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What makes a Good Leader Popular Theories of Leadership - Essay Example

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Leadership in simple terms means an ability to lead others around. Leadership qualities are not just an asset for a manager, but it helps even the junior-most member of a team. It indicates towards his/ her quality of getting the work done…
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What makes a Good Leader Popular Theories of Leadership
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Download file to see previous pages Terry (1994) says that competence for a managerial job is the product of both inherited and acquired qualities. Therefore the team leader has to be a good learner, so that he can capitalize on the stronger points of the team while trying to minimize the effects of weaker points. Pascale (1990) wrote that "managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing," A leader is supposed to be;

Negotiator: The negotiating skills are the one's which distinctly differentiate a leader from other members. While stuck up in a tricky situation a leader uses his skills to convince the concerned people, tries to extract reasonable benefits for his team mates and negotiates a better deal from suppliers while weighing the outcomes of different alternatives.

Coach: A leader has to be a good coach as well. He is supposed to impart the basic working principles amongst his team members. But he must not take this job so seriously that he starts interrupting the team members for each and every task. This results in undue interference in routine functioning of the team.
Popular Theories of Leadership
Many different writers and researchers have come out with differing styles and behavioral aspects of leadership and relevant theories. Theories of leadership may be classified under three headings:
i. Trait theories,
ii. Style theories,
iii. Contingency theories.
Trait Theories
The trait theory values some traits or qualities of a leader. This theory is based on the assumption that the person is more important than the situation. It received some endorsement when it appeared that leaders such as Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin appeared to possess a mystical charm which captivated their followers. Trait theory assumers that
A leader's intelligence should be above average and he or she should possess the ability to deal with complex problems.
The leader should have the ability and initiative to see and deal with complex problems.
Leaders are usually very self-confident and competent at their job.
Leaders should have the ability to see problems in the wider context. This is known as the 'helicopter factor'.
Trait theory has since attracted considerable criticism, as it places the individual's traits before the theories of management. But over the years history is replete with examples which indicate that such a theory has indeed worked wonders for the oraganisation or the country.
Style Theories
Style theories are based on the assumption that employees will work harder for managers who adopt certain styles of leadership. The following four styles were identified by Huneryager and Heckman in 1967:
The dictatorial style: The manager tells his or her subordinates what to do, with the implied threat that they will be punished if they do not obey orders. This style is not widely used in industry and commerce.
The autocratic style: Decision making is controlled by the leader, and participation by subordinates is not encouraged. Such a leader takes autocratic decisions based on his understanding of the situation.
The democratic style: Such a leader believes in adopting an approach in which the subordinates are also consulted while taking some key decisions. Decision making is shared by the subordinates as well. For this to be really effective, the subordinates must be prepared to participate.
The laissez faire style: Such an approach is said to be 'take it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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