A Good Leader
In this essay I will analyse different leadership styles and the
contributory factors of a good leader and how succesful leadership
adapts to different sports using practical examples to supplement my
It is appreciated that that the leadership of a group, e.g team
captain, is a crucial element affecting overall group performance.
Thus leadership is seen as any behaviour that moves a group closer to
attaining its goals. (Wesson et al 2000)
Leadership is: 'the behavioural process of influencing individuals and
groups towards set goals'. (J.L. Barrow, 1977)
Most people have similar views on what the characteristics of a good
leader are. A leader is felt to be good at making decisions with high
interpersonal and communication skills. They are confident, show
initiative and must have vision to be able to organise and structure
the situation in order to acheive the groups goals. (Wesson et al
2000) To acheive the targets the leader should be seen as part of the
group with the skills and beliefs of the group but to a greater extent
so as to serve as a model to the group in some way. Leaders in
sporting situations have significant impact on the sports performers
actual performance and their phychological well being. (Martens 1987).
Many theories have emerged realting to the effectiveness of a leader.
The early research was carried out from a trait or behavioural
perspective, attempting to find common characteristics in all leaders
e.g 'Great Man' theory (Carlyle, 1841). However this reasearch proved
to be inconclusive as leaders are not consistently found to be
particular kinds of people who differ in predictable ways from non
leaders. (Wesson et al 2000) A more situational aprroach was then
taken in the research which suggested that different types of leader
may be needed for different situations. e.g In a team game like rugby
with a large group of players it may be that a leader will differ to
one in an individual sport.
Two ways in which leaders develop or are validated have been
1. Prescribed Leaders. In a more formal situation the leader is
assigned by a higher authority and imposed on the team or group. For
example, the Chairman will employ a manager, the manager will appoint
a captain. (Wesson et al 2000).
2. Emergent Leader. A leader who achieves the status or authority
through having the support of the group usually emerges from the group
as a result of having the appropriate skills, knowledge or expertise
that the group members may need or value. (Wesson et al 2000). Whether
a leader emerges or is prescribed they will still exert their
influence amongst the team or group through their personal qualities
which I discussed earlier. A leadership is generally seen as a very
complex social interaction.
A key theory...