posses the ability to initiate structure and show consideration when dealing with subordinates. Another element to consider when evaluating leaders is the situation in which they are attempting to lead. Fiedler’s contingency theory is one theory that examines these situations and states that in order to maximize performance; leaders must be matched to the situation that best fits their leadership style. While...
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