Leadership - IResearchNet (2022)

People are obsessed with leaders. People gossip about the boss; airport bookshops bulge with leadership books; current affairs analyzes the actions of leaders; and much of organizational science is about leadership. This is not surprising. Leaders have enormous influence over their followers—leaders make decisions for their followers and shape the course of their lives and even the type of people they are, and so followers are focused on how effective their leaders are; how they are elected, appointed, and deposed; and whether they lead for good or for evil.

Leadership Definition

Leadership is a process whereby an individual, or clique, is able to influence others to internalize a collective vision and mobilize them toward attaining that vision. Effective leadership transforms people’s goals and ambitions, even their identities, and replaces self-oriented behavior with group-oriented behavior. The exercise of power over people to force them, through rewards and punishments, to comply with commands and bend to one’s will is not leadership.

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Personality Attributes of Great Leaders

Although leadership is a group process (leaders require followers), leadership research has a long history of focusing on attributes of leaders alone that make them effective—great leaders. The 19th-century belief that leaders are born rather than made is no longer in vogue—research has failed to find “great leader” genes. However, the idea that some people have personalities, however acquired, that predispose them to lead effectively in all situations, whereas others do not, has attracted enormous research attention. A definitive review published in 2002 concluded that three of the Big Five personality dimensions are associated with effective leadership: Extraversion, Openness to Experience, and Conscientiousness. Overall, however, personality does not allow people to differentiate between effective and ineffective leaders very reliably.

What Do Effective Leaders Do?

Maybe some leadership behaviors are more effective. One reliable distinction that has emerged is between a leadership style that pays more attention to the group task and getting things done (task-oriented leadership) and one that pays attention to relationships among group members (socioemotional leadership). Most groups require both types of leadership and people who are capable of being both task-focused and socio-emotionally focused tend to be the most effective.

Interactionist Perspectives on Leadership

However, different situations and different group activities call for different emphases on the task or on relationships—in which case, the relative effectiveness of task-oriented and relationship-oriented leaders may be contingent on properties of the leadership situation. This idea is reflected in Fred Fiedler’s contingency theory of leadership, very popular in the 1970s; one strength of this theory was that Fielder had a novel way to measure both leadership styles (the least-preferred coworker scale) and classify how well structured situations were. Generally, relationship-oriented leadership was most effective unless the group task was very poorly structured or very well structured.

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Another interactionist perspective is normative decision theory. Leaders can choose to make decisions autocratically (subordinate input is not sought), consultatively (subordinate input is sought, but the leader retains authority to make the final decision), or as a genuine group decision (leader and subordinates are equal partners in shared decision making). The relative efficacy of these strategies is contingent on the quality of leader-subordinate relationships and on task clarity and structure. Autocratic leadership is fast and effective if leader-subordinate relationships are good and the task is well structured. When the task is less clear, consultative leadership is best, and when leader-subordinate relations are poor, group decision making is best.

A third interactionist theory is path-goal theory, which assumes that a leader’s main function is to motivate followers by clarifying the paths that will help them attain their goals. Leaders do this by directing task-related activities (structuring) or by addressing followers’ personal and emotional needs (consideration). Structuring is most effective when followers are unclear about their goals and how to reach them, and consideration is most effective when the task is boring or uncomfortable.

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Transactional Leadership

Another way to look at leadership is as a transaction between leaders and followers—the leader does something benefiting followers, and followers in turn allow the leader to lead. Eric Hollander coined the term idiosyncrasy credit to describe a transaction in which leaders who initially conform to group norms and therefore serve the group well are subsequently rewarded by the group by being allowed to be idiosyncratic and innovative—key features of effective leadership.

One key transactional leadership theory is leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. Because leaders have to relate to many subordinates, they differentiate among them and develop different LMX relationships with different subordinates—the quality of these relationships range from those based on mutual trust, respect, and obligation (high-quality LMX relationships), to those mechanically based on the formal employment contract between leader and subordinate (low-quality relationships). Effective leadership rests on the development of high-quality LMX relationships with as many subordinates as possible—these relationships motivate followers and bind them to the group.

Transformational Leadership and Charisma

Leaders typically are innovative and able to mobilize followers to buy and implement their new vision for the group—they are transformational. Transformational leadership is characterized by (a) careful attention to followers’ needs, abilities, and aspirations, (b) challenging followers’ basic thinking, assumptions, and practices, and (c) exercise of charisma and inspiration. Charisma is central for transformational leadership (there is much talk about charismatic or visionary leaders and leadership), which has engaged a debate among scholars (a) about whether this is a return to older personality perspectives on leadership, and (b) about how one can distinguish between charisma in the service of evil (Slobodan Milosevic) and charisma in the service of good (Nelson Mandela).

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Stereotypes of Leadership

According to leader categorization theory, people have stereotypical expectations (schemas) about the attributes an effective leader should have in general, or in specific leadership situations. Once a person categorizes someone as a leader, the person automatically engages the relevant leadership schema—the better the match is between the leader’s actual characteristics and the leadership schema, the more favorable are the person’s evaluations of the leader and his or her leadership.

Stereotypical expectations might affect leadership in two other ways. According to status characteristics theory, in a task-oriented group, a person’s evaluations of effective leadership rest on whether he or she believes the leader has the attributes to perform the group task, called specific status characteristics, and whether the leader is a member of a high-status group in society and therefore possesses attributes that are valued in society, called diffuse status characteristics.

Role congruity theory focuses on gender and leadership. The argument is that stereotypes of women typically do not match well with schemas of effective leadership, and thus in many leadership situations, women find it difficult to be endorsed as effective leaders. There is an incongruity between the attributes of the leadership role and the stereotypical attributes of women.

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Social Identity and Leadership

According to the social identity theory of leadership, a key function of leadership is to forge, transform, and consolidate one’s identity as a group member—one’s social identity. The implication of this is that if membership in a group is important to a person, particularly to his or her sense of self, the person is more likely to be influenced by a leader who matches his or her understanding of what the group stands for (a leader who is prototypical of the group) than by one who does not. Effective leadership in such groups rests significantly on being perceived by one’s followers as being prototypical, even to the extent that general attributes of good leadership decline in importance. One reason why leaders who are prototypical members of subjectively important groups can be effective is that followers believe that because their identity and that of the group are closely matched, the leaders treat members fairly and must be acting in the best interest of the group, so they are therefore trusted and allowed to be innovative.

References:

  1. Goethals, G. R., Sorenson, G. J., & Burns, J. M. (Eds.). (2004). Encyclopedia of leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  2. Hogg, M. A. (2007). Social psychology of leadership. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: A handbook of basic principles (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
  3. Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

FAQs

What are the five 5 fundamentals of leadership? ›

What are the fundamentals of leadership?
  • Communication. Leaders would be hard-pressed to accomplish anything worthwhile without an effective way to communicate across the entire organization. ...
  • Visionary and strategic thinking. ...
  • Empowerment. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Self-awareness.
9 Dec 2021

What are five 5 characteristics of effective leadership? ›

In particular, empathy, communication, decision-making, resilience, and delegation constitute the 5 characteristics of a good leader in today's business environment.

What are the 4 C's of leadership? ›

A long time ago, I was inculcated with leadership principles called the “4 C's” -- competency, commitment, courage, and candor --which I still argue are the right basic leader values from initial leadership roles to senior positions of authority.

What are the six pillars of leadership? ›

The Character of Leadership is a study in the six pillars comprising a leader's character: integrity, humility, responsibility, purity, charity and spirituality.

What are the 10 principles of leadership? ›

My Ten Principles Of Leadership
  • Believe in the power of every individual.
  • Build a “we vs. ...
  • Embrace humility, listen to others.
  • Create energy: inspire the team.
  • Make decisions consistently, find a framework and use it.
  • Understand all the stakeholders involved.
  • Respect and honor technology.
  • Love and study people.
12 Jun 2021

What are the 3 most important qualities of a leader? ›

Passion, teamwork, and social skills are three important qualities for leaders to possess in order to be effective. Learn how to bring these qualities into your workplace and put your best foot forward in both your personal and professional life.

What qualities makes a good leader? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.

What are the current issues in leadership? ›

Most Common Leadership Challenges in 2022
  • Recruiting new talent for a job role. ...
  • Improving workplace environment for talent retention. ...
  • Challenges of remote working. ...
  • Self-assessment for improving leadership skills. ...
  • Developing high trust levels with the employees. ...
  • Teamwork management for creating success.
17 Jun 2022

What are the 11 factors of leadership? ›

Napoleon Hill: The 11 Major Attributes of Leadership
  • Unwavering Courage. ...
  • Self-Control. ...
  • A Keen Sense Of Justice. ...
  • Definiteness of Decision. ...
  • Definiteness of Plans. ...
  • The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For. ...
  • A Pleasing Personality. ...
  • Sympathy and Understanding.
19 Feb 2015

What are the 8 essentials in leadership? ›

I've distilled my conversation with Wang to eight of the most essential qualities that make a great leader.
  • Sincere enthusiasm. True enthusiasm for a business, its products, and its mission cannot be faked. ...
  • Integrity. ...
  • Great communication skills. ...
  • Loyalty. ...
  • Decisiveness. ...
  • Managerial competence. ...
  • Empowerment. ...
  • Charisma.
8 Feb 2018

What are 4 leadership concepts? ›

There are several main types of leadership theories: trait, behavioral, management, relationship and situational theories. Each of these types of theories is based on specific foundations that are rooted in how a leader takes action, manages a team of people, makes decisions and adapts to different situations.

Why 4 C's are better than 4Ps? ›

The 4 P's focus on a seller-oriented marketing strategy, which can be extremely effective for sales. However, the 4 C's offer a more consumer-based perspective on the marketing strategy.

What is a Level 4 leader? ›

Level 4—People Development

Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. That is what leaders do on Level 4. They use their position, relationships and productivity to invest in their followers and develop them until those followers become leaders in their own right.

What are the 7 dimensions of leadership? ›

The article also expands upon my concept of Seven Dimensions of Leadership Intelligence®: Physical Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Pragmatic Intelligence, Communication Intelligence, Heart Intelligence, Neuroscience Intelligence, and Consciousness Intelligence.

What are the 7 levers of leadership? ›

This chapter explores the seven levers of leadership: data-driven instruction, instructional planning, observation and feedback, professional development, student culture, staff culture and managing school leadership teams.

What is the golden rule in leadership? ›

It, being the Golden Rule of leadership: Leading others is a privilege that is earned not a right. Leaders who understand that leading others is a privilege understand that leading first and foremost, is about service.

What are the 13 rules of leadership? ›

Colin L. Powell's Thirteen Rules of Leadership
  • It ain't as bad as you think! ...
  • Get mad then get over it.
  • Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  • It can be done.
  • Be careful what you choose. ...
  • Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
18 Oct 2021

What are the 14 leadership traits? ›

The precursor to the Marine Corps' 14 Leadership Traits (Bearing, Courage, Decisiveness, Dependability, Endurance, Enthusiasm, Initiative, Integrity, Judgment, Justice, Knowledge, Loyalty, Tact, and Unselfishness) originally appeared in the Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 22-1 “Leadership” in 1948.

What is the most important leadership skill? ›

The ten most important leadership qualities
  1. Communication. The ability to communicate is deemed an important leadership quality by many. ...
  2. Set a good example. ...
  3. Readiness to take on and give up responsibility. ...
  4. Motivation. ...
  5. Recognise and foster potential. ...
  6. Tolerate mistakes. ...
  7. Flexibility. ...
  8. Set goals and expectations.

What is effective leadership? ›

Effective leadership is about executing the company's vision (or redefining and improving it, in some cases) and setting the tone and the culture for that particular organization. Leadership means creating and planning, securing resources, and looking out for and improving errors.

What three skills do good leaders need? ›

Valuable leadership skills include the ability to delegate, inspire and communicate effectively. Other leadership traits include honesty, confidence, commitment and creativity. In IT, executives are often required to be jacks-of-all-trades.

What defines a leader? ›

In general, the role of a leader is to coach, guide, and inspire others. They motivate teams through challenging times and guide individuals through their career progressions. A leader manages individuals to keep teams aligned and working toward shared goals. They foster a collaborative culture and lead by example.

What is importance of leadership? ›

Leadership is important because it inspires, motivates, and sets an example for people to accomplish positive changes in the world. Leaders establish a vision, provide a plan of action, and build strong relationships with their followers. As a result, they guide people to accomplish incredible feats together.

What are your strengths as a leader? ›

Other strengths include being empathetic, customer-focused, trustworthy, confidence, and selflessness. Additionally, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, strategic planning, creative thinking, flexibility, agility, selflessness, versatility, and quick learning ability are all essential leadership qualities.

How can I choose a good topic in research? ›

Here are some tips:
  1. Choose a topic that you are interested in! ...
  2. Narrow your topic to something manageable. ...
  3. Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment. ...
  4. Refer to lecture notes and required texts to refresh your knowledge of the course and assignment.
  5. Talk about research ideas with a friend.
30 Jul 2021

What are some good research project ideas? ›

Cancer. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Depression.
...
Social Issues Research Paper Topics:
  • Abortion.
  • Adoption.
  • Airline safety, security.
  • Affirmative Action programs.
  • AIDS.
  • Apartheid.
  • Birth control.
  • Child abuse.
23 May 2022

What is the hot topic of 2022? ›

Our data collection and interactive marketing platform, Qualifio Engage, has seen record numbers across the board in recent months, a sure sign that the hottest topic for 2022 is on track to be the talk of the (digital) town this year.

What are some examples of research title? ›

Sample Research Topics
  • Brain Injury: Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Brain Injury.
  • Data Analytics: Translational Data Analytics and Decision Science.
  • Foods for Health: Personalized Food and Nutritional Metabolic Profiling to Improve Health.
  • Food Security: Resilient, Sustainable and Global Food Security for Health.

What is the best title for research title? ›

Characteristics of a Good Research Title
  • It should predict the content of the research paper.
  • It should be interesting to the reader.
  • It should reflect the tone of the writing.
  • It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.
6 Nov 2022

What are the 5 problems with leadership? ›

The 6 most common leadership challenges
  • Providing inspiration. As a leader, your team is looking to you to provide inspiration and motivation to complete their work. ...
  • Developing others. ...
  • Leading change. ...
  • Handling different perspectives. ...
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome. ...
  • Managing a team.

Why is leadership difficult? ›

The truth is leadership is hard. It demands that we sometimes do things that are opposite our primordial instincts. We constantly risk not being loved by the masses. It's one of the most difficult psychological barriers to overcome, but ultimately, your job is to deliver results.

What are four 4 key qualities of an effective leader? ›

Effective leaders are competent, skilled, secure, and considerate. These leaders find time for everyone; they are genuine and authentic in their communications and actions.

What 4 factors influence a leader? ›

All leaders should be in tune with four key factors of leadership: the led, the leader, the situation and the communication. All four factors must always be considerations when exercising leadership, but at different moments, they affect each other differently.

What are the 3 rules of leadership? ›

The 3 Essential Rules for Being a Great Leader
  • Reduce ambiguity.
  • Be fair.
  • Stay positive.
  • The takeaway.
30 Jul 2018

What is a good thesis statement for leadership? ›

Becoming an effective leader depends on the leader's leadership style. Successful leaders have vision and charisma, also the leader should have an ongoing personality, talkative, careful and self-disciplined.

What are some cool topics to research? ›

Do you need some help with brainstorming for topics? Some common research paper topics include abortion, birth control, child abuse, gun control, history, climate change, social media, AI, global warming, health, science, and technology.

What are some ideas of leadership? ›

15 leadership ideas
  • Lead by example. ...
  • Be professional. ...
  • Offer servant leadership. ...
  • Practice generosity. ...
  • Promote work-life balance. ...
  • Trust your team. ...
  • Give constructive feedback. ...
  • Find the courage to say no.
25 May 2021

What is the best question about leadership? ›

Top 20 Leadership Interview Questions and Answers
  1. Tell me/us about the time you demonstrated leadership skills at work? ...
  2. What is your leadership style? ...
  3. Which supporting skills do you think are more important for a leader? ...
  4. How do you manage a conflict situation? ...
  5. What was the hardest decision you have taken as a leader?
8 Nov 2022

What is the best conclusion of leadership? ›

However, we can conclude that leadership is the ability to direct a group of people in realising a common goal. This is done by people applying their leadership attributes. Leaders create commitment and enthusiasm amongst followers to achieve goals.

What are leadership vision statements? ›

A leadership vision statement is a declaration of a leader's values, beliefs and purpose. It defines how they lead and who they are. The statement communicates their company's objectives and expectations.

What are the 3 underlying themes to leadership? ›

Yet in its purest form, leadership is comprised of just three elements: art, results and people.

Which topic is best for project? ›

Other Categories
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Product Management.
  • Leadership.
  • Data Science.
  • Information Technology.
  • Project Management.
  • Upskilling.
12 Sept 2022

How do I choose a good thesis topic? ›

How to Choose Your Thesis Topic
  1. Identify something you are interested in or passionate about. ...
  2. Discuss your interests with people. ...
  3. Talk to the faculty. ...
  4. Use your class assignments to develop your interests.
29 Mar 2019

Why is leadership an important skill? ›

They are important skills to have because a good leader is able to bring out the best abilities in his/her team members and motivate them to work together in achieving a shared goal. A good leader is also organized and keeps the team on track and focused to avoid delays.

How can I improve my leadership skills? ›

9 Ways To Develop Your Leadership Skills
  1. Practice discipline. A good leader needs discipline. ...
  2. Take on more projects. A great way to develop your leadership skills is to take on more responsibility. ...
  3. Learn to follow. ...
  4. Develop situational awareness. ...
  5. Inspire others. ...
  6. Keep learning. ...
  7. Empower your teammates. ...
  8. Resolve conflicts.
12 May 2022

What type of skill is leadership? ›

Valuable leadership skills include the ability to delegate, inspire and communicate effectively. Other leadership traits include honesty, confidence, commitment and creativity. In IT, executives are often required to be jacks-of-all-trades.

What motivates you to be a leader? ›

Motivated leaders are driven to achieve beyond expectations – their own and everyone else's. The key word here is achieve. Plenty of people are motivated by external factors, such as a big salary or the status that comes from having an impressive title or being part of a prestigious company.

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