Thursday, December 12, 2019

Characteristic, Personal Attributes, Styles and Qualities free essay sample

Abstract: Leadership can be defined as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or a set of goals. The theories can divide by 3 chronological in groups that deal with leadership. First were the trait theories. Until the 1940s, research in the field of leadership was dominated by these theories. Second came from the behavioral theories which were very influent until the late 1960s. Finally, contingency theories are the most modern theories about leadership. Trait theories are theories that consider personal qualities and characteristics that ifferentiate leaders from non-leaders. Early results aimed at confirming this theory were inconclusive. Many research studies were conducted and each identified key traits supposed to differentiate leaders from non-leaders. The problem is that they didnt get the same results, thus failing to discover common traits, which should have shown in each research study. When applying the Big Five Personality framework (extravers ion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience) to the study and research of leadership traits, results were more ncouraging. They showed that the most important trait for leaders was extraversion. Still, this founding should be mitigated. Extraversion seems to be a crucial trait in getting leaders into leadership positions or being recognized by others as being a leader but isnt necessary related to effectiveness in the long run. Another trait that was identified by recent studies is emotional intelligence. The point is that if a leader doesnt have emotional intelligence all his other skills and qualities such as, competence, experience, excellent analytical skills, vision, etc. ay fail to ave a positive influence on the people he leads. Central to emotional intelligence is empathy and the caring part of empathy, especially for the people with whom you work, is what inspires people to stay with a leader when the going gets rough. The mere fact that someone cares is more often than not rewarded with loyalty. Instead of focusing on personality traits, behavioral theories focus on the behavior of effective l eaders. This distinction is very important because if behavioral theories proved to be true they would mean that people can be trained to become better eaders, in contrast to the trait theories, which assumed that characteristics that made the difference between leaders and non-leaders were given to an individual and couldnt be changed, thus leaving organizations with the recruiting process of selecting the right leader as the only tool towards effectiveness and little hope for any improvement. The most famous behavioral theory was developed by the Ohio State University. It basically identifies two categories of behavior associated with effective leaders: initiating structure and consideration. Initiating structure refers to he extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those a leader is likely to have Job relationships characterized by mutual trust, respect for subordinates ideas, and regard for their feelings. We can note that the consideration dimension is similar to the empathy part of emotional intelligence discussed in the trait theory, thus suggesting it is an important factor since it is evidenced and common to both approaches to leadership. The second behavioral theory was developed by the University of Michigan. It also identified two dimensions in leadership behavior. Those dimensions are employee-oriented and production- oriented. Employee-oriented leaders favor interpersonal relations, take personal interest in their employees needs and accept individual differences among members whereas production-oriented leaders focus and insist on the technical, operational and task aspect of the Job. The findings of the University of Michigans research show that employee-oriented leaders were associated with higher group productivity and higher Job satisfaction (whereas) production-oriented leaders tended to be associated with low group productivity and lower Job satisfaction. Once again we have a dimension (employee-oriented) which is very similar to the emotional intelligence factor of trait theories and the consideration factor of the Ohio State Universitys behavioral theory. Although no formal connection has been demonstrated so far, its worth bearing in mind that these elements are consistent with three major theories in the subject of leadership. Hersey and Blanchards in Situational Theory (SLT), the SLT is quite intuitive. Maybe thats why it is so popular in organizations nowadays. It basically states that a leader hould adapt to his employees degree of willingness and ability to perform a task. For example, if an employee is both unwilling and unable, the leader needs to provide him with directions that are both clear and specific. If the employee is able but unwilling, the leader needs to use a supportive and participative style. Etc. Introduction: In this articles review, I am going to look at the characteristics of leaders. What qualities they all share, their personal attributes and the different styles they adopt. Look at the theories by Tannenbaum Schmidt, Douglas McGregor Kerr Schriesheim. Also what challenges they may face and looking at focusing on leadership. Body of text: Characteristics/attributes: Ability to make decisions Willingness to lead Integrity Enthusiasm Imagination Willingness to work hard Ability to analyses people, data situations Ability to understand people Be able to deal with difficult Ability to spot opportunities situations On top of the above, all leaders should be able to plan, initiate, control, support, inform and evaluate within they working lives. Leadership styles cannot be fully explained by behavioral models. The situation in hich the group is operating also determines the style of the leadership, which is adopted. Several models exists which attempt to understand the relationship between style situation, four from the module are described here. According to Tannenbaum Schmidt (1958) believes in the autocratic and democratic model where leaders are somewhere in between using their authority to get the Job done or to allow freedom within the team. Douglas McGregor (1960) believed in the X Y theories. His model is based on the belief that workers are generally lazy and without a push to achieve they will become disinterested. Theory Y on the other hand believes that workers are keen to do well so are interested in what they do. Kerr Schriesheim (1974) The Ohio State Leadership Model, which uses the ideas of leaders, which: 1. Initiate structure 2. Show consideration Just by looking at these four theories, you can see that a pattern is emerging. They seem to be either democratic where the leader believes in allowing freedom to their workers, or autocratic where the leader believes that a tight rein on what goes on with their workers is best. How about with the leadership attitudes? These appear to e broken into two sections, either Task oriented or People oriented. Once again these are following the same two routes of either democratic or autocratic. Broken down, they are: Leadership attitudes: Task oriented leaders, who are most interested in training, instructing behavior, performance and winning. Where as a people oriented, leaders are more interested in the interpersonal relationships within the team. (Adair 1984) Based on these two styles, Blake Mouton developed the Management grid, which classifies leadership styles into: 1. Country club 2. Team 3. Middle of the Road 4. Impoverished 5. Authority/Obedience 1. Country Club This person uses reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. 2. Team This type of person leads by positive example and endeavors to foster a team environment in which all team members can reach their highest potential, both with team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible while working tirelessly to strengthen bonds among various members. 3. Middle of the Road This type of person is able to balance the importance of getting the Job done in the orrect manner while taking into consideration the needs of the team. . Impoverished This leader uses delegate or disappear management style. They are not really committed to either the task accomplishment or maintenance. They allow their team Authoritarian These leaders are very much task oriented are hard on their workers. There is little of no allowance for co-operation or collaboration. They are very strong on deadlines and expect their workers to do whatever they are told without question. When something goes wrong, they tend to focus on who is to blame rather than concentrate n what went wrong and how they can prevent it from happening again. This in turn makes it very difficult for the workers to contribute or develop. (Anon 2005) All these styles have a place in leadership but it is only by studying the situation and the forces affecting it, that you will know which style to choose. Situational Leadership: Situational leadership operates by using one of four approaches, which was developed by Paul Hersey Kenneth Blanchard (1988). 1. High task low relationships is where the leader needs to define the roles direct the team or individual to get the task done. Communication is largely one-way. 2. High relationship low task is where the leader needs to support the team after a group decision has been made on how the Job is to be completed. Control is with the team. 3. High task high relationship is where the leader still defines the roles but seek ideas from the team. Decisions remain the leaders domain but the communication is more two way. 4. Low task low relationship is where the leader is still involved in decisions and problem solving but the control is with the team. The team decides when how the leader is involved. As shown by this panel (Blanchard K. t al 1986) i. Supporting it. Praise, listen facilitate iii. Coaching v. Direct support v. Delegating v. Turn over responsibility for day to day decision vil. Making viii. Directing x. Structure, control supervise So a suitable mix of supportive directive behavior defines the four styles. Which one is most important during a period of change when the team could be feeling negative? Leadership Challenges: Leadership can come under challenges one of the toughest is change having to lead their team through that process. Change can be anything from re-structuring, e-location to the introduction of new equipment processes to new policies. Resistance to change is an understandable reaction recognizing resistance gives the leader the opportunity to do something about it. (Antonakis J. 2004) Typically the superficial reasons given for resistance are not the real deep-seated concerns. Leaders need to take time to understand then address the underlying fears. Once the real concern is understood, the leader can consider what points to emphasize to support while the leader is trying to drive the change through. Allow your team to have their say, listen and acknowledge their concerns. Be honest; let them know the bad as well as the good news. Keep your cool and keep promises and be enthusiastic about the planned changes, be positive. The leader needs to find equilibrium. In the module, it breaks it down to 5 key points: Supportive Honest Informative No-nonsense Enthusiastic The leader needs to find equilibrium some kind of focus. Focusing your leadership: 1. Heroic Leaders Ordinary people, like Nelson Mandela, who have overcome hardship difficulties through patience and persistence, they set examples to others. They have a belief and demonstrate day after day determination to succeed.

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