Leadership – Part One

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” – Peter F Drucker.

One of the oldest topics and the one that is always in news because of new findings, new assumptions, and contradictory findings is the term Leadership. The term Leadership has caught the world in a whirlwind. It has been associated with different words since time immemorial, words such as brave, clever, victorious, powerful, dynamic so on and so forth. Many studies have been conducted and many theories have been written and many conclusions have been made. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Winston Churchill have created history.  Leaders attempt to accomplish a task through the efforts of others. Leadership has changed the corporate world completely. A leader is the one who can lead the organization to success or vice versa. It’s their vision, their strategy, effective interpersonal communications all put together makes an organization successful. The quality of leadership is one of the important characteristics in an organization. Leadership is all about influence, group and goals.   CEO’s of any company will agree that the foundation for organizational success is a good leadership. In this report, I will emphasize on the various theories about leadership style in organization and the leadership style that is prevalent in companies, how does leadership help in an organizational success. Also, in the end I also aim to draw a leadership plan for myself and how I plan to improve it. There are many theories given about leadership. Some of them are

Trait Theory of Leadership

This theory was developed from Great Man Theory of Leadership and works on the following assumptions:

  • People are born with innate traits and not made.
  • People who are good leaders have the right combination of traits since their birth.

This further describes the qualities of the leaders in terms of physical appearance such as they tend to be slightly taller or shorter than others, are more self-confident and come from a high class. It also compares the characteristics of effective leaders such as they are more intelligent, initiative and self-assured when compared to others.

Behavioral Approach to leadership

In this leadership, it says that unlike trait theory, behaviors can be learned through appropriate leadership behavior and such individuals are more capable of leading more efficiently. This theory focuses on leadership functions and leadership styles. In leadership functions, it is further classified into task oriented and group oriented functions. In task oriented leadership style, managers supervise the employees to ensure that the task is done appropriately. In such leadership style, to ensure that the work gets done by the employees play a major role than the employee’s growth or personal satisfaction.  In the group oriented leadership style, more importance is given to motivate the team than controlling them. This approach is friendlier in nature which works on trust, respect and thoughtfulness for the employees.

Path Goal Approach Leadership

This theory was developed by Robert House (1971) and is based on the expectancy theory. This leadership style is based on the expectancy model of motivation, which says that an individual’s motivation depends on his or her expectations of rewards and the attractiveness of the reward. Based on this, the path goal leadership style says that the ability of a manager to provide rewards and to mention the ways to obtain it.

This style of leadership works well when there is a change in the system. Change instills fear in any individual as they are moved out from their comfort zone and need to strive again to find their comfort zone in the new system. If a system is changed and the management expects a high resistance to this change, employing a path goal approach will help them to mitigate resistance to a great extent. It defined four types of leadership behavior. They are behaviors, result oriented, directive, participative and supportive that are dependent on the environment and the followers characteristics.

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