All Leadership Theories in under 15 minutes
Do you have 15 minutes and would like to learn the basics of leadership theories? This is the post for you! This post will give you the essential information about all theories and the main idea behind them. It also contains a lot of great links to help you further your research. Let’s get started.
The idea is that every person is born with the characteristics of a leader. This means that you can either be or not a leader. Your upbringing, education, experience, and other factors only shape your leadership abilities. They are not responsible for making you a leader. The early theories of leadership were based on the characteristics of great leaders like Lincoln, Gandhi, and Napoleon. Although they don’t have scientific validity, they are important in helping you understand your leadership abilities. Read more The Big Book of Team Culture
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The theory: All leaders share the same traits or characteristics. This theory analyzed combinations of individuals’ mental, physical, and social characteristics with the goal of determining if leaders share certain combinations. Potential leaders share traits such as ambition, energy, honesty, integrity, self-confidence and intelligence, as well as a desire to lead and job-relevant knowledge. Ralph Stogdill was the one who developed the Trait theory. He outlined the traits and skills that distinguish leaders from non-leaders in his Handbook of Leadership (1974). However, this theory was only a theory. Scientists have tried to identify the characteristics that make a leader over the years. Unfortunately, none of them have produced any meaningful results.
The idea is that leaders are determined by their actions, not their traits. Behavioral theories, on the other hand, focus on what leaders do. This new perspective allowed anyone to become a leader without having to possess certain traits. This is the Behavioral theory.
The idea: Leaders need to be able to adapt to a particular behavior. Kurt Lewin’s 1930s research reveals that there are three types: Autocratic leaders: They make decisions without consulting their team.
Democratic leaders: They allow the team input before making a decision.
Laissez-faire leaders aren’t disruptive to team dynamics and allow members to make many of their own decisions.
Lewin says that while many leaders belong to a particular type, the best leaders are able to adapt to different styles.