Leadership Theories

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In the simplest terms, leadership is the process of inspiring others to work hard to accomplish important goals. With the rapid technological changes, intense global competition and diverse workforces, it is very important to have leadership traits in the working environment.


It is a tough call because leaders and followers are unique human beings and thereby each situation has an unknown entity factored in. A range of leadership theories have tried to put forth different leadership styles which is the recurring pattern of behaviours exhibited by a leader. A leader's style is based on the degree of concern to the accomplishment of the task and the people who do the task.
The early Trait theories of the 1920's and 1930's, tried to understand the specific traits that differentiated leaders and non-leaders. These may be physical traits like age, height, weight, or social characteristics like being popular, charismatic or diplomatic or personal traits like being self-confident and adaptable. Task-related characteristics include being driven to excel, accepting of responsibility, having initiative, and being results-oriented.
Trait theories concentrated on the inherent individual traits rather the situation but their drawback was that they did not take into account situational differences. Also, they did not take into account the fact that when these attributes are cultivated by education and training whether they were as effective as the inherent qualities. Due to the uniqueness of situations and individuals, trait theories lost their vote when compared to situational theories.
Contingency Theories take into account environmental factors and recommend adaptable leadership behaviour to actual sit ...
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