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Introduction – Leadership Theories Essay

1001 words - 5 pages

A colleague of mine recently made a statement that got me thinking; he said that ‘Leadership is achieved through the state of mind of the leader and the followers. By state of mind, John proposed that leadership should be situational because only then can the right theory or approach be applied to bring about the right result. John also mentioned that if leadership is situational, flexibility becomes attained as and when change or modification is required.
Understanding the factors or elements that make a good leader is important but not as important as the situations that define the leader. It is when situations arise and people or a person take ownership and accountability either as ...view middle of the document...

Also, I will agree that individuals who possess some or most of the traits as proposed by this theory tend to make people believe in their abilities, whether assumed or observed. These traits make leadership easier for those who possess them to thrive well on leadership positions but with conscious efforts to learn and succeed as against dwelling on their innate characteristics which might not be sufficient in certain situations. Some critics see this theory as being ambiguous since there are no definitive traits or characteristics that can be seen as ‘must haves’ for every leader, this is because some leaders lead well without having some of these traits while others fail at leadership even while possessing some of these traits. I will agree with this line of criticism because nothing makes leadership definitive.
Skills Approach
This theory is also centered on the leader and the skills and abilities he/she must possess to help him or her succeed. This theory proposes that leaders should possess some skills which can be learned rather than innate (trait theory). An effective leader using the skills approach must be strong in three key areas; Technical skills (hands-on activity driven), human or people management skills (being able to work with people and make people work) and conceptual abilities (creative ability to work with concepts and ideas to produce results. It has been observed that this theory focuses more on the skills and abilities that a leader should possess but does not describe how these skills and abilities will help the leader be effective and succeed in his leadership role.
Style Approach
The style approach proposes how leaders should act, what leaders do rather than who they are. It focuses on two main aspects; tasks and behaviours. It goes to explain that leaders should have certain behavioural patter which will help them perform their leadership tasks effectively and also lead others to success. How these behaviour and tasks would effectively make the leader succeed has not been spelt out by this theory.
Situational Approach
The situational leadership theory is one that is more agreeable because it is easily...

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