Leadership Essentials Training

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People who Becomes a Leader

Related:   Evaluating the benefits of mentoring    > People who Becomes a Leader <   Raising Interpersonal Effectiveness   Types of Leadership  
People who Becomes a Leader

People who Becomes a Leader

Characteristics of the Person

In a general way three factors are associated with leadership:

  • Leaders tend to excel in those abilities that help the group to accomplish its goals.
  • Leaders tend to have interpersonal skills that contribute to successful interaction. In general, being cooperative, organized, articulate, and interpersonally sensitive would be an asset. The ability to perceive group needs and to respond to them is also important.
  • A third factor is motivation. Leaders usually desire recognition and prominence; they are more ambitious, achievement oriented, and willing to assume responsibility.

Characteristics of the Situation

Another approach to leadership emphasizes situational factors. The basic idea is that communication is essential for leadership, so the person who can communicate most freely tends to become the leader.

Transactional Approaches

The central point of this approach is that the interaction between the leader and followers work both ways. The perceptions and attitudes of followers partly determine who becomes leader. Leaders, in turn, usually pay close attention to the views of followers and may modify their leadership behavior in response to the actions of their followers.

Leadership Style

Fiedler's Contingency Model

Fiedler indentifies two styles of leadership. Those leaders who give highest priority to getting the work of the group done successfully and who deemphasize relations among group members are called task-oriented leaders. Those leaders who reverse these priorities by putting group relations first and task accomplishment second are called relationship-orientated leaders.  Fiedler also classifies group situations along a continuum. As one extreme are high-control situations in which the leader has high legitimate power and is well liked and respected by the group, and in which the group's task is structured and clear cut. At the other extreme are low-control situations in which the leader has little legitimate authority, has poor relations with group members, and is confronted with a task that may require creative or complex solutions.
Fiedler's research shown that task-oriented leaders are more effective in increasing group productivity in both extremely high and extremely low control situations. Relationship -oriented leaders are more effective in situations where the leader has moderate control:  when the leader gets along well with group members but has a complex task or when the leader is disliked but the task is clear.
We can draw from Fiedler's model that the effectiveness of either type of leader will change if there is a change in control. The key point is that no one style of leadership is effective in all situations. Ultimately, the most effective leader may be the person who can adapt his or her style to match the situation.

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