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Leadership Theories Great Man Theories One of the leadership theories that often figures in various leadership books

the Great Man theory states that there are two basic assumptions; that leaders are born and not made, and the second assumption is that great leaders will come up when there is a need. This theory was developed from an early research which included the study of great leaders. The early leaders came from the privileged class and held hereditary titles. Very few people from the lower class had the opportunity to take a lead. The Great Man theory was based on the idea that whenever there is a need of leadership, a Great Man would arise and solve the problems. When the Great Man theory was proposed, most of the leaders were males and therefore, the gender issues were not negotiable. Even the researchers were male, which was the reason for the name of the theory being 'Great Man Theory'. Trait Theories One of the important leadership theories in education, traits theory of leadership assumes that leaders have inherited traits in them which make these people suitable for leadership. Many say that leaders are people who can fully express themselves while others cannot, and this is what makes them different from other people. A leader has the right combination of traits which makes him a good leader. Read more on leadership and management. When this theory was pronounced, it was based on the study of the characteristics of successful leaders. The researchers also made an assumption that if people found these leadership traits, they would also become leaders. While researching, certain traits and characteristics were listed. John Gardner researched many leaders of north America and listed the attributes and characteristics of leaders. These traits are as follows:
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Intelligence and judgments based on actions Physical stamina and a vital driving force Task competency Better understanding of the followers and their demands Avidness to accept responsibilities Ability to deal with people Capability to motivate people Trustworthy Conclusiveness Flexibility

These are some of the few qualities and attributes of a leadership. When this theory was researched earlier, researchers believed that a leader has all the the listed traits in him/her. The meaning of this theory is that the same leadership attributes are applicable for leadership on a battlefield and the leadership in a school. However, if a person has some of these traits and not all, then it is not possible for him to be a leader! Apart from this question, there was again the problem of gender in a leadership. Even if you make an exhaustive list of leadership traits, these attributes are defined taking into consideration a male leader. This gave rise to the new

leadership theory called the behavioral theory. Behavioral Theories After the trait theory, the researchers started exploring the behavior of the leaders and made assumptions that the traits and the leadership qualities are not inherited, they can be learned and mastered by any person. Thus, this theory meant that leaders are not born, leaders can be made and so it became a famous management leadership theory and practice. In the behavior theory, you need to assess a successful leader along with the actions of that particular leader. As a successful leader is assessed, a leader with failure is also assessed, therefore, a second aspect of this theory was built. Apart from the leadership theories and styles which were pronounced earlier, the basic leadership ideas remained the same. While researching, patterns of behavior were found and according to these patterns, leadership styles were created. Here are the four styles of leadership based on the behavioral theory: Concern for People As the name suggests, this style of leadership reflects the characteristics of the leaders who aimed upon solving the problems of their followers and look after their needs, development and problems. The leader who has the concern of people as his priority will always strive for the betterment of his people or followers. Concern of Task The leader with the concern of task is more focused on his achievements and level of productivity. Also, the concern of task style reflects the ability to organize people and arrange activities, in order to meet the desired objectives and goals. Directive Leadership This leadership style includes the characteristics of leaders with the ability to be decisive and expect the followers to act according to his decision. Participative Leadership Unlike directive leadership, in participative leadership, the leader and his followers take a decision by sharing the views and decisions together. Situational Leadership Theories One of the relatively lesser known leadership theories is the situational leadership theory. The researchers found that leaders emerged as a result of different situations. Therefore, the researchers assumed that leadership qualities were developed depending on the situation. However, there are people who believe that there are different styles of leadership which changes the situation. There are three basic things in a situational leadership; the foremost thing is that the relationship between the followers and the leader must be healthy. The followers must like the

leader and support him/her in his goals. The second thing is that the task which is to be accomplished must be known, and the leader should set the goals as per the task to be done. Along with the tasks to be accomplished, the methods and standards to accomplish the task must also be specified in details, as this will make an impact on the followers. The third thing that is important is that the organization must confer the responsibilities of the task upon the leader, as this will strengthen the position of the leader. Read more on leadership theories: pros and cons. Transactional Leadership Theories As the name suggests, this leadership theory is dependent on the fact that one thing is traded for the other thing. The transactional leader knows what he wants from the work and ensures that his followers perform well for giving the expected output. When the expected output is accomplished by the people of the organization, the leader must exchange rewards and make future promises for the people's efforts. Also, the leader must see to it that the immediate selfinterests of the people are met with proper work done. This means that the needs of the people must be catered to by the leader along with the fact that his work is getting done. Read more on qualities of a good leader . Transformational Theories In the transformational theory of leadership, the assumption is that people are inspired from the leader and the leader must have passion about his leadership. This is a great way of putting in enthusiasm and energy in the followers to get the work done. In short, the people are encouraged, and converted into potential followers. Read more on transformational leadership.