The Leadership Theories And Management Traits Commerce Essay

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.

Great Man theories assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent - that great leaders are born, not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term "Great Man" was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership.

2. Trait Theories:

Similar in some ways to "Great Man" theories, trait theories assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders. If particular traits are key features of leadership, then how do we explain people who possess those qualities but are not leaders? This question is one of the difficulties in using trait theories to explain leadership.

3. Contingency Theories:

Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations. Success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation.

4. Situational Theories:

Situational theories propose that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making.

5. Behavioral Theories:

Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviorism, this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.

6. Participative Theories:

Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account. These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the input of others.

7. Management Theories:

Management theories (also known as "Transactional theories") focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.

8. Relationship Theories:

Relationship theories (also known as "Transformational theories") focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards.

Cherry, k.

Models of Leadership

John Adair, of University of Surrey & Sandhurst, described three levels of leadershipLeadership_levels.gif

Team leadership (control of a single team)

Operational leadership (control of a number of teams which make up a complete operation)

Strategic Leadership (control of the entire business/ organisation)

Leadership is required at all levels of an organisation, and teamwork is required to bind the teams together.

A leader needs to :-

Define the task


Brief / communicate





Set an example

As a leader moves up this pyramid, they need to also:-

Set a direction

Align peoples' efforts

Bring out the best in people

Act as a change agent

Handle uncertainty & crises

An interesting question to ponder is "Why is it that one person is accepted as a leader in a group (and not someone else)?"

You can be appointed as a manager, but you aren't a leader till people chose to follow you"

John Adair

A Leader needs the following qualities:-

He/she must personify the key qualities required in your field technically competent)


Integrity (required to generate trust)

Toughness, fairness and being demanding

Warmth, humanity and tact

Humility (arrogance means you don't learn)

These days most people recognise that there are two distinctly different types of leadership:-undefined

Positional: that comes from your position in the organisation, and

Situational: that emerges from what is happening on the ground (think of the person soldiers actually follow under fire)

Knowledge: that derives from being technically knowledgeable & competent ('knowledge is power')

A leader, to be effective, needs to derive his/her authority from all three sources.

Xenophon, an Athenian general and student of Socrates, asked "Why do sailors, who are undisciplined when ashore, obey the captain on board in a storm? Because he knows…"

In the 1960s, working on behalf of the US military tried to analyse & understand Leadership. They observed two types of behaviour:-

Actions to achieve the task

Actions to look after the 'people' issues.

Meanwhile in the UK, John Adair, then teaching at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst carried out some observation work on young officer cadets handling leadership tasks. He noticed that the effective leaders met three sets of needs:-

The needs of the task

The needs of the team undertaking the task

The needs of each individual within the team

He shifted the attention from describing the behaviour of the leader to understanding the needs of the situation in these three key areas.

Each group, team and organisation has it own unique culture, made up as follows:-

A leader needs to establish a real partnership with the rest of the organisation to meet its aims and treat people as partners; they will respond accordingly.


The Impact of Leadership in Organizations/Industries


The context of leadership has lead to various interpretations, though most have categorized leadership as the ability to influence both leaders and followers in order to achieve organizational objectives through processes of change.   The question then arises: are all managers' good and effective leaders?  Should organizations adopt a single headed approach to leadership?  The analysis of leadership is broken down into three parts: individual, group and organizational.  The interrelatedness of each level has a tremendous impact on how leaders are classified and viewed.  Initial leadership theories focused primarily on the describing traits of a leader, however, subsequent theories later tried to explain the phenomenon through behavioural approaches.  Motivation and process theories were later developed to determine the relationship and affect a leader had on the individual and group within an organization. 


Coaching was a prominent development in the world of Organizational Behaviour (OB) as organizations sought improved methods for feedback and to regenerate their culture.  Although this practiced has positively affected many organizations, the short-term results of coaching gave way to and integrated with Level 3 leadership.  Level 3 leadership is the incorporation of both transactional and transformational leadership styles; however, for organizations to achieve prominence and market share in their respective industry, the further development of leaders to a Level 5 leadership style was required.


As position, power, control and achievement grew with the leader's success, some well known companies such as Nike and GE under the realms of Phil Knight and Jack Welch respectively, have found themselves in the midst of a true narcissistic leader.  It will be demonstrated that although such a leader may be detrimental to the organization, narcissistic leaders have also proven vital to the revival of these same organizations. 


Succession planning is critical to the long-term growth of a company in order to retain and attract the new leaders of tomorrow.  Organizations constantly require the direction and control an effective leader has influenced in the past, and proper planning for the successor whom would lead for continued success.  The difficulties and challenges that leaders face in the ever so changing environment and coping with such monumental tasks such as interface management, change management, knowledge management and group dynamics within projects has been difficult to balance and overcome.  An effective leader need not foster just a vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, but also have deep personal humility and an intense professional will.

Sturek, J.2005,


Current requirement of leadership in Organization/Industry/Sector

Leadership can make or break an organization. An effective leader needs to inspire others and motivate them to accomplish whatever task is at hand. In deciding who should fill leadership roles, which qualities should be required?

Integrity - Integrity is the most important quality a leader must posses. Integrity alone will not make an effective leader, but a leader without integrity will be detrimental to the success of any organization. Integrity is necessary to build trusting relationships. Even the most charismatic leaders will lose their following if they can not be trusted. Leaders who lack integrity can be harmful to an organizations goals and even lead to legal problems. A candidate who has proven themselves to lack integrity should not be considered for a leadership position.

Attitude - A positive attitude goes a long way. Good leaders are always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Optimism is often the best motivational tool when things are looking down. Leaders who are able to maintain their cool will have a positive effect on the people they need to motivate when the going gets tough.

Selflessness - Effective leaders do not appear to be selfish. A leader who is willing to spread the praise and except responsibility for failures will gain respect. Leaders who do not seek glory, will often find it. Individuals who seek to impress their superiors are not often the best candidates for leadership positions. It will be more beneficial for an organization to promote individuals who are more concerned with the job at hand rather than those who are concerned with what others think of them.

Commitment - Leaders set the tone in an organization. If the leader is willing to go the extra mile to accomplish the task at hand, others will follow suit. The opposite is true. If the leadership is not willing to set personal desires aside when it is necessary to get the job done, others will not.

Compassion - It is important for leaders to always stay the course. However, they must not let their personal drive and commitment cause them to lose sight of the personal aspects of leadership. Leaders must be able to be compassionate towards others. When people do not think that the organization cares about their personal needs they will not be as productive. Leaders need to know when to be compassionate. Too much compassion can be seen as weakness and may cause some resentment. Compassion in moderation breeds loyalty.

There are many things to consider when deciding who should fill a leadership position. Often times the candidates for the job will have a variety of characteristics that are considered desirable and some undesirable. Integrity should always be the first consideration. A combination of integrity and these other desirable characteristics will often be the best choice for a leadership position.


Future requirement of leadership in Organization/Industry/Sector

Many qualities of effective leadership - characteristics such as communicating vision, demonstrating integrity, focusing on results, and ensuring customer satisfaction - will never change. But five new factors have emerged as clearly more important in the future:

1. Thinking globally

The trend toward globally connected markets will become stronger. Leaders will need to understand the economic, cultural, legal, and political ramifications. Leaders will need to see themselves as citizens of the world with an expanded field of vision and values.

Two factors making global thinking a key variable for the future are the dramatic projected increases in global trade and integrated global technology, such as e-commerce. Future leaders will have to learn how to manage global production, marketing, and sales teams to achieve competitive advantage.

New technology is another factor that makes global thinking a requirement for future leaders. New technology will make it feasible to export white-collar work around the world. Computer programmers in India will communicate with designers in Italy to help develop products that are manufactured in Indonesia and sold in Brazil. Technology can help break down barriers to global business. Leaders who can make globalization work in their favor will have a huge competitive advantage.

2. Appreciating cultural diversity

Future leaders will also need to appreciate cultural diversity, defined as diversity of leadership style, industry style, individual behaviors and values, race, and sex. They will need to understand not only the economic and legal differences, but also the social and motivational differences that are part of working around the world. Understanding other cultures is not just good business practice - it is a key to competing successfully in the future.

An appreciation of cultural diversity will need to include both the big and the small things that form a unique culture. Religion is one of the most important variables affecting behaviour in a region. Smaller issues, such as the meaning of gifts, personal greetings, or timeliness, will also need to be better understood.

The ability to motivate people in different cultures will become increasingly important. Motivational strategies that are effective in one culture may be offensive in another culture. The same recognition that could be a source of pride to one could be a source of embarrassment to another.

Leaders who can understand, appreciate, and motivate colleagues in multiple cultures will become an increasingly valued resource.

3. Demonstrating technological savvy

Many future leaders who have been raised with technology view it as an integrated part of their lives. Many present leaders still view technological savvy as important for staff people and operations, but not for them. We need not all become gifted technicians or computer scientists, but we need to:

Understand how the intelligent use of new technology can help us

Recruit, develop, and maintain a network of technically competent people

Know how to make and manage investments in new technology

Be positive role models in leading the use of new technology

Organizations with technologically savvy leaders will have a competitive advantage. Without technological savvy, the future of integrated global partnerships and networks would be impossible.

4. Building partnerships and alliances

More organizations are forming alliances today. This trend will be even more dramatic in the future. Reengineering, restructuring, and downsizing are leading to a world where outsourcing of all but core brand-related activities may become the norm. The ability to negotiate complex alliances and manage complex networks of relationships is becoming increasingly important. Joint leadership of new business models is vital to a successful global venture.

The changing role of customers, suppliers, and partners has implications for leaders. In the past it was clear who your friends (customers and collaborators) and enemies (competitors) were. In the future, these roles will become more blurred. Building positive, long-term, win-win relationships becomes critical.

5. Sharing leadership

Sharing leadership is a requirement, not an option. In an alliance structure, telling partners what to do and how to do it may quickly lead to having no partners.

In dealing with knowledge workers - people who know more about what they are doing than their managers do - old models of leadership will not work. Future leaders will operate in a mode of asking for input and sharing information. Knowledge workers may well be difficult to keep. They will likely have little organizational loyalty and view themselves as professional free agents who will work for the leader who provides the most developmental challenge and opportunity. Skills in hiring and retaining key talent will be valuable for the leader of the future.

Most high-potential future leaders see the value of these new competencies and are willing to have their performance measured by them. Future leaders may be recruited to help mentor present leaders. If future leaders have the wisdom to learn from the experience of present leaders, and if present leaders have the wisdom to learn new competencies from future leaders, they can share leadership in a way that benefits the organization.

Goldsmith, M 2010.


Proposal of Leadership Development for:

The Present requirements

Today, effective leadership is commonly viewed as central to organizational success, and more importance is placed on leadership development than ever before. Developing "more and better" individual leaders is no longer the sole focus of leadership development, although it remains a critical aspect. Increasingly, leadership is defined not as what the leader does but rather as a process that engenders and is the result of relationships-relationships that focus on the

interactions of both leaders and collaborators instead of focusing on only the competencies of the leaders. Leadership development practices based on this paradigm are more difficult to design and implement than those that have been

popular for the last several decades in which the objective was to train leaders to be good managers. In light of this, several themes describe the state of leadership development today:

1. Leadership development increasingly occurring

within the context of work;

2. Critical reflection about the role of competencies

in leadership development;

3. Revisiting the issue of work/life balance.

Leadership Development Within the Context of Work

Leadership development initiatives today typically offer performance support and real world application of skills through such methods as training programs, coaching and mentoring, action learning, and developmental assignments. Combining instruction with a real business setting helps people gain crucial skills and allows the

organizations to attack relevant, crucial, real-time issues. The goal of leadership development ultimately involves action not knowledge.

Therefore, development today means providing people opportunities to learn from their work rather than taking them away from their work to learn. It is critical to integrate those experiences with each other and with other developmental

methods. State of the art leadership development now occurs in the context of ongoing work initiatives that are tied to strategic business imperatives

(Dotlich & Noel, 1998; Moxley & O'Connnor Wison, 1998).

Furthermore, best practice organizations recognize leadership as a key component of jobs at all levels and are committed to creating leaders throughout their organizations. Increasingly, organizations have CEOs who model leadership

development through a strong commitment to teach leaders internally. For example, Carly Fiorina at HP is annually teaching at 12 leading business results classes. The targets of leadership training programs are no longer relatively isolated individuals who were "anointed" by senior management. Instead of the thin horizontal

slices, the program design is likely to involve work groups or several vertical slices of the organization (Fulmer, 1997).

Critical Reflection about the Role of Competencies in Leadership Development

Although the field is moving away from viewing leadership and leadership development solely in terms of leader attributes, skills, and traits, leadership competencies remain a core dimension of leadership development activities

in most organizations. A recent benchmarking study found that leading-edge companies define leadership by a set of competencies that guide leadership development at all levels (Barrett & Beeson, 2002). A majority of organizations have

identified leadership competencies, or at least tried to define the characteristics and qualities of successful leaders. How then are leadership competencies most effectively used in leadership development?

Leadership competencies need to correspond to the organization's particular strategy and business model (Intagliata, et al., 2000). Leadership development programs implemented in isolation of the business environment rarely bring about

profound or long-lasting changes; therefore, organizations must develop leaders and leadership competencies that correspond with and are specific to their distinct business challenges and goals. While common leadership qualities or competencies characterize effective leaders, developing such core leader qualities may not

be enough. The leadership competencies of a best-practice organization uniquely fit the organization, its particular strategy, and its business model (APQC, 2000).

This perspective has also been applied to the individual level. Not only may organizations differ in their identification of critical leadership competencies, some would argue it is unlikely all leaders within an organization must all possess

the same set of competencies to be successful- or make the organization successful.

According to this perspective, leaders should not be accountable for demonstrating a particular set of behaviors but rather should be held accountable for desired outcomes. This perspective looks beyond competencies, which have a tendency to

focus on "what needs fixing," and instead focuses attention on the whole person and on peoples' strengths and natural talents, not on a reductionist list of idiosyncratic

competencies (Buckingham & Vosburgh, 2003). Development is increasingly seen as a process of developing and leveraging strengths and of understanding and minimizing the impact of weaknesses.

Work/Life Balance Revisited

Health and well-being at work are issues of increasing interest and attention, including their relevance to leadership. In an environment of constant change and unrelenting competition, managing stress and personal renewal to avoid burn-out are becoming a central focus for leadership development. Dealing with multiple and

competing demands of a fast-paced career and personal/family relationships and responsibilities is a common challenge, and there is increasing recognition that a person's work and personal life have reciprocal effects on each other. We know that individual leader effectiveness is enhanced when people manage multiple roles at

home and at work but we continue to learn more about the organizational benefits and maybe even the benefits to family and community as well. We also know leadership effectiveness is correlated with better health and exercising (McDowell-Larsen, et al., 2002). We need to better understand which assumptions about

organizational life are challenged by the idea of work/life integration as well as which changes organizations need to make to facilitate greater work/life integration.

Challenging work/life situations are integrally related to the need for, and development of, resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity or hardship, a characteristic that can be developed at any time during a person's

life. It is an active process of self-righting and growth that helps people deal with hardships in a manner that is conducive to development (Moxley & Pulley, 2004). One of the fundamental characteristics of resilience is that it allows individuals to take difficult experiences in their lives and use them as opportunities to learn.

This, in turn, develops their ability to face hardships successfully in the future.

Proposal for Future requirements of leadership in Organization/Industry/Sector

Several trends will have a major role in our future understanding and practice of leadership and leadership development. They represent, in different ways, the critical role changing contexts will play in leadership development.

1. Leadership competencies will still matter;

2. Globalization/internationalization of leadership

concepts, constructs, and development


3. The role of technology;

4. Increasing interest in the integrity and character

of leaders;

5. Pressure to demonstrate return on investment;

6. New ways of thinking about the nature of leadership & leadership development

Leadership Competencies Will Still Matter

Leadership competencies will still matter, but they will change as the competitive environment changes. According to a Conference Board study(Barrett & Beeson, 2002), five critical forces will shape leadership competencies (requirements) in

the future: 1) global competition, 2) information technology, 3) the need for rapid and flexible organizations, 4) teams, and 5) differing employee needs. Given these, most organizations will not need the "Lone Ranger" type of leader as much as a leader who can motivate and coordinate a team-based approach. This new environment will have greater ambiguity and uncertainty, and many if not all aspects of leadership (e.g., strategy development) will require a more collaborative

approach to leadership. The model of effective leadership in the future will be one of encouraging environments that unlock the entire organization's human asset potential.

Globalization/Internationalization of Leadership Concepts, Constructs,

and Development Methods

Future leaders will need to be conversant in doing business internationally and conceiving strategies on a global basis. Globalization will intensify the requirement that senior leaders deal effectively with a complex set of constituencies

external to the organization. (e.g., responsibility for managing the company's interface with trade, regulatory, political, and media groups on a wide

range of issues). Leadership development is rapidly moving to include substantial components involving international markets, world economic trends, and focus on particular regions such as the Asia Pacific rim (Cacioppe, 1998). Leaders are being exposed to how the world is becoming interdependent and the need to be up to date with international trends that are vital to the success of the business. Use of the internet to obtain information and to market products and services worldwide is a topic in many current leadership development programs.

The Role of Technology

The technology revolution has changed organizational life. It has changed the ways information and knowledge are accessed and disseminated, and the ways in which people can communicate and share with one another. This has profound implications

for what effective leadership will look like as well as how to use technology most effectively in leadership development.

Leaders will clearly have to be much more savvy with regard to technology in general.

Facility and comfort with communication technology and the internet will be a necessity. Given the pace of change and the speed of response time that leaders are now required to demonstrate, technological savvy has rapidly become an integral

aspect of leadership effectiveness. It has even been noted that the effective use of technology is proving to be a "hierarchy buster." It can be an avenue for people to communicate with leaders at all levels and whenever they need to at any time.

Increasing Interest in the Integrity and Character of Leaders

The 1990s witnessed ethical lapses and arrogance among senior executives of certain

companies of disturbing-if-not-unprecedented magnitude. Enron and WorldCom were two notable examples. Such events probably accelerated and deepened growing sentiment among many-including members of organizational governance boards-that interrelationships among leadership, character, and values ought to be made more salient. It is probably not a coincidence that a recent article in CEO Magazine (Martin, 2003) observed that "the age of the imperial CEO is waning. In its place, a crop of new CEOs - humble, team building, highly communicative - are rising" (p.25). Similarly, one of the intriguing and unexpected findings in the book Good to

Great (Collins, 2001) was of the universally modest and self-effacing nature of CEOs in the good-to-great companies. This contrasts considerably with the often flamboyant and self-promoting style of many popular business leaders in recent years who, despite celebrity status, typically did not have an enduring positive impact

on their companies.

Pressure to Demonstrate Return on Investment

The future trends noted reflect in part a response to the changing context of leadership. Perhaps the strongest pressure facing leadership practitioners in the future may be to demonstrate ROI (Kincaid & Gordick, 2003). While leadership

development is strategically important, it is usually expensive. Yet while leading-edge companies today such as PepsiCo, IBM, and Johnson and Johnson spend significant time and resources on leadership development, attempts to quantify its

The effective use

New Ways of Thinking about the Nature of Leadership and Leadership


Emerging new perspectives on the nature of leadership may profoundly affect our thinking about leadership development. Increasingly, leadership and leadership development are seen as inherently collaborative, social, and relational processes (Day, 2001). Similarly, Vicere (2002) has noted the advent of the "networked economy" where "partnerships, strategic and tactical, customer and supplier, personal and organizational, are essential to competitive effectiveness."

As a result, leadership will be understood as the collective capacity of all members of an organization to accomplish such critical tasks as setting direction, creating alignment, and gaining commitment. Leadership development based on this

paradigm is more difficult to design and implement than those that have been popular for the last several decades in which the focus was to train individual leaders. Taking this next step will require a deeper understanding of the role of

organizational systems and culture in leadership development (VanVelsor & McCauley, 2004).

Gina Hernez-Broome, Richard L. Hughes, Centre for Creative Leadership


The dual challenges of understanding the nature of leadership development and implementing effective leadership development practices will likely be greater than ever before. At the same time, we find ourselves guardedly optimistic about the field's future. Our optimism is directly tied to some of the trends that make the

future both challenging and interesting. For example, leadership development practices will need to become better integrated in the broader context of organizational business challenges and systems. Thus, not only will organizations need to hire and develop leaders, they will also need to be the kind of organizations that nurture and reinforce enactment of the kinds of behaviours desired in those leaders. Similarly, demands to demonstrate ROI can encourage greater rigor and

clarity in our understanding of the nature of leadership development and in how we assess its impact. Meeting such challenges will be one important thrust of more comprehensive efforts in the years ahead to demonstrate convincingly the strategic role of people in organizations.