"Great Man" Theories
This theory postulates that the leaders are born and not made. In “Great man” theory, the leader is destined to climb through the leadership ladders in the organization for him to attain the leadership position. The word “Man” is used because traditional men were taken to be leaders especially in organizations such as military where the work was seen to be masculine.
The trait theory is similar to the “Great Man” theory; it postulates that the leaders are born leaders from the traits and the characteristics they exhibit, they are leaders naturally. In trait theory of leadership, it believed that a person show the qualities that are possessed by leaders.
Contingency theory postulates that a leader should possess certain qualities that best fit the situation at hand and the same time the environment in which he carries out his operations. The theory acknowledges that not all leadership traits are needed or are applicable to all situations.
Situation theory asserts that leadership style should tackle or handle the situation at hand. A certain type of leadership is important in making a certain type of decisions in a given market.
This theory opposes trait theory in that it postulates that leaders are made not born contrary to the trait theory that postulates leader are born and not made. In behavioral theory, leaders are taught to be leaders and that their traits or internal qualities do not matter in leadership positions.
Applications of Various Leadership Theories in Business Settings
There are a number of leadership theories that are very essential in a business environment. Through the theories, a business leader is equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills necessary for achieving the specific firm goals. Leadership is not only about being at the top and calling the shots, leadership involves more than this. It requires resources both inputs and labor to be organized and coordinated in a logical manner in order to achieve goals. Through the theories, leader is provided with such information and knowledge and thus being in a position of knowing how to approach and respond to various situations (Giuliani & Kurson, 2007).
A theory such as the transformational theory gives the leader the power to carry out certain tasks on behalf of the organization. The leader can reward and punish employees according to the set rules and regulations of the firm. Through such a theory, one can respond effectively to different situations armed with the knowledge provided by the theories. Through such knowledge, a leader is able to manage effectively the resources at his disposal.
Leaders are supposed to influence and motivate others, while some have claimed that leaders are born and not made, the leadership theories stipulates clearly that a leader is one who influences others. The functional theory is about a leader’s behavior, a person whose behavior influences the others. This is an indication that leaders are not only born, but they can also be made. The leadership theories guide a person on how to be an effective leader. A theory such as behavioral that touches on leaders possessing strong personality behaviors is an example of a molding ground for one to be a god leader (Northouse, 2009).
Strengths and weaknesses of contemporary leadership models
The strength and the weakness of the various leadership models lies on the effectiveness of making decisions in the organizations and having those decisions made implemented for the success of the organization. Leadership models are derived from the leadership theories as discussed there above.
The strength of the “Great man” leadership model is that the qualities and the traits of the person are evaluated and thus help in determining the suitability of the candidate to take the leadership position. The evaluations of the personal qualities enable the organizations to have a person who is geared to the success of the company with having to be trained and thus adding the costs to the organizations. The major weakness is that the leader might not possess the qualities needed to ensure that the company succeeds; the leadership qualities portrayed might not be relevant to the organization and the type of the decisions the company need to make now to ensure its success.
The strength of the contingency leadership model is that the leadership is conversant with the environment and the variables that should be considered in order for them to make decisions in the organizations. The contingency leadership model ensure that the leaders are in position to make the best decisions out of the situation and thus help the organization in the realization of the goal. The major weakness contingency leadership model lies in the fact that the leader is not dynamic and in the event where the environment is operating in changes may lead for poor decisions making since he is limited in decision making in the areas he is used to.
The strength of Behavioral leadership model is that the leader in the organization are trained on the leadership and thus are able to make best decisions relating to the organization at hand and thus achieve the goals of the organization. The leaders are trained through some courses offered in the organization and through the experience one gets in the course of him carrying out duties in the organization. The internal characters do not count in choosing the leaders since the leadership qualities portrayed by the person may not be relevant to the organization; due to the complexity of the modern organization, it’s become mandatory for the leaders to be equipped with some sort of training to enable them make effective decisions. The major weakness of Behavioral leadership model lies in the fact that the internal traits and characters of a person are not considered while grooming a person for leadership positions. Personal traits help in making the decisions of the company and cannot be separated with the training given to those who want leadership posts in the organization.
Effect of Power and Influence on Leadership
Leaders are often looked up to by their followers a source of power and inspiration; the leaders are entirely their followers’ mentors. Power leads to positions that can not be influenced by other individuals. Power is all about influencing resources, valuable and significant resources. As indicated above, an effective leader should be the one who influences his followers. In a number of instances we have had cases where a junior employee often works towards the satisfaction of his duties because he wants to emulate the leader of the group. This blatantly shows the effects a leader has on certain individuals. A leader who is powerful can exhibit mixed reactions to those being led. There is that group that will work to satisfy the leader because they finding working an obligation, and there is the other group that will consider such a leader their role model.
A powerful leader is scared of by a number of individuals. These individuals find him a threat to their survival in the firm or group. They will always work because it’s an obligation and not because they enjoy doing the piece of work. In such a case, work and targets shall be attained within the stipulated time limit or even before because of the cold shivers sent to the followers in case the goals are not achieved (Giuliani & Kurson, 2007). On the other hand, power can be good, power brings about control of resources that are valuable, resources that can enable the shared common purpose of an entity to be achieved easily and cost effectively. Power attracts people, it can attract skilled and experienced human powers who find powerful leaders their mentors, in all power can either act as a motivating or influencing force positively or negatively. Leaders should at times harness the powers possessed by individuals in order to make the followers not to feel like they are prey to the leaders.
The leadership of the organization is important in effecting change in the organization. In the modern organizations change is mandatory due to the change of the environment of the business.
Business environment are in continuous change due to the change in technology, government regulations and the customers wants and preference. The leadership of the organization should be dynamic to ensure that the changes in the business environment are effected in the organization without having to change the operations of the organization. The management should ensure that the employees of the company are not affected by the changes in the organization that would end up killing their morale of doing work and thus low productivity in the organization. The management should communicate the changes the organization intends to make and try to convince the employees that the changes are for the benefit of the organization.
Ways Leadership Is Affected By Corporate Culture, Personal Values, Globalization and Performance Outcomes
Leadership is all about the followers. Are you able to influence those in your group under you? This is the question leaders should often ask themselves and answer it honestly. Leadership can be affected by a number of factors. Some of the factors include corporate culture, an individual’s personality, globalization and performance. The corporate culture refers to the traditions of the firm, those ideas and laid down cultures that have been followed by the firm since its formation. Each person is supposed to adhere to this culture as it is without opposing it or trying to change it. Anybody both seniors and juniors are guided by the corporate culture (Northouse, 2009). A leader will be highly be affected by the corporate culture since the will possessed by this leader which was geared towards the change of certain factors will be highly regulated and will be forced to follow the traditions of the firm.
Giuliani & Kurson (2007) asserts that the values one possesses also play a significant role in defining a person’s leadership traits. These qualities will determine whether the person can make a good leader or not. The qualities too, will determine the influence the individual will have on those under his leadership. So, the qualities can positively or negatively define leadership. Firms want to go global, for one to manage and survive the tough competition that has been presented by firms currently; one must change and adopt the new traits that have been set. One of the things that shall be affected is leadership. Lastly an entity’s performance can determine the type of leadership style to be adopted. If one leadership style fails, then it is effective to take up another style so as to see its effectiveness.
The leadership of the organization should ensure that the business ethics are upheld in the business organization and that the organization should not engage in unethical activities in the business operations. The business should provide goods of high qualities to the customers without having to charge exorbitant prices ensure fair deals with the suppliers, pay takes to the government at the same time providing legitimate goods to the organization. The organization should not engage in unethical dealings with the competitors; doing some activities to drive the competitors from the market (Mendonça, 2006).
Gender Issues and Leadership
For along time now, the female gender has been sidelined in issues related to leadership. The females have always been considered ineffective to hold big offices. This is because men have always considered them not well prepared to hold such challenges. Even if research has indicated that two thirds of the worlds total work is done by women, they are still not considered prepared for other challenges.
Although, currently, things have started changing and women have started taking up more challenging positions that include leadership posts. Some countries are now being led by women presidents and indication that the former notion men had of not trusting women with such sensitive matters is drastically changing.
Leadership is all about influencing and motivating the people who are under a person. It entails acting as a role model to people and ensuring that the targets that have been set are able to be achieved within the stipulated time period. A leader should be able to understand the type of person s/he is his or her competencies and what one can do. Through those people who are being led, a good leader can be determined. If the people are not able to trust the one leading them, then automatically these people will never be inspired or motivated. This blatantly illustrates that the set goals of an entity can never be achieved (Northouse, 2009). For a leader to succeed in his field, he must be in a position of convincing and inspiring those whom he is leading and not the superiors of oneself and for him to prosper in such an arena, he must use different styles of leadership on the different people. It is clearly understood that different people will require different leadership styles for them to get the motivation and inspiration that they require. Therefore, it is of utter significance for the leader to know the type of people being dealt with in order to know the leadership style logical to them.