Leadership Theories - Genghis Khan Or Mother Theresa To Lead Your Alter Management Initiative?
There are more leadership theories than you can shake a stick at. Theories have evolved from "Fantastic Man" and "Trait" theories to "Transformational" leadership - each with a different set of dynamics, contexts and focus.
Early theories tend to focus upon the characteristics and behaviours of profitable leaders, whereas the later theories think about the role of followers and the contextual nature of leadership.
Here is an overview of leadership theories - but initial here are 2 quick questions for you: (1) see if you can spot which applies to Genghis Khan and which applies to Mother Theresa and (2) try to figure out which of these theories best describes the style you really feel would be most proper for leading your alter initiative?
- this was based on the belief that leaders are exceptional individuals, born with leadership qualities and are destined to lead. This theory reflects the male-oriented view of leadership which has predominated until the late 20th century.
- is based around an extensive list of all of the qualities or traits associated with leadership.
- concentrate on what leaders in fact do rather than on their qualities. Their distinct patterns of behaviour are observed and categorised as leadership styles.
- sees leadership as scenario specific - exactly where the style of leadership is adapted to the needs of the context in which it is exercised.
- is a development of the situational theory - focusing on the situational variables which will establish the most proper or effective leadership style to fit the particular circumstances at that time.
- emphasises the significance of the transaction - or relationship - that takes location between the leader and the led. It focuses on the perceived mutual rewards derived from that relationship whereby the leader dispenses favours in the form of tangible and intangible rewards in return for the commitment, loyalty or [at least] compliance of his or her followers.
- The central idea here is alter and the role of leadership in envisioning and implementing the transformation of organisational efficiency
- emphasises the leaders' duty to serve his/her followers - leadership therefore arises out of a desire to serve rather than a desire to lead. It is a practical philosophy which supports men and women who choose to serve 1st, and then lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions. It encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of energy and empowerment.
- an 'informal', 'emergent' or 'dispersed' leadership, this method argues a less formalised model of leadership where the leaders' role is dissociated from the organisational hierarchy. People at all levels in the organisation and in all roles can exert leadership influence over their colleagues and thus influence the overall leadership of the organisation.
- refers to the emotional dimension of leadership. The articulation of a message that resonates with their followers' emotional reality, with their sense of purpose-and so to move individuals in a positive direction.
I know it is now fashionable and politically right to vote for theories 6 - 10, and that for many years it has been fashionable to assume that inherited traits had been far much less critical than learned and situational variables in those men and women fulfilling leadership roles. Even so, the science and study of behavioural genetics is gradually refocusing attention on the truth that far far more is to do with our genes and our inherited traits and characteristics than has been assumed or accepted for a number of decades.
So I have to say that the latest study on genetics does seem to indicate what I have lengthy believed - namely that leaders are born not made - so I would go for an element of theory 1 with Genghis Khan. I am not certain how appropriate the Mother Theresa number 8 style is for a business atmosphere? But perhaps elements of this are covered in 7 and 10?
Clearly, there are strengths in all of the sorts of leadership - but in the present turbulent climate, I personally will nail my colours to the mast and pick a mixture of kind 7 and 10 - since transformational and primal leadership qualities applied in a alter management context are ideally suited to the holistic and wide view perspective of a programme based method to change management and, as such, would form key elements of effective strategies for managing alter.
For more on this: " - So are leaders born or created?."
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