Theoretical and Case Studies of Leadership

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


The main aim of this study was to make a review of modern theory of leadership. At the beginning, several theories of leadership was analysed with the special attention paid Leadership and the Power of INFLUENCE .Another very interesting theory which was analysed, is theory of Intangibles of leadership . Following ideas in this theory, I have also studied about Realities of Leader, Strategic leadership, Creative leadership, Leadership skill and types, Great leaders, Few real time scenario on strategic leadership and leadership role in Global financial crisis and end with the most important leadership in today's organisation "Transformational leadership".

In the next part of this research, some problems connected to Global business services was analysed in details.

The last part of this work consists of the plan of actions which let me to improve my own leadership capabilities, especially on the Global business services.

Theoretical background on Leadership

Howard Gardner's defines leadership "A leader is an individual (or, rarely, a set of individuals) who significantly affects the thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviours of a significant number of individuals. Most acknowledged leaders are "direct." They address their public face-to-face. But I have called attention to an unrecognized phenomenon: indirect leadership. In this variety of leading, individuals exert impact through the works that they create".

It is very important to first understand theoretical aspects of leadership, what's important of leadership to today's world, Importance of strategic leadership, Intangibles of leadership , Importance of creative leadership, Leadership skill and types, Realities of leader, Transformational leadership, Leadership power and influence and great leaders. Let's discuss about it one by one.

Combinative aspects of leadership style and the interaction between leadership behaviors

Purpose - Interactive or moderation effects are normally examined using hierarchical regression analysis and the product-term. The purpose of this paper is to test an alternative perspective of interaction, which is based on how leaders combine different leadership behaviors (i.e. task-oriented and socio-emotional leadership). Design/methodology/approach - Data from 191 full-time, white-collar employees were obtained using a cross-sectional design and a self-administered questionnaire. Task-oriented leadership (i.e. pressure) and socio-emotional leadership (i.e. support) were measured using items from Misumi. Two measures were used for follower satisfaction with the leader: the satisfaction component of the job descriptive index and a single-item measure. Satisfaction with how the leader combines leadership behaviors was measured using a single-item measure. Findings - The findings show that follower satisfaction with the way the leader combines task-oriented and socio-emotional leadership augments the effects of these two types of leadership on follower satisfaction with the leader. Non-significant interactions were found between pressure and support using the product-term method for examining interactions. Research limitations/implications - The paper examined only satisfaction with the leader. The sample is relatively small, consisted entirely of white-collar employees, and the response rate is unknown. All the data were obtained from participants and hence mono-source effects are possible. Practical implications - The findings draw attention to the need to approach interactive effects more carefully and demonstrate the importance of combinative aspects of leadership style. Originality/value - The paper provides an alternative view of interaction effects.

Intangibles of leadership

For years, organizations have been trying to figure out how to determine if a candidate will be a successful leader. This has led to the creation of various leadership models, but none of them have been completely successful at predicting which leadership candidates are a good fit, according to Richard Davis, an organizational psychologist and partner at RHR International. However, using comprehensive psychometric tests and interviews that delved into candidates' work and personal lives, Davis has uncovered 10 elements that indicate whether or not someone would make a good leader. These are: 1. Wisdom. 2. Will. 3. Executive maturity. 4. Integrity. 5. Social judgment. 6. Executive presence. 7. Self-insight. 8. Self-efficacy. 9. Fortitude. 10. Fallibility.

"These factors, the intangibles, are found between the lines of leadership models," said Davis at a recent Strategic Capability Network event in Toronto. "Great leaders have some aspect of all the intangibles. You need to dial up or dial down on some of the intangibles, depending on the environment and what your own natural disposition is like."

The 10 leadership intangibles are: wisdom, will, executive maturity, integrity, social judgment, executive presence, self insight, self-efficacy, fortitude and fallibility.

HR can help identify which intangibles a leader might be missing and help leaders develop these factors, be it through coaching or other development opportunities, said Davis.

"You do not have preset levels of the intangibles. They can be built," he said.

Wisdom: Wisdom is different from raw intelligence, said Davis. People build wisdom by seeking out new ideas, such as reading the news, travelling or taking part in cultural events. They also build wisdom by surrounding themselves with people who have expertise in different areas, effectively creating a personal board of directors, said Davis.

"You need people to push back and challenge your perceptions and make you smarter and wiser," he said.

Will: While successful leaders appear to be lucky, they have actually worked very hard to make the most of their good fortune, said Davis. This is where will comes into play.

"You need to be ready for luck to occur. You need to do your homework," he said.

This includes writing down goals so there is a tangible target to work towards and then doing the work to make that goal a reality, said Davis.

This is what Richard Peddie, CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, did. As a teenager, he loved basketball and wrote in his journal that one day he would own a professional basketball team, said Davis. Today, Peddie is responsible for both the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team and the Toronto Raptors basketball team.

Executive maturity: Executive maturity is about mastering one's emotional reactions and using them to influence others, said Davis. HR can help potential leaders do this by having them understand what their emotional triggers are and what their emotions look like to other people, he said.

It's important to filter incoming information and take the time to figure out how to respond instead of simply reacting, said Davis. But that's not to say leaders shouldn't be emotional.

"It's not about being robotic. It's important to be able to show emotions when necessary," said Davis.

Integrity: Integrity is measured over time and made up of three dimensions: trust, consistency and moral compass.

Consistency isn't about acting the same way all the time. Instead, it's about whether or not a leader's words are consistent with her actions, while a moral compass is the set of values that guide a leader's decisions, said Davis.

These values, or core beliefs, can come from many different sources including parents and teachers, he said.

Social judgment: It's important for leaders to be able to read verbal and non-verbal and understand the behaviour of the people around them, said Davis.

"You really need to be able read people," he said.

Part of this is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of direct reports. It's important for leaders to write these down, as well as what each direct report should work on in terms of career development, as part of a map, said Davis.

Executive presence: "When around people with execpresence, we know they have it but it's really hard to put finger on it or explain it," Davis.

However, presence can be he said. A leader who walks into a room and comattention from everyone has a reputation that preher. So part of building presence is building reputation, said Davis.

Charisma, or chemistry, is part of presence. Leaders can build better chemistry with people through humour and interesting anecdotes.

Leaders also need the right voice and words to come across as an executive. They can achieve this through voice coaching to make their speech more dynamic and reading to expand their vocabulary, said Davis.

Self-insight: It is critical for leaders to understand their strengths and weaknesses, said Davis. One of the best ways to do this is to solicit feedback from other people, he said.

"Real self-insight comes from listening to and incorporating external views."

Also, people can learn a lot about themselves by stepping outside of their comfort zone and trying something new, such as a new job or relocation, said Davis.

Self-efficacy: Self-efficacy is the underlying belief in one's ability to achieve objectives and is different from self-esteem, which can sometimes lead to arrogance, said Davis.

HR professionals can help leaders develop self-efficacy by having them visualize success, celebrate their wins and recognize self-defeating patterns.

Fortitude: "There are some people who have this palpable strength of character. They have the inner strength to do the right thing, even when it's not easy," said Davis.

Many of these executives have overcome some sort of crisis early in their life. But everyone has had to overcome some sort of adversity so, to build this factor, HR can help leaders identify what it is that they've overcome and how they did so, said Davis.

Identifying the fears that hold a person back and the challenges he will face in the future also help build strength of character, he said

Fallibility: "Perfectionism is a sure-fire leadership derailment," said Davis.

Great leaders show remorse when they make mistakes, delegate to others, learn from experiences and are accessible and approachable, he said.

To build this factor, leaders should ask questions, rather than tell people what they believe, and also share their strengths and weaknesses with direct reports.

"Being keenly aware of what your core strengths are, what you're really good at, and where your limitations are and sharing that with the people around you is a fundamental leadership accelerator," said Davis.

Strategic leadership in action

Self-awareness is a competency that is particularly difficult to develop. Becoming aware of one's own shortcomings can be a painful process and affect a person's self-belief and ability to deliver. However, successful leaders do not lose sight of their strengths. When things get tough, they trust their own judgement and back themselves to choose the most viable path for the organisation.

Leading Others to Think Innovatively Together: Creative Leadership

Individuals, teams, and organizations differ in their creative problem solving styles. How leaders manage these styles can have a significant effect on performance? The most effective leaders of the 21st century will help individuals and teams to coordinate and integrate their differing styles to drive change through a process of applied creativity that includes continuously discovering and defining new problems, solving those problems, and implementing the new solutions. Leaders must appreciate individuals' differing preferences for various stages of this process. Leaders can use various tools - notably the Creative Problem Solving Process (CPSP) inventory - to encourage and enable people to think together in innovative ways.

Creative leadership: The strength of ideas: The power of the imagination

Exposure to real diversity inspires the sort of daring exploration that amounts to an exploration of yourself of your own diverse interests, your far-flung curiosities and your often surprising skills. Without such a brave exploration, life runs the risk of turning out exactly as planned - or, even worse, as it is The raw materials and tangible products of the past have given way to human brainpower and innovative thoughts. As a result, jobs and organizations are less hierarchical, welcoming both genders and all ages and any bright idea that might prove marketable worldwide.

How creative leaders think: Experimental findings and cases

To direct innovative efforts, leaders must possess creative thinking skills. The available evidence, however, suggests that leaders may express their creative thinking skills in a unique way. In the present effort, it is argued that leader creativity is based on experiential cases, a form of situated cognition, where idea generation occurs through evaluative operations. Evidence supporting this argument is provided using a series of experimental studies as well as incidents of real-world creative leadership in manufacturing, finance, and service industries. The implications of these observations for understanding leader performance, leader development, and leader-follower interactions are discussed.

Taking the lead

In an interview, John Ryan, a former US Navy pilot and Vice Admiral who took over as head of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in summer 2007, talked about leadership. He thinks effective leadership involves at least three key components: setting direction, creating alignment and gaining commitment. It's important that leaders set a direction and then encourage people to follow in that direction. The best people do it well and others not so well. Creative leadership involves people thinking beyond the boundaries that limit individuals and organizations and if you think about that it extends beyond the typical skills that are associated with routine leadership. Business schools teach people how to analyze data, coach employees, run projects and so on but at CCL they try to go beyond that and teach people to be innovative. They will be concentrating on two broad areas. He thinks they are the best in the world on individual leadership development.

Leadership skill and types

The objective of this group is to identify what is unique about R&D leadership. What are the leadership skills unique to R&D leadership, and what are the natural gaps and blind spots. In addition to its original research, the group is looking at previous research to identify the key leadership characteristics studied. In his analysis of the results of a long-term study, Robert Keller (2006) demonstrates that a leader's capacity for transformational leadership, or the ability to inspire through a vision, positively predicts team performance for research project teams over time. Having surveyed the available literature, the working group explored the subject further by conducting a series of facilitated discussions with R&D leaders who had demonstrated success in leadership roles over an extended period of time.

Organizational identification as a mediator of transformational leadership outcomes

Transformational leaders articulate an organizational vision which creates a group identity. They then foster identification with that group through behaviours such as individualized consideration and fostering acceptance of group goals. An integration of the transformational leadership and organizational identification suggests that these behaviours may affect follower organizational identification. Thus, this dissertation examines organizational identification as a mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership and follower attitudes and performance.

Based on a field survey, organizational identification mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and follower satisfaction, turnover intentions, and performance. That is, followers of transformational leaders were more likely to report higher organizational identification than followers of less transformational leaders. Followers with higher organizational identification reported higher job and leader satisfaction, higher contextual performance, and lower turnover intentions than individuals with lower organizational identification.

Further research is needed to more clearly understand the processes by which transformational leadership leads to organizational identification over the course of the leader-follower relationship, as well as what moderators might impact this relationship.

Leadership and the Power of INFLUENCE

The idea with this approach is to strike a deal with someone to get a specific desired action: "If you do this, I will do that." This can be an effective approach when you are dealing with someone that you may not have a strong relationship with.

It is also effective for people who tend to have the constant mentality of, "What's in it for me?" Unfortunately, this mentality is prevalent in the younger generation.

Leadership is the ability to influence others. You can make a choice to influence people cohesively or forcefully. The use of forceful influence is manifested in people who use positional leadership to get things done through others. They use their title, position or badge to get people to comply or follow policy. Forceful influence actually does cause people to follow policy - in your presence and to your face. However, in your absence, people will undermine your authority and resist following policy.

There are 10 ways to influence people, and you should never have to resort to two of them. Combinations of these approaches can sometimes be effective as well. Consider how you go about influencing people and see which approach might be the most effective for the situations you face.


The concept here is using a step-by- step factual reasoning process to convince someone. This is an effective approach for very analytical people who need to see the logic of why they should or should not move toward your point of view. Logic is usually the foundation of an influential approach. If something makes sense to people, they are more apt to continue listening to your idea or your argument.

This approach can backfire if you do not actually have the facts or evidence to back up your argument. If you are attempting to use logic and someone asks you for "proof" that you cannot produce, you have lost your ability to influence the person in that particular situation.


This approach entails getting someone to envision what could happen instead of using factual reasoning. This approach appeals more to the emotions of an individual. An example of using vision to influence people is saying something like, "Imagine what our department would look like if we implemented a strong leadership mentoring program. We would have a department full of principle-based leaders who use our core values as the basis of the actions they take. This is my vision for this program, and your involvement is imperative to its success."

This approach can backfire if you're not clear in your vision or passionate in your presentation of a vision. People find it very difficult to follow leaders who are vague in their vision and expectations.


The concept here is that you are showing someone that something is possible by your own role model example or the example of someone else. Inspiration can include your current and past successes that encourage others to reach higher. Your work ethic and passion for the job can also serve as a form of inspiration for others and influence their behavior. People get inspired by people who overcome great obstacles to succeed. When you show tenacity, character and integrity, people are inspired by your example.

This approach can backfire if your actions contradict your words - that does not inspire people. People respond more to what they see from you than what they hear. People do not care what you hang on a wall and call a mission statement. They want to see that mission statement lived out every day. People do not care what you call your core values and put in a pretty frame and hang on a wall. They want to see those core values come to life in every decision you make and every action you take. That is what inspires people.


This concept involves asking other people questions so they can participate in the process. People find it very difficult to buy into missions, visions and goals that they didn't help create. It is much easier to influence people when they are involved in the brainstorming, planning and execution of important projects or changes. By letting people participate, you will gain much more support in the process.

This technique can backfire if you have no intentions of taking their input or using any of their ideas. People become very frustrated when leaders project an air of "openness to input," but then do nothing with the input that is provided.


This approach addresses the concept of praising people if you want to influence their behavior. Providing positive feedback often results in increased positive behavior. Some leaders do not need a lot of positive feedback or uplift, so they make the wrong assumption that everyone is that way. Some people truly appreciate being acknowledged for what they have contributed before you ask them to contribute more.

This approach can backfire if it is laid on too thick. People will feel like you are trying to "butter them up" if you pay them compliments only when you want something. Being consistent in your praise of others is the key to positive influence.


The idea with this approach is to strike a deal with someone to get a specific desired action: "If you do this, I will do that." This can be an effective approach when you are dealing with someone that you may not have a strong relationship with. It is also effective for people who tend to have the constant mentality of, "What's in it for me?" Unfortunately, this mentality is prevalent in the younger generation.

This approach can backfire if you do not follow through on your end of the deal. People will lose trust in you, and your ability to influence in the future will be compromised. Do what you say you will do, when you said you would do it and how you said it would be done.


With this approach, you are simply asking someone to do a favor as a way to influence their actions. If asked humbly, people generally want to help. If you continue to tap the same people over and over for favors, it will compromise your ability to use this influence approach in the future. Unfortunately, 20% of the people on teams do 80% of the work. That becomes increasingly frustrating for the 20%! Spread the favors around so the workload doesn't fall on the same people every time.

This approach can backfire if people expect a favor in return and you do not provide one. The next time you ask for a favor, you will probably not get it.


This approach involves the process of letting someone know who else is doing what you are asking them to do. It's a form of positive peer pressure. An example would be saying something like, "Here are three other departments that have implemented the same program I am proposing. I am going to provide you with names and phone numbers of people you can talk to so you can find out what their experience was with the program."

This approach can backfire if you are dealing with people who want to do things their own way and refuse to listen to what other people or organizations might be doing. Th ese types of people will often reject what other departments are doing just because they didn't think of it themselves. Situations like this may require several approaches to influence the behavior.


The concept here is using policy to influence behavior. An example would be using department policy to correct the behavior of a firefighter who has been late on a few occasions. Using policy would be sitting the firefighter down and saying, "Our department policy is that we are here, ready to go, turnouts on the rig by 0800. You need to be here on time."

This approach can backfire if you attempt to shove policy down people's throats. People will comply in your presence and undermine you and the policy in your absence. Policy should be used in conjunction with mentoring and coaching. Instead of just using policy to change or influence behavior, you would want to let the firefighter know how lateness affects other crew members and find out what some of the underlying issues may be that are contributing to the tardiness issue.


This approach involves the use of positional power to influence behavior. You force people to do what you ask by shoving a badge in their face: "I am your captain and you will listen to me." Force should be saved for extreme situations.

This approach will easily backfire if force is indicative of your overall approach. People do not respond well to the use offeree. As with policy, when you use force, people will do what you want in your presence, but will then undermine your leadership in your absence.

Real leaders use positive forms of influence. If you can master the cohesive forms of influence, you can gain the support of those around you

Leadership Realities

Few aspiring or emerging leaders appreciate the many challenges of the job. Here are 10 challenges to prepare for if your ambition is leadership:

Your job never stops, 24/7/365.

You're expected to provide answers quickly, and speed is of the essence (and yet not always prudent).

You are criticized and blamed publicly.

You must be constantly learning on the job.

You must deal effectively with conflicts.

You must be clear about what drives you personally.

You and your team must be clear on the firm's societal purpose, aspirations, values and core capabilities -- and then create alignment.

You need authentic self-assurance.

You must develop other leaders and prepare a successor.

You must deal with losing your leadership position.

Great Leaders

Great leaders have a unique combination of qualities. They think strategically and with vision and can execute, yet are flexible. They are politically savvy, yet have high emotional intelligence, compassion and empathy. They are assertive, yet humble; trustworthy, and trust others. This unique combination of qualities makes them exceptional coaches and mentors -- servant leaders who focus on meeting the needs of those they lead, knowing that support base must be strong for them to succeed. This article examines four specific qualities of great leaders that are indispensable for them to be successful and effective:



Visionary thinking,

Emotional intelligence

Real Time examples of successful leadership

China's Leadership Role during the Global Financial Crisis

China's economic growth performance over the past three decades, averaging 9.7%, and especially during the most current global financial crisis has led many countries to change their perceptions of China. China is no longer viewed as an adversary, but rather as a significant partner, and possible leader, in helping the rest of the world to recover from this financial meltdown. China's leadership role was witnessed during the November, 2008, G20 summit in Washington and later in London, when China's President Hu Jintao was given a place at a table, along with other developed nations, recognizing China's economic global leadership; the third largest economy in the world, second largest exporter and third largest importer. However, many argue that China is unprepared to lead the world out of the global financial crisis. That is, China is not positioned to take the lead. During the recent global financial crisis China did not go unaffected. During 2008 China began to experience the impact from the global financial crisis. Their economic growth rate for the first quarter was 10.6%, second quarter 10.1%, third quarter 9% and fourth quarter 6.8%, with an annual average of 9%. This decline, although favorable as measured by global standards, demonstrates how the global financial crisis has affected China's economy. However, China's leadership response to the global financial crisis was influenced by their assessment of the nature, duration, and causes of the global financial meltdown and they suggested that the origin of the crisis was initiated in the U.S due to a lack of financial sector regulations, loose banking regulatory guidelines and a weak international financial structure. Therefore, during June 2008 the Chinese leadership, recognizing that the global financial crisis could affect China, proactively developed economic growth strategies to minimize the impact. The result of China's internal response resulted in an 8.7% economic growth rate for 2009, thereby shifting the declining trend of 2008 upwards.

Shaw and Toshiba Bolster Global Strategic Partnership

"Toshiba and [Shaw] have a proven relationship combining our expertise and resources in nuclear power," said J.M. Bernhard Jr., Shaw's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Now with our agreement with Toshiba, Shaw is able to promote not only Westinghouse AP1000, the world's first Generation III+ nuclear technology, but also ABWR, the world's most proven advanced nuclear technology, to our customers.""Toshiba and Shaw already have achieved a joint global leadership position in the nuclear power industry," said Yasuharu Igarashi, corporate senior vice president of Toshiba Corp. "Our new agreement further solidifies our relationship and position in the industry."


After understanding and analyzing the theoretical and practical aspects of leadership from different perspectives, I have now really understood the importance leadership in today's world and what it brings to this world.

Every organisation success or failure depends on successful leader. Without a good leader an Organisation might survive in the market but cannot succeed.

I have constructed a list of leadership qualities that's needs to inculcated or developed within me to be successful leader tomorrow. I have used David Hakala "Top 10 Leadership Qualities" to construct the list leadership capabilities which is required to be success leader in Global business service industry.


Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. Integrity is one of basic quality that I need to possess to be successful leader. Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity.

I need to display high integrity to make sure that all the team members follow me and trust me 100%.


Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. Dedication is another important quality that I need to possess. The more dedicated I am in completing a task and moving towards accomplishing the vision will set me as a standing example for my team members or followers t to be dedicated to their roles and responsibilities. Dedication also indicates there are no 9 to 5 jobs in the team; it is just an opportunity to be grabbed and make sure we achieve something great.


Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. From the experience I have gained from Hewlett Packard, the important thing I have noticed is not giving credit or appreciating or rewarding the employees when they have done a great job. I need to make sure my followers or team members are always appreciated, rewarded or credited for their excellent work. It is one of the best ways to keep your followers motivated. I need to take the responsibility for failures in the team.

"To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership."


Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. I need be humble leader which indicates my followers that we are all one and status does play any role here.


Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking.

Openness is one of the key qualities that I need to develop myself which will build mutual respect and trust between me and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision. It also encourages followers to fell free interact with me.


Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. It is one of the important qualities that I need to develop and inculcate to be successful leader today. Creativity is become part values of almost every organization that exists today. In the organization that I have worked Hewlett Packard "Meaningful Innovation" is one of the core values.

This will help me see things that others have not seen and thus leading the followers to new directions and it also encourages the followers to come up creative ideas.


Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. Fairness is one quality which is not found in the leaders present today. I need to fair and square to every follower. I need to make sure followers are treated equally and judgments are passed only after thorough investigation from both the sides. This will result in rewarding a leader with loyalty and dedication.


Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. I need make sure that I communicate clearly the followers what's expected from them and also at the same time understand the expectations from the followers. If the expectations are communicated and understood perfectly it will definitely help me to become a successful leader.

Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders

Sense of humor

A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. I have cultivate this quality called "Sense of Humor" which might sound irrelevant to successful leader but this helps to energize followers and form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.

These leadership qualities will not help me to be successful leader in Global business services sector but will also help me to successful leader in any sector.

If these qualities are cultivated and applied well by me when I join an organization after completing my MBA program will definitely help to be successful individual and leader.