Leadership has been described as a “complex process having multiple dimensions” (Northouse, 2013). Over the past 60 years, scholars and practitioners have introduced a vast amount of leadership models and theories to explain this complex field and examine its many perspectives. Numerous leadership theories and models have attempted to define what makes a leader effective. From the early 1900s, the trait paradigm dominated leadership literature, focusing on inherited traits of leaders and suggesting that “leaders are born, not made”. However, during the 1950s, the trait approach lost enthusiasm as focus shifted to the behavior of leaders. Similar to the trait theory, the behavioral paradigm was based on general effective leadership behaviors
Throughout 2016, many different people will claim they can lead America to greatness again just as they do each election year. This directs attention towards leadership, and most Americans simply trust that these potential candidates display leadership characteristics. Unfortunately, politicians don’t always exemplify leadership, and many Americans experience poor leaders daily such as dreadful bosses. Because of these commonplace experiences, leadership may not appear as a direct character trait. Adaptable communication, the ability to inspire, a clear passion, and professional attitudes all characterize a true leader.
A leadership theory is a clarification of some features of leadership; theories have practical importance as they are being used for better understanding, anticipating, and controlling successful leadership. Hence, the main principle of any theory is to inform practice(Lussier and Achua 2009). Leadership theories could be classified into eight main categories: Great man, trait, behavioral, contingency, Situational, Participative, Relationship , management (Cherry 2010).
1. Leadership is not only a talent. It is also a science that it can be taught, 2. Mobilizing others is the key world of leadership theory. Inspiration is the basic tool that a leader can use, 3. Leadership is not dictatorship. It is a common effort that aims to a common goal, 4. ethics is a significant issue in leadership theory, 5. leadership is interesting to the feelings of the employees who work in a project. People are not numbers but personalities with particular characteristics and wishes, 6. a leader does not need types to be respected by the employees. He gains them with his personality and they follow him because they agree with his recommendations and they trust him.
We can divide the theories that deal with leadership in 3 chronological groups. First were the trait theories. Until the 1940's, research in the field of leadership was dominated by these theories. Second came the behavioral theories which were very influent until the late 1960's. Finally, contingency theories are the most modern theories about leadership.
Leadership is a topic of great interest and for decades now, theories on leadership have been of major interest and the source of numerous studies. In reality, many have tried to define what allows genuine and patriotic leaders to stand out from the masses based on what they exhibit individually, hence, there as many theories on leadership as a result of works done by various philosophers, researchers and professors. Below are the ten theories every leader should know:
Although, there are some leaders who are born “natural-born leaders” many must learn the skills to become a successful leader. Every leader has natural strong traits as well as weak areas that need improving. A leader becomes stronger while using their natural talents as well as building on their weaker ones.
Before you can summarize the concepts related to leadership theory, you have to define what leadership is. Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task or goals. The fundamental concept of leadership is indirection. In any organization, the leader indirectly impacts the performance of the organization through the performance of individual team members. To make that impact, the leader takes on the role of the coach, and the inspiratory. As the coach, the leader improves the performer's skills. As the inspiratory, the leader inspires the passion required for optimal performance. A good leader can make decisions with a clear mind and will listen to theirs but can run through every consequence and possibility in their head. They take every angle and come out with the best answer for the majority of the people or situations it effects. And will not let their emotions be shut off but will have feeling where it is needed.
Early leadership theories focused on the qualities that distinguished leaders and followers, while later theories considered situational factors, specific skills and interpersonal relationships (Rost, 2007). The Great Man Theory and other trait theories suggest that leaders are born, not made. “Leadership comes from an inherited set of qualities and traits that make some individuals, usually men, better suited for leadership” Northouse, (2007) p. 162).
The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu put it best when he said, “A leader is best when people barley know he exists, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say: We did it ourselves.” Often when a person thinks of a leader they think of such great leaders as George Washington, George Patton, and Thomas Jackson. The word “leader” itself will invoke images of die-hard men with the charisma to command anyone and overcome anything. Yet despite this common image there was no theory of leadership that covered this common belief in a “super” leader.
The most effective leaders know better than to try to be someone they are not. They should always be searching for opportunities to reinvest in their strengths. Leaders need to stay true to who they are and make sure they have the right people around them. The book says those who surround themselves with similar personalities are at a disadvantage to those who are secure enough to be surrounded by people who strengths will compliment theirs.
The leadership is a result of a combination of traits, with special emphasis on the personal qualities of the leader, which he should possess certain personality traits that would be special facilitators in leadership performance. This theory shows that leaders are born as such, there is no likelihood of 'making' them later with personal development techniques.
One of the first approaches to leadership is the leadership trait theory that people are born with certain character traits. The theory assumes that people are born as leaders or not as leaders because the traits are considered to be naturally part of a person 's personality. The basic idea behind trait theory is that effective leaders are born, not made. The trait theory was used in the 1930s,
Since 1869, leadership trait theories have been explored to determined what qualities make a good leader. Sir Fancis Galton explored the theory that genetic leadership characteristics were passed down from generation to generation (Manning and Curtis, 2015). Through continued exploration of leadership traits, it has been proven that these traits are not necessarily genetic, but are behavioral in nature, and can be taught.