Leadership Theories and Principles Essay

LEADERSHIP THEORIES AND PRINCIPLES I. Introduction Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.

Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training and experience. II. Body/Content Leadership theories have emerged through the centuries. They focus on the qualities distinguished between leaders and followers. Others looked at other factors such as situations and skill levels. There are eight major theories of leadership.

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First, the Great Man theories which assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent – that great leaders are born, not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership. Second, Trait Theories, similar in some ways to “Great Man” theories, trait theories assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership.Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders. Third is Contingency Theories focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations.

Success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation. Fourth is Situational theories propose that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables.Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making. Fifth is Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviorism, this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.

Sixth is Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account.These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the input of others. Seventh is Management theories (also known as “Transactional theories”) focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.Last would be Relationship theories (also known as “Transformational theories”) focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task.

These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards. Principles of Leadership 1.Know yourself and seek self-improvement – In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes.

This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others. 2. Be technically proficient – As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ tasks. 3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions – Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights.And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others.

Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge. 4. Make sound and timely decisions – Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools. 5.

Set the example – Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see – Mahatma Gandhi 6. Know your people and look out for their well-being – Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers. 7.Keep your workers informed – Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people. 8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers – Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.

9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished – Communication is the key to this responsibility. 10. Train as a team – Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams..

. they are just a group of people doing their jobs. 11.Use the full capabilities of your organization – By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities. III. Reflection Leadership is a process wherein you influence people in order to achieve a common goal. Good, effective leaders are not born, but they are made.

If you have the desire and willpower, you can be an effective leader. There are certain things you must be, know, and do for you to inspire people into a higher level of teamwork. Leadership does not come naturally but it is acquired through continual work and study.

Being a good leader, you must continually work and study to improve your leadership skills. While leadership is learned, the skills and knowledge processed by the leader can be influenced by his attributes or traits, such as beliefs, values, ethics, and character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the process of leadership, while the other attributes give the leader certain characteristics that make him.

IV. References http://www. nwlink. com/~donclark/leader/leadcon. html http://psychology.

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