What traits, assessments, or behavior makes leaders admirable? This paper will be your GPS to successful leadership traits, ehaviors, and methods that makes for successful and effective leaders for today and tomorrow. More specifically, it is about how to develop your own effectiveness and the effectiveness of others, and how to lead teams and organizations in an increasingly multifaceted, competitive, global environment. First, recognize that there is no one best way to be a leader in all conditions.
Therefore I will provide a balance of leadership theories, scholarly research, and practical applications with examples so that you will learn what works, why, and how to do apply it successfully yourself. Introduction Leadership has always been a popular topic in society due to its critical skill set in todays complex world. For as long as there have been leaders, people have been trying to pin point what makes a good leader. The media provides the world with glimpses of leaders in politics, businesses, and the military.
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It highlights their successes and failures. There are numerous written books by top leaders highlighting their personal recipe for success in a leadership role. There are even more scholarly articles/journals on psychological characteristics of successful leadership traits. In order to gain knowledge on uccessful leadership traits, it requires reading about morals, studying examples, engaging in self-assessments, setting realistic objectives for growth, trying new behaviors, and ultimately achieving learning goals.
Throughout this paper, you will read about real life learning examples that will help you assess your own competencies for learning how to become a successful leader. The goal is to enable you to develop effective leadership and continuous learning strategies for one-to-one, team, and organization development. Leadership Traits There are a variety of internal and external factors that influences a leader’s ffectiveness. As you read this section of the paper, think about what leadership traits and behaviors you possess.
Then you will learn about traits that are important for the leader you are, the leader you want to be, and the leader you need to be to face the challenges of today and the future. Leaders can benefit from understanding how their characteristics, as well as their strengths and weaknesses (competencies), influence their overall behavior, affect how they relate to others, and ultimately determine their effectiveness. There has been much debate, effort and money devoted to the study of successful leadership traits.
Some say that leaders are born, where others suggest that leaders are made. This is of importance due to the traits that successful leaders possess. Leadership traits have an important effect on leaders career inspiration, such as the factors of strength, intuition, and individuality. Leaders learn how to display and control how these traits affect their behavior. Peter Northouse (2013), explained that trait approach was one of the first systematic ways to study the components of great leadership (dating back to the “great man” theory of the early 20th Century).
While throughout the years there have been many researchers to roduce their own theories of characteristic traits of leaders, the five major traits appearing most centrally as a theme for leadership are self-confidence, sociability, intelligence, integrity and determination. The findings of DeRue et al. are based on a review of published studies called a ‘meta-analysis” (a meta-analysis averages results across a wide range of studies so that the results are likely to be more conclusive than from any one study alone).
Let’s look more closely at the results of this important study: Traits and behaviors explain only 31% of the reason for a leader’s effectiveness. The other 69% or less of the variation in leader effectiveness is due to environmental conditions, factors beyond the leader’s control, employees’ capabilities, and factors that cannot be identified (measurement errors, for example). Leader traits are more likely to be related to affective and relational criteria (how people work together, collaborate effectively, and treat each other with respect) than performance-related criteria.
Leaders’ interpersonal characteristics, such as their degrees of extraversion and openness, were more likely to predict relational-oriented behaviors, which have an effect on mployees’ satisfaction with the leader. Both leaders’ competence and interpersonal attributes affected leaders’ change-oriented behaviors, such as communicating a vision and generating employees’ commitment to transformation. Conscientiousness was the trait that was most consistently related to leadership performance, indicating the importance of leaders paying attention to details and persisting in the face of barriers.
Leader traits associated with task competence (e. g. , intelligence and emotional stability) were likely to predict task-oriented leader behaviors (e. g. , initiating structure and boundary spanning). Leaders who are high in extraversion and conscientiousness are likely to be viewed more positively than leaders who are low on these characteristics. Leaders who are high in conscientiousness and agreeableness are likely to improve the performance of their teams more than leaders who are low on these characteristics. What do these findings mean for leadership and organization development?
Organizations and leaders can benefit from knowing the traits and behaviors that affect different outcomes. Some leaders are likely to behave in ways that are task-focused and others in ways that are relationship-focused. Leaders who recognize they are deficient in one of these leader behaviors may then see how this influences how they spend their time. Leaders pay attention to behaviors they need to learn and practice in order to have a balanced leadership style. DeRue et al. ‘s (2011) findings have implications for methods of assessing leaders’ strengths and weaknesses and designing leadership development programs.
In particular: Leaders should be encouraged to assert their leadership role actively because leadership affects performance. Leaders need to be proactive, not passively waiting until problems occur. Passive leaders need to work actively on overcoming laissez-faire tendencies. Recall that full range leadership theory states that laissez-faire and passive management are the two least effective forms of transactional leadership. Leadership assessment and development needs to focus on competence and interpersonal ability and behaviors related to task structure, interpersonal relationships, and change.
To be successful, leaders need to be task-oriented (planning and scheduling work, for instance), relational-oriented (supporting and helping employees), and change-oriented (encouraging and facilitating hange). Bass & Stogdill (1 974, p. 7) pointed out in the analysis of leadership study; there are nearly as many different meanings of leadership as there are people who have tried to describe it. Example of this is like the words democracy, peace and love. Although each of us instinctively comprehends what the meanings of those words are, it can still have different meaning to us.
Stogdill and Mann in 1959 sought to summarize the impact of traits on leadership. Based on his review, Stogdill concluded give traits tended to differentiate leaders from average followers: (1) intelligence, (2) dominance, 3) self-confidence, (4) level of energy and activity, (5) task-relevant knowledge. Among the seven categories of personality traits examined by Mann, intelligence was the best predictor of leadership. However, research found that both Stogdill’s and Mann’s key traits did not accurately predict which individuals became leaders in organizations.
Those that displayed these traits often remained followers. Arguments against trait theory of leadership suggests, however, that some of the traits are overlapping with one another (suggesting need for caution) and that trait theory is not found to rove statistically reliable across studies (Technofunc,2012). Applying Trait Leadership Examples Now that you learned about characteristics of trait leadership of successful leaders, I will go over a couple of examples of how I have applied It at my current/pastjobs and how others successful leaders have applied it.
As a HSE Behavior Consultant, I can appreciate the five characteristics of the trait leadership in my current organization; by utilizing the information from the leadership theory to evaluate my position in the organization and to assess how my position can be made stronger in the organization. It’s critical as a consultant for me to demonstrate all give traits of intelligence, self- confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability. As a consultant have to show that I’m possess intelligence, by being well-trained and experienced in order to gain trust from those that consultant too.
I demonstrate this trait by staying on top of Current OSHA laws and regulations, making sure I’m One step ahead of my clients. emulate self-confidence by demonstrating my abilities as a leader. I try to encourage others that I lead to speak up in regards to unsafe practices, ensuring that their voices are always heard. I how determination in my efforts to protect those that I work for from harm. Lastly, show integrity & sociability by always doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
I illustrate this by not taking short cuts that can harm me or others, no matter who may or may not be presence. Integrity builds trust between those I lead and serve. Having an understanding of trait leadership theory can serve as a yardstick against which the leadership traits about myself and members of my management team can be assessed and we can gain an in-depth understanding of our identity and the way we affect others in the organization. This theory makes the manager aware of their strengths and weaknesses and thus they get an understanding of how they can develop their leadership qualities.
It gives a detailed knowledge and understanding of the leader element in the leadership process (Technofunc, 2012). Transactional and Transformational Leadership Transactional Leadership emphasis is on maintaining the normal flow of operation between leader and follower. Transactional Leadership goals are to provide something of significance to it followers, for example, people are motivated by a promotion, pay increase, or challenging assignment, in return or expected performance (London;M & Mone;E, 2012).
Transactional leaders provide clear instructions for it subordinates to follow, if followed than they are rewarded, if not followed than they are punished (Leadership Central, 2010). “Transformational Leadership is a process that changes and transforms individuals” (Hall et al, 2008). Transformational leadership focus on its follower’s higher level values, emotions and motives by helping their subordinates think outside the box in order to raise their awareness and consciousness about the importance and value of expected outcomes and the ways to attain them (Simic, 1998).
As we can see, Transformational and Transactional Leadership theories are polar opposite of one another. However, both leadership theories are important when it comes down to leaders motivating strategies and techniques to boost employee’s performance to accomplish internal change. One of Transactional leadership pros is it provide distinct ability to address small operational details quickly while keeping employees productive and keeping the company afloat. Transformational leaders provide a clear strategic plan for a company to reach it goals.
Applying Transformational & Transactional Examples Transformational theory is the approach I used in my previous role as a Human Resource Career Development Manager. My responsibility was to monitor employee’s performance throughout the year. applied transformational theory by focusing on the employee’s needs, by listening to their concerns first. Demonstrating genuine concern for each employee personal need is a key element in bringing out their very best efforts. This helped me better analyze on how could maximize their potential.
I discovered that many employees felt that they were not being challenged or developed. So I decided to challenge them to create new innovative and reative ideas on what would excite them to meet their numbers. I encourage team creativity and inspired employees to question their most basic way of thinking. made sure that this was a two way conversation, and that these were realistic and positive ideas that were going to be implemented and held accountable for. This helped our department meet and exceed it sales goals for the year.
Transformational theory was the key ingredient that I was able to utilize as a manager is this particular instance with this group of employee’s, “because leader effectiveness determines the success level of the rganization” (Hall et al, 2008). Transactional leadership is approach in my previous job as a call center manager. Example: In a call center there is a chain of command that clearly outlines subordinates responsibilities, rewards for compliance, and punishments for non-compliance under the assumption that the subordinate completed the allocated work in anticipation of the reward and in fear of punishment.
If my employees followed the guidelines to the T, they were rewarded. If they stepped outside the guidelines/rules, they were punished. Example: They were rewarded for adhering to call time on the phone with ustomers. Keep the phone less than 8 minutes, no more than 10 minutes at the max. If they did this, they were rewarded with a bonus. If they did not do this, they were not rewarded with a bonus and could be written up. Transactional leadership was the best form of leadership for a call center environment due to is stable and predictable working conditions.
Situational eadership Theory Situational leadership theory (SLT) attempts to match a particular leadership behavioral trait to specific external circumstances to fit the maturity level of its followers (Sims, H. ; Faraj, S. ; & Yun, S, 2009). They can either be relatively consistent, always behaving the same way regardless of the situation or the individuals involved, or they can vary their behaviors based on certain factors, such as the skill and motivation of their followers.
The SLT leader has the option to choose one of four leadership styles based on its audience level in relation to the task or situation. The four SLT styles are: 1. Directing -Highly directive behavior, with little supportive emphasis 2. Coaching- Highly directive behavior with high levels of support 3. Supporting- Highly su pportive behavior with low levels of support 4. Delegating- For people with high competence & high commitment SLT ill ustrates that there is no one best way to influence people. One leadership style may be effective in than another, depending on the situation or environment.
The leader has to pay close attention to the follower cues in order to employ one of the four leadership styles. (ROTC, n. d. ) Applying Situational Leadership Theory Example Some supervisors apply that “one size fits all” approach when it comes to managing employees. I leaned in my previous role as a call center manager that one size does not fit all. Ken Blanchard model suggest that managers/ upervisors should vary his or her style of leadership based on the employee’s development level. I constantly found myself changing my leadership style based on my audience development level.
Example: generally found myself applying Sl (Directing) High task/low relationship when I had a new group of young first time employees entering the workforce or older employees learning new set of skills or task. applied this style due to the low competence of my audience. They were eager to learn the new skills taught. They came in early and stayed late. However, were not skilled or had the competence to do the job at hand. After 3-6 months, I had to change my style to S2 (Coaching) High task/high relationship due to the employee gaining some competence about their role.