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Leadership - Essay Example

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Leadership Leadership is broadly defined as a process in which an individual influences those around him in order to accomplish a distinctive goal or an objective. The purpose is to direct the organization towards a more coherent and unified path that will help it achieve its target in a more systematic and organized manner (N.A., 2012) This definition is strikingly similar to the one given by Northouse in which he states, “Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.” (Northouse, 2007) Leaders are unique in the way they apply their skills and leadership knowledge to solve the problems and issues at hand…
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Download file to see previous pages It further assumed that leadership traits are intrinsic rather than extrinsic which, simply stated, means that great leaders are born rather made. This was a very traditional view and has come a long way since its inception (Cherry, 2012). The second in line was the Trait Theory which was used from the 1930’s to 1940’s. This emphasized that great leaders whether born or made should have certain qualities and traits like creativity, intelligence, responsibility and other related values. This model focused entirely on the analysis of the mental, physical and social characteristics to help understand what combinations are found among great leaders. Nonetheless, it was concluded that traits are not solely responsible for the success of a leader. Hence, the Behavioral Theory emerged in the 1950’s (Cherry, 2012). This theory emphasized the behaviors of a great leader to help realize a common behavior necessary to be a great leader. It defined that a great leader would either be concerned with the task at hand or with the people under him. The Contingency Theory of 1960’s argued that to truly understand the leadership potential different situations have to be analyzed. This means that under certain conditions some leaders perform well while in other conditions they might do poorly. Therefore, the leadership potential is contingent on the situation in which the leader is placed. The 1970’s saw the rise of Transactional Leadership Theories, whose foundation was based on the mutual benefit that both the leader and the follower derive from the overall leadership experience (N.A., Leadership Theories, 2012). This transaction between the two should have some sort of reinforcement to ensure that positive outcomes are reiterated while the negative behaviors are subdued. The most recent Leadership Theory to have surfaced is mostly referred to by the professionals as the Transformational Leadership Theory. The essence of this theory is to establish a strong relationship between the leader and the follower through interaction to help build up trust. The direct results are seen in the form of increased motivation for both the leaders and the followers. The leaders exercise their charismatic personalities and persuasive nature to influence those around them. The use of flexible regulations ensures the followers feel a sense of belonging and can relate to the leader and its purpose in achieving the goals. (N.A., Leadership Theories, 2012) The most relevant theory at present times is the Transformational Theory. This theory was initially introduced by the leadership expert James MacGregor Burns, who said such a leadership can be witnessed when “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation.” (Cherry, Transformational Leadership, 2012) Such leaders exhibit strong vision and personality to motivate their followers and pursue a common goal. A transformational leader is oriented toward long-term goals and focuses on the development of new ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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