Leadership Theories And How They Are Influencing Essay

¶ … leadership theories and how they are influencing an organization. As, we carefully examine the different ones and discuss how this will impact the long-term sustainability of the firm. This is the point that we can determine how and when these different ideas should be used to motivate subordinates. When most people hear the word leadership they will often think of a person that is sure of themselves. As they are using: their experiences and courage to help inspire everyone around them during the most challenging of times. Yet, when you look a little further, it is clear that genuine leadership is more than just an image or an ideal. Instead, it is common form of thinking and a way of life that can help to transform the world as we know it. To fully understand how this is taking place requires: providing a basic definition of this concept and examining the different theories. Together, these elements will provide the greatest insights as to how these forms of leadership can have an effect on host of events that an organization is dealing with.

Define Leadership

Leadership is the process of having one individual influence the actions of others inside a group. As, this person will: push everyone, offer encouragement and assess how close they are in achieving their overall objectives. During the process, is when they will use various tools to help optimize productivity. Over the course of time, these views will reshape a firm by making it more focused. This is when the management can adapt to a wide variety of challenges and quickly respond to the transformations that are taking place. (Concepts of Leadership 2010)

Leadership Theories

There are a number of different theories that are used to understand a certain style of leadership. This is because each person will embrace certain attributes that are augmented with their personality, to give people a sense of certainty about the future. Once this occurs, is when they are able to influence those around them. This is the point that everyone can be able to overcome the tremendous obstacles they are facing in achieving their larger objectives. As a result, there are several different kinds of leadership theories that are utilized to include: the classical, modern, traditional and pos transactional. (Ehin 2009, pp. 15 -- 16)

The Classical Theory

The classical theory is when there is a belief that great leaders should head an organization. The reason why is because, of their dominate personality and the example that they are setting will help to inspire everyone to go the extra mile. This is when each individual will be able to reshape their own personality. As a result, there are several different sub-theories that are utilized to include: the great man, trait and behavioral theory. (Cherry 2011) (Ehin 2009, pp. 15 -- 16)

The Great Man Theory

The great man theory is when there is the belief that the best leaders are born with certain desirable traits. Under this kind of thinking the most favorable individual is someone who is strong, self-confident and fearless. Someone who would more than likely qualify as this kind of leader is a military officer or noncommissioned officer. As they will use these traits, to inspire those below them to do more in: achieving the larger objectives of the group. (Cherry 2011) (Ehin 2009, pp. 15 -- 16)

The Trait Theory

The trait theory is when you are looking at certain kind of characteristics to determine if someone is a good leader. A few of the most notable include their ability to: work well with others, inspire those around them, deal with a variety of tasks, always remained focused and willing to do what it takes to be successful. Once this occurs, is when this can help to create a sense of respect for this individual and the ideas that they are discussing. (Cherry 2011) (Ehin 2009, pp. 15 -- 16)

A good example of this can be seen with Jack Welch of GE. As, his dominate personality, helped to inspire the entire staff to help make the company successful over the long-term. When he retired in 2000, the firm had changed completely from what is was in 1981 (the year that he became CEO). As he was able to sell off those underperforming businesses and make strategic acquisitions that increased the overall bottom line results of the firm. Over the course of time, this caused the staff and the entire company to change their focus by concentrating on increasing strategic growth. This is important, because it is showing how this theory of leadership will help to redefine the entire organization. As Welch's...


(Slater 1999, pp. 59 -- 95)
The Behavioral Theory

The behavioral theory is when there is a belief that great leaders are made, not born. As everyone, is focused on the actions that are being taken by a particular individual to inspire everyone around them. This will influence the attitudes and ideas of staff members by creating a standard where they can see top managers following these policies. Once this occurs, is when everyone will begin to do the same activities as managers. (Cherry 2011) (Ehin 2009, pp. 15 -- 16)

Modern Theories

The modern leadership theories are those ideas that were developed over the last 30 years. As there is an emphasis, on finding areas that can provide the best ways to motivate employees to go to the next level. Under this basic approach, leaders are more accommodating and understanding of the needs of staff members. Where, they are focused on their ideas and how they could be implemented into the current strategy to improve productivity. Once this occurs, is when an organization is able to build upon these improvements to become more competitive. To achieve these objectives there are two basic approaches that are utilized to include: the charismatic and transformational theories. (Ehin 2009, pp. 62 -- 64)

The Charismatic Theory

The charismatic approach is when an individual is using their persuasion to encourage everyone to do more for the organization. The way that this is achieved is through working with staff members by: seeing them as colleagues vs. employees. This helps to create a sense of respect between managers and the staff. Once this occurs, is when everyone will take a team approach to solving the various challenges facing an organization. (Ehin 2009, pp. 62 -- 64)

The Transformational Theory

The transformational theory is when you are changing the work environment. The reason why, is because it can be a way of undermining any kind of strategies that are introduced. As, staff members will reluctantly follow these different changes. However, beneath the surface, they are unwilling to go the extra mile or follow any of these new initiatives. To achieve these goals, executives must take an approach of including everyone as a part of the process of implementing any kind of changes. Where, they want them to see: the damage that is happening to the firm, its reputation and the job security of employees by not embracing these changes. Once this takes place, is when everyone is more willing to do more to follow the new policies and to improve the working environment. It is at this point that you change the long-term focus of staff members by introducing procedures that will alter their thinking. This is when they are open to new ideas and will begin looking at their jobs and their role in the company differently. (Ehin 2009, pp. 62 -- 64)

The Traditional Theory

Traditional leadership theories are very similar to the classical theories that were discussed earlier. This is because the traditional approach, involves using techniques that have been developed over the last several decades to understand what effectively motivates a person. As, this basic philosophy was created based upon ideas that have been innovated and refined during the last 70 years. At the heart of this form of thinking, are several attributes that must be embraced to include: attention to the employees' levels of motivation, the use of charisma, understanding everyone's feelings and encouragement. At the same time, there is the traditional hierarchy of managers overseeing the activities of staff members. In the event that they begin to fall behind on their objectives, they will use traditional forms of pushing employees to help them catch up. As a result, there are several different sub-theories to include: the contingency theory, situational, path-goal theory and transactional leadership theory. (Traditional Theories of Leadership 2011)

The Contingency Theory

This theory states that a particular leadership style may work well for a certain group, division or organization. However, if these ideas are applied to other aspects of a firm, they may not help them to improve cooperation. The reason why, is because this has certain techniques that work well in select environments. When you try to apply these to other situations, this will not work as these basic ideas do not take into account specific factors that could have an influence of…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alasdair MacIntyre, 2011, Wikipedia. Available from: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alasdair_MacIntyre> [10 Nov. 2011].

Concepts of Leadership, 2010, NW Link. Available from: <http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html> [9 Nov. 2011].

Traditional Theories of Leadership, 2011, E How. Available from: [10 Nov. 2011]

Cherry, K, 2011, Leadership Theories, About. Available from: <http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htm> [9 Nov. 2011].
Harvard Format. http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/380/49275/Harvard%20LibGuide%20-%20All%20Examples%20PDF.pdf

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