Leadership Theory

According to Nathan F. Iannone, leadership can be defined as the art of
influencing, directing, guiding, and controlling others in such a way as to
obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in
accomplishment of an objective. Leaders are not born...sure there are some
gifts-traits-attributes, natural endowments that affect relative abilities...but
they are not born, they are made. Any reasonably intelligent person with enough
forcefulness to develop his/her ability to inspire others to follow him can earn
leadership status. Remember that we have both formal and informal leaders....

Being a Captain /Sergeant doesn’t make you a leader! Classic Leadership

Theory: Common Traits of Leaders. Booher and Watson refer to classic leadership
theory because it describes an approach to understanding leadership that by and
large is out of style. Nonetheless it is clear that one can learn a great deal
by studying the important personal ingredients in the leadership equation.

Studying the traits of great leaders became unpopular because it was and is
associated with the "great man" theory of leadership. This approach was
espoused in the 19th. and early 20th. Centuries, and asserted the leadership
qualities are largely inherited. This was called "trait theory." Researchers
such as Mann and Stodgill found no consistent correlate between particular
traits and leadership. Later research, particularly more recent and more
sophisticated work has found a consistent and strong relationship between
certain traits and leadership. Possessing these core traits simply makes it more
likely that a person will take the appropriate action leading to leadership
success. Overhead #2 The Art of Leadership. What is the nature of leadership,
leadership is an art! As with any form of artistic expression, painting, music,
leadership is an art form in that it:  Is an expression of the
individual within the social and environmental context.  Reflects the
individual’s personality.  Can be easier to demonstrate and develop
when one has a talent for it.  Can be learned-you may have a talent for
it, you may not, either way, anyone can still become an effective leader.
 Is greatly enhanced through a disciplined regimen of learning and
feedback. Through science, we can study the elements of leadership and provide
valuable understanding into its nature. This enables us to determine where to
focus our leadership skills and abilities, as well as measure to some extent,
our effectiveness. However, the act of leading itself is largely unscientific
and is far more akin to practicing an art form than studying scientific
variables. Understanding both facets of leadership is crucial to your
development as a leader. For you as a leader, remember that leadership is an
art; your leadership is always a work in progress. OH #3 Leadership Styles. Many
people believe that there is one type of leadership that is most effective, and
if they can only develop that style, they would be effective as a leader. Some
leaders have one style, and honestly believe that it is best to stick with what
comes naturally. As with any art form, one has a number of tools at one’s
disposal. In leadership, these tools are different leadership styles. Although
certain situations call for specific styles, most situations call for a
combination of styles. The four general styles of leadership are: 1. Autocratic.

2. Participative. 3. Laissez-faire. 4. Variable. Autocratic also known as
authoritarian leadership is rule by authority. As a manager or supervisor, a
person is endowed with a level of authority, which is expected to be obeyed. An
autocratic leader rests on this fact, expecting his subordinates to comply.

Participative leadership is often referred to as democratic although democratic
processes (voting etc.) need not be present to constitute participative
leadership. Laissez-faire leadership (really non-leadership) is a hands off
approach. If the group’s goals are being accomplished under the management of
a LF leader, it is because the group members are self-motivated, demonstrate
effective teamwork, and exhibit expertise in their field. Variable leadership, a
precursor to "situational leadership" draws from a combination of the above
styles. Whether this form of leadership is effective depends on how each style
is applied at what time. The styles of leadership help us understand how people
go about practicing the art, the question how does our individual traits affect
our ability to do so? OH #4 Leadership Traits. Traits can be described as our
general orientation (paradigm) toward people and things. Regrettably we tend to
view ourselves, as the way people ought to be. That is problematic. This clouds
our judgment of ourselves and others, hindering our ability to ascertain
weaknesses, and objectively evaluate and develop upon our strengths. Traits are
such a fundamental