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Leadership can be considered as a subject that has an extended excited importance among people. The term connotes images of energetic persons who command organizations to attain organizational goals and objectives effectively and efficiently. There is a widespread of definitions for the term "leadership". Researchers usually describe this term according to their individual point of views and the features of the leadership experience of most significance to them. Some of those definitions are:
"Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of organization. " (House et al, 1999, p.184)
"Leadership is about making articulating visions, embodying values, and creating the environment within which things can be accomplished." (Richards & Engle, 1986, p.206)
"Organizations are complex systems in which leadership is only one of several significant influences." (Campbell, 1970, p.90)
These definitions reflect the assumption that it is understandable that all organizations need good leaders and the success of an organization depends upon good leadership. The most crucial thing about leaders is that they provide a context for performances, the conditions that control the aptitude of staff to contribute to organizational goals by setting direction for the company, helping them to visualize what organization might achieve, encourage and inspire.
The main objective of this paper is to figure out how leaders can be indeed develop with the characteristics mentioned above by looking at different theories of leadership E.g. Traits Theory, Behavioral Theories and Contingency Theories and other factors while discussing role of effective leaders by demonstrating "Not all leaders are born but they are made."
What is "Leadership"?
As discussed in the introduction leadership has been defined in terms of traits, behaviors, power, dealings, and role relationships and as a profession of an organizational arrangement.
"Leadership is the process of making sense of what people are doing together so that people will understand and be committed." (Drath & Palus, 1994, p.04)
These factors will help to determine how well a leader is able to influence employees and accomplish company's objectives. Leadership can be viewed as a specialized role or as a shared influence process. The person who is expected to carry out the specialized role is chosen as a leader. Leadership as a shared influence process suggests that process is established naturally contained by a communal system and is diffused among the subordinates. Most of the modern theories suggest that leadership is a communal process rather than performing a specialized role. Therefore the term leadership can be finally classified as a process of influencing other subordinates in the organization to identify with and be in agreement about what requiring to be performed and how it can be completed successfully and as the procedure of facilitating each subordinate and take shared efforts to achieve shared goals.
Importance of Leadership for organizational success
Leadership is of vital importance to organizational success. Without a leadership the organization will move at a snail's pace towards the goal achievement, stagnate and eventually lose their way. Basically without a leadership an organization cannot exist. Researchers have found visible links between leadership and organizational outcomes are existent, through decisions regarding strategic goals, organizations arrangement, staffing and policies. Subordinates in the company are committed to carry out leader's orders to attain goals of the organization. Therefore they can work out the orders or simply ignore them if the leader did not satisfy their requirements and expectations. Then the whole organization's performance will degrade and ultimately the company will be unproductive. So a good leadership can be considered as a crucial factor in order to develop a successful organization. Leaders must also be ready to deal with sudden changes in the environmental factors and crises which are some other factors affecting the success of a company by helping the staff to understand events, realize why they are relevant and make out rising threats and opportunities. If the organization has already lost its way, an effective leader can assist it by creating an agreement about objectives, priorities and tactics. When performing a complex, stressful task requires dedication and diligence in a case of obstacles and setbacks. Leaders boost eagerness among the workers, dedication in subordinates throughout the process of achieving desired goals and confidence in them so that the attempts will be successful. Another important fact is that leaders build mutual trust and cooperation among workers so it will be easy to deal and make their minds up in a productive way. The efficiency of an organization requires at least a contemporary amount of combined identification. Leaders assist in creating this. In a highly competitive environment learning is an essential activity for the success of an organization. Leaders encourage and facilitate workers so they can achieve the above fact. When considering the above stated facts it is clear that leadership functions are of vital importance to an organization's success.
Different Theories of Leadership
The leadership literature has been categorized by considering major approaches, perspectives and according to factors such as distinctiveness of leaders, followers and situations. Most theories emphasized a single approach rather than multiple approaches. Recent theories focused on leader characteristics such as traits, behavior or authority.
Different theory types are:
Ohio State university leadership studies
Michigan leadership studies
Leadership grid model
3. Contingency Theories
Path-Goal Theory of leadership
Situational Leadership Theory
Hersy - Blanchard Situational leadership model
This is one of the earliest approaches. Trait Theory suggests that leaders are endowed with particular traits that are not possessed by other people which mean that there are integrated patterns of individual distinctiveness that reveal a variety of personal differences and further be reliable in a range of company situations. Many researches had been conducted about this matter during this period but most of them failed to find a link between any traits and success of an organization.
There were three perspectives in this theory. They are:
Socio Analytic Perspective
Some of the leader traits considered are:
Demographic vs. Task Competence vs. Interpersonal
Implications for practice
These theories were developed when trait approach became unsuccessful and were focused mainly on specific behaviors of a leader. Researchers used various methods such as interviews, questionnaires, on field experiments and even laboratory experiments to determine which factors distinguished effective leaders from ineffective leaders. Most of these researches had been conducted in accordance to patterns set by universities like Ohio, Michigan etc.
Ohio University Leadership Studies
This study is mainly aimed at discovering possible traits. Once they identify those different types they are asked to develop questionnaires describing each behavior. Initially they found about 1800 examples but later reduced it to 150. After analyzing these researchers came to a conclusion that there are two major behavior groups which strongly correlated. They are:
Consideration - People oriented behavioral leaders
Initiating Structure - Task oriented leaders
In this matter most of the leaders fell between extremely high and extremely low conditions of these two factors.
2) Michigan Leadership Studies
After Ohio studies, this can be considered as the second main research which studies were conducted in Ohio State University. The objective of this research is to find a links between leader's behavior, work group and work group act amounts. This research came up with three observations which distinguish an effective leader from an ineffective one. They are:
Task - Oriented Behavior (Effective Managers don't perform same work as the workers wasting their time)
Relations - Oriented Behavior (Effective Managers are helpful and provide guidance to subordinates)
Participative Leadership (Effective Managers advised and had discussions in a group basis rather than an individual approach)
3) Leadership Grid
This grid consists of two axis X and Y, where X axis denoted grid of concern for production and Y axis denoted grid of concern for people. Both the axis ranged from number 1 (low) to number 9 (high). This grid provide results for different leadership styles such as Accommodating, Opportunistic Style, Paternalistic Style etc. and seven behavioral elements - Inquiry, Initiative, Advocacy, Conflict Resolution, Critique, Decision Making and Resilience.
Theories that were discussed earlier did not give a direct approach when determining the most advantageous leadership in a particular incident. But if leader traits and behaviors are explained along with characteristics of an effective leader it will definitely provide a more direct approach rather than earlier theories. So basically this type of theories suggest than leader can be considered as a function of different types of contingencies structured accordance with subordinates, tasks or other group variables.
Hersy & Blanchard Situational Leadership Model
In this model leadership is characterized as task behavior and relationship behavior. The researchers identified four major behavioral types and maturity levels of leadership.
S1 - Telling
S2 - Selling
S3 - Participating
S4 - Delegating
M1 - Unable but Insecure
M2 - Unable & Willing
M3 - Capable but Willing
M4 - Very Capable & Confident
2) Path - Goal Theory of Leadership
This was developed in order to explain how the behavior of the leader influences and motivate the performance of subordinates in the organization. Four leadership styles were introduced. They are:
Supportive Leadership - Consider the needs of workers, create a friendly environment within organization.
Directive Leadership - Give guidance and explain workers what they must do while following rules and procedures in the organization and schedule work to be done.
Participative Leadership - Take workers opinions and any suggestions into consideration.
Achievement Oriented Leadership - Set goals and standards and make the employees believe that they will attain desired goals of the organization.
When looking at all of the theories explained earlier and if we consider them one by one it is clear that earliest approach - Trait theory suggested that leaders are born. Individual quality is the distinctive arrangement of psychological characteristics that will affect the success of an organization. This is clearly seen in people who are born as a leader, there are few certain traits which distinguished a leader from a non - leader. But these theories were later not taken into account in a massive way because they were proved wrong. When referring to behavioral and contingency theories they simply suggest that when it comes to leadership all leaders are not born, they are made. These paid attention not only to internal statuses or mental qualities but too many other factors as explained under each theory type earlier. Leaders can be made when people learn, when they are taught about it and with observation. Knowledge and skills are direct factors which contribute towards the process of leadership straightforward. Other factors explained give a leader some distinctiveness and made that particular leader unique among others. So as explained in most of the modern theories it is clear that people can learn leadership skills if they are willing and have courage to do it and ultimately become an effective leader without having any born makings of a leader.
After watchfully and systematically read the facts provided along with the theories it can be clearly seen that anyone can be a leader if that person processes basics of leadership. Leadership is mounting trade. Recent studies have come up with statistics that leaders learn about 80% of their skills regarding the employment. Also they emulate their behavior by looking at other leaders perform. This is a type of skill that can be achieved over a period of time by practicing it hard and in a dedicated manner. There are some people who are born with leadership qualities. But even it is like that they also must practice and develop it gradually by working hard and this process takes some time complete. Finally without any doubts it is clear that not all the leaders born, it is through one's education, ability, mind training, perseverance and aptitude towards learning that will eventually produce an effective leader which indeed prove the main aim of this paper "Not all leaders are born but they are made."