Interest In Leadership

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Throughout history, there has been a strong interest in leadership. A good interpretation of leadership has been learned, as several discipline-relevant ideas have been coined to explain what leadership is. Whereas contemporary hypothesis explores the talents and situational characteristics that make some individuals good leaders, insensitivity hypotheses were largely based on factors that might make other people think, while others appeared as their followers (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Even though elements of emotional stability, integrity, and honesty are indispensable to leadership, they do not primarily define what leadership as an independent entity is. Indeed, leadership is both a discipline that can be researched and a practical skill as well, that determines how well an individual(s) is capable of giving a confident and informed direction to a group of people or single individuals. Whereas in the West, especially in America, a leader is defined as somebody who has the social abilities to influence others positively so they can come to a successful course by achieving a common task, the Eastern countries and parts of Europe are of the opinion that a leader is somebody that shows possession of power and is instrumental in helping achieve the central goals of the community (Avolio et al., 2009). Scholarly research has shown across decades that leadership is both taught and naturally acquired. Even though the traits in different personalities might portray essential skills without the nurtured prowess, the opposite could be true as well. Therefore, leaders are born as well as they are taught. Indeed, the information that people should be taught so they can become the leaders they are expected to be should be accurate and founded on reason (McCleskey, 2014). Therefore, understanding the aspects of leadership people should learn remains a central prerequisite in the guest to unleashing leadership skills to the learners. It is not only imperative to focus on the evaluation of the aspects of leadership that should be taught to make successful leaders but also critical to outline criteria and the theoretical framework of leadership.

Theoretical Framework

Leaders Are Born

There are many theories which have been formalized to affirm the argument that leaders are born. One of this hypothesis is the Great Man Theory. This theory stipulates that people are born with peculiar characteristics that make them emerge as leaders in their respective societies without objection. Some of the elements familiarized with such the theory include possession of behavioral characteristics like social skills, intelligence, confidence and charismatic proficiency (Avolio et al., 2009). Indeed, the theory was formulated long ago when the world believed that men were the most likely if not solely so, the human persons who could make leaders, and not their female counterparts. Furthermore, under this theory, leaders are born, and the skills are inherent, whereby when one rises to a leadership platform, they do so without external skills to be taught.

The second theoretical element associated with leadership is the traits theory. The hypothesis related to this framework embrace the argument that people through genetic analogy acquire specific characteristics that enable them to be leaders. That the particular characteristics are espoused in the personality of an individual, and they naturally allow them to be natural leaders. For instance, tall, huge, and strong people are thought to be leaders, with a mix of characteristics like self-confidence, courage, and extraversion (McCleskey, 2014).

Stogdill (Johnson, 1998) made a list of the most important traits of a leader which can be inherited: originality, popularity, sociability, judgment, aggressiveness, desire to excel, humor, cooperativeness, liveliness, and athletic ability. To be able to simplify this classification he also proposed to categories leadership roughly in six dimensions, five of these 6 are personality traits (capacity, achievement, responsibility, participation, and status). The sixth dimension is situation. According to Johnson et al. (1988), there has been a univariate genetic analysis of leadership which showed that most of the trait dimensions are inheritable. This proves that indeed under certain conditions the traits of leadership can be inborn in a person

On the other hand, the contingency theories according to scholars are the equally central hypothesis that defines who leaders are, and what they possess naturally. The argument draws most of its philosophical acumen from the assertion that leadership is gotten and therefore designed for the environment. Consequently, depending on the prevailing situation, somebody could show unmatched leadership skills (McCleskey, 2014). It is thus critical to consider that not all situations favor a certain form of leadership, rather, the diversity in either way is characteristically imperative to portray leadership. The aspects that define the condition, the nature of the followers, and the unique qualities of an individual are fundamental to the contingency theories.

The behavioral principles are founded on the fact that great leaders are never natured, rather, they are naturally born as such. As opposed to the Great Mans Theory, the behavioral theory is founded on the analogy that leadership is shown through actions and that the leaders are not judged by what they think or say (Avolio et al., 2009). Nevertheless, this theory asserts that people could observe or be as well taught specific elements of real leadership.

Participatory leadership is an abstract form of leadership whereby the perceived leader gives direction on what should be done, but he as well allows others to contribute in the process. All people, both the followers and the leader, are considered as critical partners. Therefore, everybody is arguments are held as valid (McCleskey, 2014). Nevertheless, the participatory leader reserves the right whether he or she could consider the suggestion of others or not.

One of the most different and unique theories of most hypothesis on leadership is the management approach. This interpretation stresses on the managerial, organizational, performance, and supervisory characteristics, no wonder it is mostly referred to as a transactional method. The elements of reward and punishment characterize the process. When the subordinates in a firm, for instance, perform well and meet the set objectives they are rewarded. Nevertheless, with failure comes further training and demotion (Cameron, 2011).

Leaders Are Taught

Johnson et al. (1998) investigate the question of whether leaders are born or made. The results show that most leadership skills and qualities can be taught and no one is born a leader naturally, they just acquire the knowledge as they learn and grow up. A good demonstration that leadership skills and qualities can be taught involves a person who has the motivation to climb the positions in an organization (Doh, 2003). Such a person can learn all emerging skills and qualities needed to be a leader since they have the ambition and objective to attain such a position. As it can be observed, such a person may not be an inborn leader, but they acquired the needed skills and qualities through learning (Johnson et al., 1998).

Leadership is a concept which is learned every day through observation and learning from the successes or failures of other people. People can learn the skills and qualities needed in management and leadership positions through attending management training and leadership development programs which focus on training people on how to lead and manage (Ciampa, Hunt, & Dermody, 2010). Some of the leadership skills which can be taught and learned include the ability to delegate duties, the power of communicating effectively and capacity to inspire other employees to achieve their personal and organizational goals. Leadership qualities which can be taught include confidence, passion, focus, integrity, honesty, responsibility, accountability and the ability to make decisions (Danzig, 1999).

Considering the technological framework in this twenty-first century, new inventions have come up that need everybody in a managerial position to be knowledgeable and stay informed at all times. Without education, therefore, well-tailored to the leading curriculum, leaders can never deliver what is expected of them (Avolio et al., 2009). This becomes more realistic when one finds themselves in specialized fields like the corporate world, political, and technological disciplines. Special skills are desirable for people to deliver the set objectives in their areas of specialty.

In the business world, leaders and managers of organizations and departments experience new challenges every day and thus must learn on how to tackle such problems. To properly handle issues a leader needs an open mind which is something that can be taught and he also needs to be able to learn and apply the skills (Orsino, 2003). Most of the skills and qualities that leaders need to be successful can be taught and learned and thus they are not inborn. According to Barling (2014) Such an argument settles the debate regarding whether leaders are made or born, explaining that anybody can be taught or can learn to be a leader as long as they focus (Barling, 2014). Leaders are made and not born and thus leadership qualities and skills can be taught or learned in school. There is no statistically significant relationship between the type of leadership quality achieved and knowledge taught in school.

There are essential aspects of leadership that all leaders should be taught. If the learners possess such expertise, then their ability to perform cannot be compromised by the common challenges experienced in diverse cultures and traditional set-ups of professionalism. Strategic thinking and adaptability to change are fundamental elements that should be taught. The leaders who can make their plans carefully according to the unfolding of events stand a better chance to succeed in their objectives (Cameron, 2011). Furthermore, change is inevitable anywhere and everywhere, hence the need for everybody to learn and get accustoming to engaging a changing gear in case it is needed. Therefore, adaptability is equally important.

Furthermore, trustworthiness, combined with excellent communication skills, remaining visionary, and upholding integrity are critical stuff that should be led known to young leaders. If individuals are exposed to such unique characteristics of human personality, they are capable of standing out of the crowd, and hence tower above the rest to emerge irresistibly as leaders (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Personal awareness, a delegation of duties, both fixed and diversified mindset, as well as possession of the skills to foster and maintain teams is vital. If such information is given to and grasped by the learners, then their ability to making leaders is even increased in significant proportions.

Qualities Any Good Leader Must Have to be Successful

Successful leaders are indebted to peculiar yet characteristic qualities of leadership for them to meet their objectives. Honesty is a fundamental quality for leaders. If one is the judge of a given group of people, then they should raise their ethical standards even higher. This is imperative to the success, or the failure of a business entity is always a reflection of the management. Furthermore, delegation is another quality that successful leaders need. The ability to share confidently one's objectives with the junior staff is very important. This allows all people to be challenged to work as a team and everybody is compelled to remain responsible (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Communication is a third quality that is indispensable for quality leadership. A manager could be aware of everything needed. However, without keenly and appropriately sharing the information to other related and responsible stakeholders, the whole process could be paralyzed. Communication put all people on a single platform, and working on common objectives becomes primary to the entire team. Confidence is an important aspect to be espoused by all leaders. Occasionally, for instance, the brand of the organization could deteriorate. This means profit margins are at stake and the competitors gain an advantage in the market. Nevertheless, the leader, in this case, the manager, should remain stable and meet the challenges by strategizing the most appropriate solutions (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). In addition to this, commitment is critical because when leaders lead from the front, the followers felt encouraged and psyched up to do even better. When a manager shows commitment, the subordinates are challenged to emulate the example and deliver the objectives put in place, both short and long term. Finally, creativity and positive attitude are some of the first qualities for successful leaders (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Coming up with new approaches to doing things and initiation processes of problem-solving is necessary. The positive attitude makes the whole methodology interesting, and whether challenges are bound to happen or not, the management is willing and able to proceed.

Criteria Categorizing Successful Leaders

The primary criterion for leadership assessment is the success factor, where individuals are assessed based on the level of training that they took, the application of the learned skills, and utilization of the experiences in a professional setting. It is also worth assessing leaders based on their promotion, which involves the determination of the level of impact in of leadership on promotion. If the skills are related to promotion, it would mean the acquisition of new skills that define the qualities of the individual. Another relevant criterion is the salary rise, where it is considered that there should be an apparent link of salary rise and the gaining of new skills. The last applicable aspect is the element of responsibilities. The level of impact on the community and professional setting should be directly related to the leadership skills and self-trained skills that had been obtained.

Trust and goodwill are imperative elements that are used as primary tools to give a platform of distinguishing between successful leaders from the otherwise. Showing team work abilities and appreciating the efforts put in by other members of the staff fraternity is paramount for leaders. Furthermore, leading from the front and performing ones duties excellently to lead as an example to his or her juniors is very desirable. By staying focused on strategic goals and remaining committed, leaders can trigger an equal or even greater response from their subordinates, hence increasing the performance output and meeting the goals of the organization (Giuliani & Kurson, 2002). Indeed, it is critical that a leader learns to be calm and alert during moments of pressure, so his juniors can learn from him or her, for the better of the company (Kelly, 2006).

Being specific in ones operations and day to day duties is fundamental for leaders. Leaders who emerge as successful figures mean everything they say, and stay focused on well outlined objectives in a given period of time (Kelly, 2006). Furthermore, leaders who are specific recognize the need for involving other stakeholders closely so that everybody shares in the common dream to be achieved within a given timeline. Being calm and understanding is critical, as the followers find room to air their discomfort and criticism. Consequently, the whole team at the helm of power learns what to do and what not to, and in which manner.

The other fundamental criterion for outlining successful leaders is by identifying the minds who do not criticize, rather, they describe an acceptable and well guided procedure of going about certain things. Excellent leaders should focus on the strengths of their followers rather than their flaws (Giuliani & Kurson, 2002). By so doing, the led are motivated, and in return the leader is capable of utilizing the efforts put in by the people under him by embracing specialization and job division, so that everybody delivers to their best, based on how well they know. Leaders should primarily focus on action and performance, rather than lengthy speeches without empirical logic. By so doing, the elevated motivation and encouragement of the followers manifests in admirable performance, elements that ratify a given leader as successful.


Leadership is an essential and admirable characteristic as a quality of a human person. Research has proven that leaders are both made and can as well be trained to assume certain skills and understand standard principles. The naturalist perspective underscores the consideration that leaders have inherent capabilities that tend to manifest over the course of development. In both cases, the unique qualities that leaders tend to have include honesty, delegation, ability to communicate, confidence, and commitment to one’s endeavors. When categorizing leaders, the primary considerations include their success, promotion capacity, salary rise, and the impact that they have in the professional setting. On the other hand, the theoretical framework used to categorize leaders includes hypothesis like the Great Man`s Theory, the traits theory, the participatory leadership theory, the management, contingency, and the behavioral theories. These theories are both divergent and interrelated. Ideally, the criteria used in labeling leaders as successful included many aspects. Some of the factors considered include; promotions, ability to deliver as expected, competence, team working, ability to coaching rather than criticizing, being concise, embracing trustworthiness and establishing goodwill as well as being responsible, accountable, and reliable.


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July 24, 2021
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