best ladership

The main theories of leadership

Why do some leaders succeed and some leaders fail?

The truth is that there is no “miracle combination” of characteristics that make a leader successful, and different circumstances require different characteristics.

But that does not mean you can not learn how to be an effective leader. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. One way to do this is to learn more about key leadership theories. These theories form the core of our current knowledge of leadership. In this article, we examine these theories.

Four groups of main theories.

Here we take a look at each of these four sets of theories and examine some of the tools and models for implementing them. (Remember that there are many other theories in addition to these basic theories.

1. Character theories: What kind of people can be good leaders?

Character theories state that effective leaders share a number of personality traits. The basic characteristics of feature theories were that leadership is an inherent and instinctive quality that a person either possesses or does not possess. Fortunately, today we have gone beyond those theories and learned more about what we need to do to improve the quality of our own leadership or that of others.

Character theories help us identify qualities and traits that are useful and necessary to lead others (traits such as truthfulness, empathy, decision-making skills, width, and the ability to attract others). But none of these characteristics or any particular combination of them can guarantee our success in leadership.

Characteristics are the behaviors that arise from what is going on in your mind, and that is why it is your inner beliefs and mental processes that are critical to becoming an effective leader.

The articles Defining Leadership and Introducing Types of Leadership Theories examine some of the characteristics and skills needed to be a good leader:

2. Behavioral theories: What does a good leader do?

Behavioral theories focus on how leaders behave. For example, do leaders impose what needs to be done on others and expect them to cooperate? Or do they involve their team in decision-making and thus encourage them to make and support decisions?

theories of leadership

In the 1930s, Kurt Lewin introduced a framework based on the behavior of a leader. He stated that there are three types of leaders:

Authoritarian leadership:

These leaders make decisions without consulting their team. This style of leadership is suitable for times when decisions need to be made quickly, or when there is no need to get information from others, or when team members’ agreement with the decisions made does not have much effect on the successful achievement of goals.

Participatory (democratic) leadership:

In this style, leaders allow their team members to provide feedback and information before making a decision; However, the extent to which these opinions are used varies between different leaders. This style is appropriate when the team agrees with the decisions. But when there are so many different opinions and perspectives in a team, it will be difficult to manage.

Delegated leadership (liberal):

In this style, leaders are less likely to interfere in decision-making; They allow their team members to make many decisions for themselves. It is appropriate to use this style when the team has high capabilities, is sufficiently motivated, and does not require constant supervision. However, a leader may choose this style because of his laziness or lack of concentration, in which case this leadership style will fail.

Obviously, how a leader behaves affects his performance. Research has shown that many appropriate leadership behaviors are different at different times. The best leaders are those who can use a variety of different behavioral styles and can choose the best style for each situation.

Delegated management versus microscopic management shows how to strike the right balance between authoritarian and delegated leadership styles. The Blake-Moton Management Network article will also help you decide how to behave as a leader, depending on how important you are to people or productivity.

3. Contingency theories; What effect does the situation have on good leadership?

The inference that there is no single right leadership style has led to the formation of theories that state that the choice of the best leadership style depends on the situation in which you find yourself. These theories attempt to predict which leadership style is appropriate for which situation.

For example, which style is best when you have to decide immediately? Which style will be most effective when you need full support from your team? Should a leader act more on people and their needs or on the tasks that should be performed by his team? These are the questions that contingency leadership theories try to answer.

Goal-direction theory and Fiedler’s contingency model are among the most important contingency models of leadership. You can also use the leadership process model to understand how the situation you are in affects other important factors in leadership effectiveness.

4. Theories of power and influence; What are the sources of power of a leader?

Theories of leadership power and effectiveness have a completely different approach; These theories are based on the ways in which leaders use their power and influence to get things done and examine the styles that emerge as a result of this use of power.

Perhaps the most well-known of these theories are the five forms of power from the perspective of French and Raven. This model identifies three types of situational power (legal, rewarding, coercive, or punitive) and two sources of personal power (expertise, reference).

This model states that using personal power is a better option, and you should strive to gain the power of expertise (the power you gain from having expertise in your work). Because this is the most legal and justified form of personal power.

the main theories of leadership

Another leadership style that uses power and influence is the transformational leadership style. This approach assumes that people work only for reward and no other reason. Therefore, this approach focuses on designing task structures and rewards.

Although this strategy does not seem very acceptable, it usually works because it builds relationships (constructively) and motivates people in the workplace, and leaders in many organizations use this style to get things done and use tasks. Likewise, leadership through role modeling is another effective way to influence the team.

Effective leadership styles:

As mentioned earlier, transformational leadership is usually the best leadership style to use in business. In this style, leaders show the truth and know how to create an inspiring and outstanding vision of the future for their people. They motivate their people to achieve this vision and build the strongest and most successful teams.

However, you need to choose your leadership style to suit your team and the situation you are in, and for this, you need to have a good understanding and understanding of other leadership styles.

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