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Leadership And Team Building Essay

2187 words - 9 pages

“A manager manages using authority-or the right to get others to do things by virtue of their positional power. While a leader leads through the ability to influence other people to do things using a certain degree of personal power or charisma” (McLean, 2005, p. 16). By definition, leadership is about influence. Therefore, it is impossible to discuss the theme of leadership without including followers or to try to explain the idea of team building without explaining the influence of a leader. While each concept is unique, both have a direct affect on the other. A leader is not a leader without someone following him or her and a team will always develop a leader whether indirectly or ...view middle of the document...

414). Carlyle’s influence lead other theorists to look into the characteristics of leaders and try to pinpoint those characteristics individuals are born with that destine them for leadership. Beginning with Gordon Allport in 1936, 4000 traits were listed in the makeup of leaders; however, in 1965, Raymond Call narrowed those traits down to 171 and into 16 personality traits. Finally, Hans Eysenck developed the model of personality by pulling out the three distinct areas of personalities in leadership: extraversion, emotionalism, and psychoticism (Malos, 2012). Personality traits are still a huge part of organizational selection today, whether for leadership or team membership. It is nearly impossible to get through and application in today’s workforce without taking a personality test of some kind.
While personality, traits, and characteristics have their impact on today’s business world, it is easy to see the influence of behavioral theorists by the increased teaching of management and leadership courses in today’s schools. Behavioral theorists believe that effective leadership is a matter of behavior. These behaviors focused either on people or on accomplishing the task. Kurt Lewin proposed that there were three styles of leadership behaviors: autocratic, democratic, or Laissez-faire. Autocratic leaders dictated work, while democratic leaders involved workers and delegated activities. Laissez-faire leaders gave workers complete freedom and did not interfere. According to Lewin’s studies, those leaders that involved their workers, delegated, and encouraged were the ones that were effective (Robbins & Coulter, 2007). Similarly, Robert Blake and James Mouton studied the different behaviors of leaders as it related to their concern for people and production. Their research led to the development of the Managerial Grid, which shows five different leadership styles depending on the individual’s level of concern (Brown, 2011; Robbins & Coulter, 2007). However, it is impossible to understand behaviors without the influence of personality. Just like leadership and team building, the trait and behavioral theories influence one another. According to Lewis Goldberg’s theory on the Big Five Factor’s of Personality, there are five traits that influence traits and behaviors (Goldberg, 1993). While behaviors are part of a learned process as people grow, those behaviors are also part of individual’s personalities. Out of the idea of influence of these factors, that is where contingency and relationship theorists developed their ideas. Contingency theorists believe that the situation dictates what type of style of leadership is most effective. In addition, a situation may also dictate the development of a leader. While some individuals may not use their leadership characteristics in one instance, they may in another (Malos, 2012). Dealing with human beings is not a set science, situations change, behaviors change, and personality is both affected and...

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