The Importance Of Effective Leadership

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Leadership is seen in all walks of life and so there are many social and psychological factors that people have theorised can make a great leader. ‘Effective leadership’ is therefore difficult to define as there are so many standpoints that one could take. Taking the perspective of a social psychologist, Chemers stated that leadership is “a process of social influence through which an individual enlists and mobilises the aid of others in the attainment of a collective goal” (2001, as cited in Hogg and Vaughan, 2014) and so it would be fair to assume that a good leader can be seen through the success of the rest of the group. In light of this, effective leadership must be looked at in terms of personality, relationships with the rest of the…show more content…
According to Darwin (1871, as cited in Van Vugt, Hogan and Kaiser, 2008), humans have evolved throughout time to live in groups as it originally allowed them to cope in areas not yet urbanised enough for humans have the luxury of being solitary. By sharing their resources, they were able to protect themselves against threats like animals and bad weather conditions (Kendrick, Li & Butner, 2003). In order for this way of living to be successful there needed to be some form of social hierarchy (so that certain people would have certain roles and parts to play within the community) and by extension one member of the community would have to be an effective leader to take control. From an evolutionary point of view, effective leadership is necessary for human survival as a well-organised community has a higher chance of survival than a community with no leader or an ineffective…show more content…
More modern theories have arisen focusing on the ‘big five’ personality traits (as personality is considered to be fairly consistent in someone’s life) that can determine an effective leader – extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness (I. Schermbrucker, lecture notes, PSYC101 Social Psychology, 22nd October 2016). This is a modern form of ‘transformational leadership’ which is the idea that a leader must be able to inspire and influence their followers to achieve goals that may not be in the individual’s personal interests (Burns 1978, as cited in Kuhnert and Lewis 1987). In order to do this, they would need to have an agreeable personality and the ability to use their personality to sway the individual to acting in a way that is beneficial to the community and not just for themselves. When Judge, Bono, Ilies and Gerhardt (2002) looked at data from 73 different studies, they found that these five personalities had an overall correlation of 0.58 when compared with effective leadership, with the best predictors being extraversion, openness to new experienced and contentiousness (as cited in Hogg and Vaughan
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