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Throughout history, people have been interested in leadership. Whereas the current hypothesis considers the abilities and situational elements that make specific individuals good leaders, the previous theories were principally founded on the features that could make some people rulers and others - their followers (Avolio et al., 2009). Despite the fact that integrity, emotional stability, and honesty are essential to leadership, they do not essentially describe leadership as an autonomous entity. Certainly, leadership is both a subject that can be studied and a practical skill at the same time. It determines how well a person (or people) can give a positive and knowledgeable direction to a group or 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.
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. This theory includes such elements as possession of behavioral characteristics like social skills, intelligence, confidence, and charismatic proficiency (Avolio et al., 2009).
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. 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).
On the other hand, the contingency theory is 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 is 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 theory.
The behavioral principles are founded on the fact that great leaders are never natured, rather, they are naturally born as such. 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).
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. The elements of reward and punishment characterize the process.
Leaders Are Taught
On the contrary, many theories were formulated to affirm the argument that leadership is learned, and leaders are trained. Therefore, education, coaching, and training have been outlined as the most fundamental aspects that define the need for teaching leadership to potential leaders.
Without education leaders can never deliver what is expected of them (Avolio et al., 2009). This becomes more realistic when one finds themselves in specialized fields. Special skills are desirable for people to deliver the set objectives in their areas of specialty.
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; 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. 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 grasped by the learners, their ability to become leaders is greatly increased.
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. Delegation is another quality that successful leaders need. 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. 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. The leader should always 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.
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. 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 of a person. Research has proven that leaders are both made and can 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. When categorizing leaders, the primary considerations include their success, promotion capacity, salary rise, and the impact that they have in the professional setting. Ideally, the criteria used in labeling leaders as successful contain many aspects. Some of the factors considered are: 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.
Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163621
Cameron, K. (2011). Responsible leadership as virtuous leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(1), 25–35. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-1023-6
Giuliani, R. W., & Kurson, K. (2002). Leadership. New York: Hyperion.
Kelly, S. (2006). Leadership refrains: Patterns of leadership. Leadership, 2(2), 181-201.doi:10.1177/1742715006062934
Leithwood, K., & Levin, B. (2010). Understanding how leadership influences student learning. In K. Leithwood & B. Levin (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (45–50). New York, NY: Elsevier Science. http://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.00439-5
McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.leedsmet.ac.uk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=96783710&site=eds-live&scope=site
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