Leaders, Are They Born or Made? Assignment

Leaders, Are They Born or Made? Assignment Words: 3067

Leadership is the competency and capability to influence and motivate people towards the fulfillment of goals. Thereby, leadership within any organization is most definitely a critical factor of organizational efficacy.

Leaders also embody a vision for future, and a good leader possesses the quality to cope and evolve with change. The need of a leader in any given organizational setup, is imperative to the growth and future of the organization. “Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization” (House et al. , 1999) Whether a leader is made or born is undoubtedly one of the most argued question in the scope of leadership.

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As leadership theories and attributes have developed and evolved over the years, it can be observed that, leadership as a quality that contributes to the success of an organization is an attribute that can be developed or cultivated Leadership development and training is a fast growing academic discipline. Many multinationals companies like GE , Citi Bank and Shell have invested millions of dollars on shaping and moulding their leaders , as they strongly believe that the returns of the company is largely influenced by the quality and strength of its leaders. 2. 0 LEADERSHIP THEORIES- AN OVERVIEW 2. 1 TRAIT THEORY

The trait theory is one the earliest theories to have been developed in leadership, and is actually a range of theories, which strongly believe that, all leaders are born and possess certain inherent traits that cannot be learned. The objective of this study was to discover the traits, which successful leaders were made of and then use the same as a benchmark for grading other leaders. The generally accepted traits supporting the theory included honesty , competency, intelligence, self confidence, future vision etc. But the above basis to identify leaders was leadership quality was very unsubstantial, and often led to contradiction.

Thus due to the inconsistency of the theory, it suffers several pitfalls. 2. 1. 1. The disadvantages of the trait theory were: Table: 2. 1 1. Relativity-not possible to identify the relative importance of various traits. 2. Interaction- most trait type models are disregarding Interaction effects. 3. Universalism- the occurrence of different situations , have proved that traits are not universal. They differ with situation 4. Change- traits tend to evolve and transform over time. 5. Cause and effect-the cause of effect of the theory are ambiguous 6.

Cultural factors- the theory completely neglects the changes in cultural environment. Source: http://www. 12manage. com/description_trait_leadership_theory. html 2. 2 BEHAVIOURAL THEORY The shortcomings of the trait theory, led to development of the behavioural theory of leadership. In the context of behavioural theory the focus shifted from the study of characteristic traits to the study of behavioural patterns displayed by leaders. The theory believes that leaders can be trained and developed. The managerial leadership grid developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, has gained significant importance.

It measures a leader on two parameters: 1. concern for people 2. concern production. The results are then plotted on a nine position grid (as illustrated in fig 2. 1) The following table describes the understanding of the grid Table 2. 2 The two concerns on a vertical and horizontal axis, respectively. A person with: 9/1 score is a country club manager(9 on concern for people ; 1 on concern for production) 1/1 represents a impoverished management style 1/9 indicates task management. 5/5 style , in the middle of the grid , is a middle of the road management style. The ideal position is a 9/9″team manager”. Fig 2. 1 pic] Source:www. 12manage. com A key factor that the theory seems to ignore is the various situational factors that influence the measure of success of a leader. 2. 3 SITUATIONAL CONTINGENCY THEORY The inclusion of situational factors to the study of leadership led to the understanding that, leadership is more complex than just identifying a set of traits and behaviours. The contingency theory is a more comprehensive approach to leadership , and thus garnered greater acceptance . Some of the important contributions to these thories include the works of Fred Fiedler, Robert House, Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard. . 3. 1 Feidler’s contingency theory The first situational theory to have been developed is that of Fred Fiedler Fielder’s theory states that, group effectiveness depends on the appropriate match between a leader’s style and the relative demand of the given situation. Table 2. 3 The LPC Model |Fielder uses an instrument called LEAST PREFFERED CO-WORKER(LPC) to identify leadership pattern. Respondents are asked to | |describe the person with whom they work using a series of adjectives such as: friendly ,unfriendly, pleasant , unpleasant etc. | | |The interpretation is as follows | | High LPC( positive)- have a relationship oriented style | | Low LPC leader is regarded to possess a task oriented approach. | | The crux of the model states that low and high LPC leaders are each effective if | |placed in the right situation. 2. 3. 2 Hersey and Blanchard’s Model This model of leadership requires the leader to identify the demands of the situation and then choose and implement the appropriate leadership response. The theory also lays emphasis on the readiness of the followers and their reaction to a specific task. It also asserts that an effective leader assess the changing situations , and guages the readiness of the followers to the same and implements necessary changes in the pattern of leadership , in order to accommodate the change. Fig 2. 2 [pic]

Source: Killian The above diagram illustrates the different patterns of leadership behaviour Table 2. 4 -Interpretation S1- telling style- gives specific directions and closely supervises the followers. S2-selling style- explains decisions and provides opportunity to clarify S3-participating style- shares ideas openly and involve sin decision making. S4-delegating style- provides little in terms of direction and support for task at hand Enables able and willing followers 2. 4 TRANSACTIONAL AND TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADRSHIP THEORY

The studies conducted by James McGregor Burns as well as the works of Bernard Bass has led to the development of the transactional and transformational theories of leadership. A transactional leader typically uses the approach of rewards and punishments to accomplish organizational needs. Transformational Leadership on the other hand goes beyond the realm of transactional leadership. Transformational Leadership is a leadership style by which the followers are inspired and goals are broadened and elevated, and confidence is gained to go beyond expectations. (Zeffane. W and Fitzgerald.

F). The key considerations( Four I’s) of a transformational leader as described by Bruce Avolio are as follows: Table 2. 5 key considerations |1. |Individual consideration |Pay attention to individual employees. | |2. |Intellectual stimulation |Be concerned with helping people to think through. | |3. |Inspirational motivation |Inspire people to give their best. | |4. |Idealised influence |Engender respect and trust that gives power and influence over people. | Source: OB; Zeffane W and Fitzgerald F

Transformational and transactional leaderships compared: Table 2. 6 [pic] Source: www. services. bgfl. org 3. 0 CHARACTERISTI CS OF A SUCCESSFUL LEADER Great leadership consists of possessing several building blocks of capabilities or attributes, each complementing the other, welded with having a result oriented approach to goal accomplishment. The success of an organization largely depends on the success of its leader. The key competencies a leader should have are listed as follows: Table 3. 1 |Character |Should display high levels of honesty, integrity and loyalty.

Be a role model to | | |the others in the organization. | |Personal Capability |Possess technical and professional expertise, to provide counsel and advise to | | |followers. | |Innovation |Encourage alternative approaches to new idea. Should be creative and | | |resoureceful. | |Self Development |Should display high levels of honesty, integrity and loyalty.

Be a role | | |model to the others in the organization | |Result Oriented |Aggressively follow programs and projects to successful completion | |Establish Goals |Promote spirit of continuous improvement. Maintain high standards of performance. | |Responsibility |Take responsibility for outcomes. | |Interpersonal Skills |communicate powerfully and prolifically, skilful at communicating new insights. | |Work in a collaborative manner | |Strategic Perspective |helps formulate strategic business action which translates the organizations long| | |and short term goals | |Inspirational |energize people to go the extra mile | |Collaboration and Teamwork |build co-operative working relationships with others in the company. |Championing Change |evolve with the changing demands of the environment | 4. 0 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND TRANING Leadership Development can be defined as expanding the collective capacity of the organizational members to engage effectively in leadership development roles and processes(McCauley et all. ,98′). The ability to lead, far more than just a natural gift, is a concrete and learnable skill. One that can be acquired by studying and applying specific proficiencies and attitudes. (John H. Zenger & Joseph Folkman, 02′)

Many organizations are viewing leadership development as a source of competitive advantage and are investing in its development accordingly(McCall 1998,Vicere and Fulmer, 1998). A survey sponsored by the American Society of Training and Development indicated that 85% of companies that engage in leadership development activities. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMES The following table shows the various methods of leadership training methods, that companies adopt. Table 4. 1 |1. |Mentoring | |2. 360 degree feed back | |3. |Executive coaching | |4. |Networking | |5. |Job assignments | |6. |Action learning. Eg: GE’s Work Out Program | Source:www. sciencedirect. om The following illustration describes, briefly , the development of leaders. Figure 4. 1 [pic] Source: http://www. odl. rutgers. edu/e-leadership/pdf/Orlando. pdf 5. CASE STUDY 5. 1 CASE STUDY 1- ABRAHAM LINCOLN Table 5. 1 Case History Abraham Lincoln is, till date considered as one of the greatest, in the world of leaders. Having lead America through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. Abraham Lincoln was born to impoverished farmers, and lost his mother , at an early age of 10. is formal education consisted of about 18 months of schooling, but he was largely self-educated and an avid reader. His political career started in 1832, at age 23, with an unsuccessful campaign for the Illinois General Assembly. The centerpiece of his platform was undertaking of navigational improvements , to help aleviate povery. In 1834, he won election to the state legislature, and, after coming across the Commentaries on the Laws of England, began to teach himself law , and was admitted to the bar in 1837. he was involved in more than 5,100 cases in Illinois alone during his 23-year legal career.

Lincoln was the only President of the United States to hold a patent: a “device to buoy vessels over shoals”. Although it was never commercialised. He was twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Senate. However, In 1860, Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States Lincoln was a strong supporter of anti slavery , and took interest in its abolition , and his undetering efforts for the same transformed him into a national political star, and spared the many thousands of people from the clutches of slavery.

Through this time america faced one of its worst periods , with the civil war. he threw his energies into passage Amendment to permanently abolish slavery throughout the nation . Lincoln’s charismatic leadership ,his intelligent political moves, and undying spirit helped america tide over the tough times , and come victorious from the war. Source: www. home. att. net 5. 1. 1 ANALYSIS: LINCOLN’S LEADERSHIP WAS MADE Having a very rough childhood ,and having to face failure many a times , before tasting success, he picked up his lessons, through his life and political career . hus his quality of leadership , does not confirm with the trait theory , which believes that leaders are born. Lincoln is an embodiment of a leader with a growth mindset. He did not have a college education, but had a strong belief in constant learning and he was an avis reader and taught himself to be a good writer and a great orator. He appointed three people who were his arch rivals in Presidential primaries to his cabinet. He took this unusual step despite the fact that their experience and education overshadowed his own.

It was his ability to constantly learn and surround himself with people, who were better than him made him one of the greatest Presidents. This can be attributed to the situational leadership theory, where he has made the best to learn out the presented situation and moulded himself through personal learning and experiences . Having lead the country out of its worst crisis, where the country was threatened of being divided into two nations; the North and the South. It was this vision , and perseverance , that makes Lincoln a transformational leader , who was largely self made. . 2 CASE STUDY 2-NARAYAN MURTHY- INFOSYS INDIA Table 5. 2 Case History Narayan Murthy is the man behind the success on INFOSYS, one of India’s leading IT companies’ and is essentially responsible for putting India on the global map. He came from a poor but educated family. His father was a high-school teacher and an avid reader of English literature. He was A shy boy, but a hard worker and one of the brightest boy in his class and his seniors would often ask him to solve their difficulties in Science.

Narayan Murthy aspired to join IIT( Indian Institute of Technology, one of the premier institutes in the country) , however , he could not have any special books or coaching. However , with the minimal resources he had , he studied with a lot of dedication and perseverance , and passed the exam with merit. However the bitter truth was yet to come , as his father , refused to send him to IIT, due to the dire financial position . He was so near to fulfilling his fondest dream, yet so far. His heart sank in sorrow

But this did not make him lose heart, when one of his friends noticed and said, “You should have made it”. He did not reply. He just wished them. He said to himself, without anger or jealousy, “All students from the IITs study well and do big things in life. But it is not the institution, ultimately it is you and you alone who can change your life by hard work”. It was this undying attitude in him , which made him started a company with 6 like minded people in the 1980’s with $250 and then scaled it to a company with a valuation of $28 bn.

Today Infosys has over $3 bn in revenue, more than 70,000 employees and over 500 customers. For Murthy “the best use of all the wealth – financial, intellectual, or emotional is to share it with the less fortunate”. In 1996 the company promoted Infosys Foundation, which helps the underprivileged in improving healthcare, social rehabilitation, education, art and culture. Today, he is India’s best ambassador. He sits on the board of Unilever, DBS Bank and universities like Cornell, Wharton, Stanford and Yale. Source:www. teck. in/ narayan murthy 5. 2. 1 ANALYSIS- MURTHY’S LEADERSHIP IS MADE.

Murthy had no godfather, no venture capital and no political contacts for making this journey possible, but yet emerged successful. He was a shy child ( thus not confirming with the trait theory, that states that leaders are born. ) A leaders’s greatest test of character comes only at times of adversity. Murthy’s darkest hour was a day in 1990, when his cofounders, after years of struggle and frustrations at dealing with the government decided to sell the company, when being offered a princely sum of $1 million in a buyout and the other founders wanted to exit. But Murthy believed that Infosys was destined for bigger things.

Although he didn’t have any money he offered to buy out the cofounders and continue running Infosys. Stunned by his conviction, the other cofounders backed off. This is certainly an attribute of a transformational leader. Murthy shared wealth with his fellow workers, laid down best-in-class practices and spawned a whole generation of entrepreneurs. As he turned 60, Murthy retired from the services of Infosys. His personal worth that day was $1. 3 bn. He then handed over the CEO’s post to Nandan Nilekani as he felt that “the others should also have their day in the sun”. his a true embodiment of a charismatic leader , who was self made, and believed in creating more leaders . Thus murthy’s leadership , clearly shows that his leadership is made. 6. CONCLUSION True leaders come up against all obstacles , with a great deal of self belief, and conquering all odds and learning through experience. Great leaders , also show concern and loyalty for fellow beings , thus influencing the world around them, and creating other leaders. “The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability. “- Fred A.

Manske, Jr. The American expert on leadership John Maxwell, in his book, found about 30% of them have pursued the leadership position due to certain natural gifts and abilities, and the remaining 70% became leaders mainly due , the crisis situations they faced and the influence other leaders have had on them. .All this clearly points out , that leadership , is not a quality that is reserved for a certain few , it denies the fact that leaders are only born . Leadership is most definitely an attainable quality, through constant learning . Thus great leaders , are indeed most often groomed , trained and made. . REFERNCES Avolio, B. J. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership theory building. American Psychologist. Bass B (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook on leadership (New York: Freeman Press) Fiedler, F. E. (1964). A Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. New York: Academic Press. Huczynski A and Buchanan D (2007). Organizational Behaviour 6th edition. London: Prentice Hall Northouse, P (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice, 4th edition. California:Sage Publications. Robbins S (2005). Organizational Behaviour , 11th edition.

New Jersey: Pearson Education, Prentice Hall. Wood J , Zeffanne R, Fromholtz M and Fitzgerald J ( 2006) . Organizational behaviour : Core Concepts and Applications 1st edition. Australia: Wiley Publications Yukl G(1998) . Leadership in Organizations New Jersey : Prentice Hall Websites: Deca website: available at http://www. deca. org/pdf/LeadershipQuotes. pdf ( accessed on 01/12/08) Leadership Studies website : available at http://www. leadership-studies. com/lsw/definitions. htm ( accessed on 01/12/08) Bsu Education website: available at http://www. bsu. edu/mcobwin/majb/uploads/pdf/vol12num2. df#page=4 ( accessed on 04/12/08) Rutgers website: available at http://www. rci. rutgers. edu/~goeller/bpw/46-60. pdf ( accessed on 04/12/08) 12 Manage website : available at www. 12manage. com( accessed on 05/12/08) Purdue education website : available at http://www. ansc. purdue. edu/courses/communicationskills/LeaderQualities. pdf ( accessed on 10/12/08) Science direct wesite : available at (http://www. sciencedirect. com/science? _ob=MImg=B6W5N-42Y1649-61 =6575=7644293=search=10%2F01%2F2000=999889995=c=dGLzVzzzSkzV=38114c475a54a12ec4b749da8ccb40cf=/sdarticle. df) (accessed on 12/12/08) Bgfl services website : available at www. services. bgfl. org( accessed on 15/12/08) Forum kalpoint website: available at http://forum. kalpoint. com/events-politics-world/63983-leaders-born-made-work-diligently-become-leader. html ( accessed on 20/12/08) Att home website : available at http://home. att. net/~rjnorton/Lincoln77. html( accessed on 24/12/08) Indiatimes website: available at http://o3. indiatimes. com/highsandlows/archive/2007/09/07/4776645. aspx ( accessed on 02/01/09) Teck In website : available at http://teck. in/narayana-murthys-childhood. html ( accessed on 02/01/09)

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