Thursday, November 26, 2020


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After conducting some research on leadership, many questions have been brought to my attention. Some questions include the following What is a leader? Are leaders made or born? What is the difference between leadership and management? What are the theories concerning leadership? Answers to these questions, and many others, should become clear enough at the end of this research. Schermerhorn defines leadership as "a special case of interpersonal influence that gets an individual or group to do what the leader wants done" (87). On the other hand, Kathryn Bartol defines leadership as "the process of influencing others to achieve organizational goals" (415). After analyzing the two quotes, I ask myself "What is leadership?" I believe that leadership is the process of directing and guiding the behaviors of others in the appropriate directions to accomplish the goals and missions previously set. Schermerhorn and Bartol highlight the same issue, however although they are extremely similar, they address it in different words. A leader is a person who is ambitious, determined, focused, and motivated to achieve the organizational goals. The leader must have a clear understanding of individual differences in order to effectively utilize and appreciate the different contributions of different individuals. In addition, a leader must also be aware of the importance of communication between the leader and the followers; and of the communication among the followers themselves. Now however we may start to address the role management, and what role does it play in this equation? Which in turn causes the rise of the question, what is the difference between leadership and management? Leadership vs. Management Kathryn Bartol describes management as "the process of achieving organizational goals by engaging in the four major functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling" (5). On the other hand, the author describes leading as the process of "Influencing others to engage in the work behaviors necessary to reach organizational goals" (7). Therefore, by analyzing Bartol's definition of management, it becomes clear that leading is a management function. Even though there is an interrelation between leadership and management, leaders and managers are not the same. Leaders consider their goals personal, and they motivate others by creating ambitious goals. Job titles and organizational standings are not an issue for leaders, for they search for self-achievement and self-satisfaction through the accomplishment of goals and the sense of power (Georgiades 7). On the other hand, managers do not consider their goals as personal; it is more of a monetary based goal in which they can govern others, and achieve the end result of uniting the members subordinate to them to function in a productive manner. They organize the subordinates and resources in order to achieve the previously determined organizational goals. They also relate to other people according to job titles and organizational standings, therefore search for high organizational standings (Georgiades 7). In the book "Leadership for Competitive Advantage," the author explains James MacGregor-Burns' comparison of managers and leaders; Burns is the author of Leadership, in which he clearly distinguishes the differences between leaders and managers. The differences that were stated can be summarized as follows Emotional involvement Leaders Managers Emotionally involved with ideals and visions. Involved with tasks and people associated with the tasks. Personal life Work and private life are indistinguishable and merge with each other. Attempt to maintain boundaries seeing a proper time for each. Achieving commitment and accountability Inspire. Hold people accountable by inducing feelings of guilt. Involve people. Use contracts, performance appraisal and key result areas. Value emphasis Concerned with what they are trying to build. How to build their contractual piece. Problems Create problems. Solve them. Planning Long range. Short to medium term. Responses Appreciate contrariness and people who argue. Like people who comform. Relations Engender feelings of lave and hate. Create non-stable relationships. Tend to have more predictable relationships and do not create strong feelings. The author Warren Blank further explains leadership by shaping nine natural laws that make up leadership, and they are as follows (Blank 10) 1. A leader has willing followers-allies. . "Leadership" is a field of interaction a relationship between leaders and followers-allies. . Leadership occurs as an event. 4. Leaders use influence beyond formal authority. 5. Leaders operate outside the boundaries of organizationally defined procedures. 6. Leadership involves risk and uncertainty. 7. Not everyone will follow a leader's initiative. 8. Consciousness information processing capacity creates leadership. . Leadership is a self-referral process; leaders and followers process information from their own subjective, internal frame of reference. The first law of the Blank's "Nine Laws of Leadership" answers a fundamental question; what does it mean to be a leader? To be a leader means to have followers. Even though some critics may argue that leaders possess specific traits or personality dimensions, as discussed later in the research, Warren Blank believes that the basic quality that differentiates leaders from non-leaders is having followers. The second law explains the interaction between the leader and the follower "Followers are allies who join the leader, and together they create the energy that drives the organizations" (Blank 1). Blank describes the third law of leadership as the leader-follower relationship having a beginning, middle, and an end (14). The difference between the leader's use of influence and the manager's influence is the cause. Leaders influence people to gain followers, however, managers use influence to achieve their goals. Blank's fifth natural law explains the boundaries of leadership, for "leadership operates outside the prescribed lines created by organizational rule, regulations, policies, and procedures" (17). This law revolves around the notion that "managers do things right," while "leaders do the right things." I support this argument, for leaders are willing to take the chance of stepping out of bounds for the overall good of the team and the followers. However, managers tend to play by the rules. The sixth natural law of leadership is self-explanatory; it basically states that by "doing the right things" and stepping out of boundaries, leaders face high risks and uncertainties. An important issue that deals with the leader-follower relationship is mentioned in Blank's seventh law of leadership. It is important to note that there is no guaranteed strategy or leadership style to gain followers, for gaining followers is unpredictable. Blank's eighth law of leadership highlights the importance of consciousness. Consciousness "defines how people interpret information and create meaning from it" (1). Through consciousness, leaders turn information into a useful route. The final law of leadership describes how leaders interpret and respond to problems according to their level of consciousness. Blank defines self-referral as "who processes the information" (). Self-referral reveals how important it is for leaders to expand their consciousness so they can gain followers by meeting the follower's level of consciousness. Preparing for Leadership After understanding the differences between leadership and management, it is time to examine how individuals can be geared up to become leaders. Different societies and cultures have different views of leadership. For example, in some nations, leaders are elected, whereas in others leaders inherit the power through royalty. In both cases, and throughout history, the leaders that were chosen or forced upon people always seem at the time to be the ones the people want and need. The author, Kenneth Clark, advocates "Leaders have been developed successfully in all societies largely through learning to be good followers" (11). The first step in becoming a leader is following. By following orders and actions of superiors, subordinates will have an understanding of the importance of dedication, determination, drive, and motivation. Also, by becoming good followers, individuals will be able to understand the importance of leadership, and have a better understanding of what the subordinates will expect of their leader. Due to my past military experience, I agree with the author, and believe that in order to become a great leader, an individual has to be a good follower. In the military environment, where leadership is of great essence, all recruits undergo severe training courses, including many seminars and workshops, in order to create leaders out of them. Even though the setting for preparing a leader can be accomplished, it would not guarantee a successful result. Through the military training camps, recruits are presented with a perfect environment to instill leadership in them, but not every recruit becomes a leader. You can take a horse to the water, but you can't make it drink. Therefore, the only preparation that can be made to create a leader is through creating the perfect environment that would teach the individuals the importance of following the chain-of-command and the responsibilities of motivating and managing subordinates. It is also important for leaders to understand the history of previous leaders in order to have a better appreciation of leadership. Personality Measures of Leaders After having a general understanding of the definition of leadership, and how to prepare a leader, it is time to analyze the different personality measures of leaders. This is an area of high controversy. Many questions have been raised concerning the traits, characteristics, and essential attributes that leaders must possess. Kenneth E. Clark, author of "Measures of Leadership," describes the psychologists' interest in leaders' personalities. Hogan is a psychologist who described a particular set of characteristics that effective leaders possess. He called these personality dimensions the "Big 5." They are as follows (Clark 51) 1. Intelligence high . Adjustment high . Prudence high 4.A. Ambition high 4.B. Sociability variable 5. Likability very high. When analyzing Hogan's "Big 5" personality dimensions, it is evident that the followers must like the leader. If the subordinates did not favor the leader, it would cause difficulty for the leader to impress, influence, and motivate them. Without the subordinates' respect, it is impossible to lead; although some people may argue that leading could be accomplished through the use of force, such as Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein. No matter how likely it is that a leadership as such would prevail, it is an immoral and unethical variation on the concept of leadership. Leading by force more often than not tends to have tragic endings for the leaders, and causing bad memories for those surrounding them. Also, Hogan believed that leaders should have high intellectual standards and the ability to adjust to different situations and circumstances. On the other hand, Bengt Karlof's "Conflicts of Leadership," describes six qualities that good leaders must possess, and they are as follows (Karlof ) 1. Helicopterability the ability to see the whole picture in both time and space. . Good Judgement the ability to make sound decisions based on facts, experience and intelligence. . Imaginations the ability to be creative and see opportunities beyond the obvious ones. 4. Analytical ability the deductive intelligence to draw conclusions in a logical sequence from available facts. 5. Efficiency the ability to make decisions if crucial importance to the enterprise with high productivity. 6. Ability to win trust and inspire respect. After Clark and Hogan's two different sets of personality qualities or dimensions that leaders should possess, it is natural to search for specific traits that individuals may have. These traits would help identify possible leaders. Bartol defines the word "traits" as distinctive internal qualities or characteristics of an individual, such as physical characteristics, personality characteristics, skills and abilities, and social factors (417). Some common traits that may distinguish leaders from non-leaders are intelligence, dominance, aggressiveness, and decisiveness. Although individuals that possess such traits would be good candidates to lead, however, I do not believe that individual readiness for leadership is specifically tied to those traits. Some individuals that may have those traits might also lack some important issues, such as the drive and ambition to succeed. Communication skills play a vital role in developing a leader. Without proper communication skills, one would face difficulty in assigning tasks, giving out orders, and receiving feedback from the subordinates. Schermerhorn, co-author of "Organizational Behavior," describes another set of traits that have positive implications for successful leadership (88) · Energy and adjustment or stress tolerance Physical vitality and emotional resilience. · Prosocial power motivation A high need for power exercised primarily for the benefit of others. · Achievement orientation Need for achievement, desire to excel, drive to success, willingness to assume responsibility, concern for task objectives. · Emotional maturity Well adjusted, does not suffer from severe psychological disorders. · Self-confidence General confidence in self and in the ability to perform the job of a leader. · Integrity Behavior consistent with espoused values; honest, ethical, trustworthy. · Perseverance or tenacity Ability to overcome obstacles; strength of will. · Cognitive ability, intelligence, and social intelligence Ability to gather, integrate, and interpret information; intelligence; understanding of social setting. · Task-relevant knowledge Knowledge about the company, industry, and technical aspects. · Flexibility Ability to respond appropriately to changes in the setting. Schermerhorn's set of traits for successful leaders encompasses all the personality traits, qualities, and dimensions that of Clark, Bartol, and Hogan defined. Out of Schermerhorn's set of traits, I personally believe that Achievement orientation is the most essential one. Without the need for achievement, one will not find the motivation and reason to excel. The need for achievement pushes individuals to their extremes, causing them to conquer and surmount any obstacles or difficulties. Georgiades explains Morgan McCall's six demands of leadership that were published in McCall's book "Developing Leadership A Look Ahead." McCall's key requirements for effective leadership are 1. Setting direction. Setting direction is dreaming what might be, gauging its feasibility, and figuring out what has to be done to pull it off. . Alignment. Success in achieving the chosen direction depends on effectively aligning key relationships. . Values. The long-term ability of a leader to influence others hinges on credibility, integrity, and trust. 4. Temperament. A person who is thrown by ambiguity, folds up in the face of criticism, goes down with setbacks, or loses confidence in tight spots will have a tough time as a leader in the stress and change of the next ten years. 5. Self-awareness. A realistic assessment of one's own strength and weaknesses is a prerequisite for understanding other people's perspectives, empowering others, taking risks and absorbing failures. 6. Growth. Because leadership is complex, and because the demands on leaders are constantly changing, leaders themselves must constantly learn, grow and change. (Qtd. In Georgiades 10). The first essential part of leadership expressed in the previous requirements is setting direction. When a leader identifies challenging goals, it is his/her responsibility to communicate the goals set with the followers; and set a structured plan to achieve the goals. By involving subordinates in the decision making process, they increase their loyalty and dedication to both the goals, and leaders. The second key requirement of leadership is identifying allies and enemies. This could be implemented in both military and business environments. In the business environment, it is essential to identify your competitors (enemies) from your coalitions or partnerships (allies). Subordinates would rarely follow a leader who lacks values. An effective leader should lead by example and set the standards for performance, motivation, integrity, and perseverance. The qualities that make up a temperament for leadership are "a manner of thinking, behaving and reacting that helps an individual operate with relative comfort in a job characterized by making decisions under uncertainty, being at the mercy of uncontrollable and capricious forces, and being responsible for large numbers of people, pounds, and resources" (Georgiades 110). It is also essential for leaders to have an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. By having self-awareness, leaders can target their strengths and avoid using their weaknesses in setting goals or seizing opportunities. Finally, the importance of a leader's ability to change with changing times is highlighted in McCall's growth requirement. "Leaders who fit a specific situation today will be misfits tomorrow unless they can adapt and change as rapidly as their context." (Georgiades 110). Theories on Leadership Situational Leadership and the Path-Goal Theories are the two main theories concerning leadership. Both Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard developed the situational leadership theory, which is based on the premise that "leaders need to alter their behaviors depending on one major situational factor the readiness of followers" (Bartol 4). The theory indicates that for the leaders to prepare the followers, they should adjust their own leadership styles in accordance with the situation at hand. Robert House's Path-Goal Theory "attempts to explain how leader behavior can positively influence the motivation and job satisfaction of subordinates" (Bartol 41). It focuses on the leader's ability to influence the follower's understanding of the means used in reaching both work and personal goals. Personal Viewpoint After conducting the research and analyzing the different theories, ideas, and contributions made by the different authors, I have crafted out a personal definition of leadership. I believe that leadership is the general process of an individual controlling, motivating, and guiding a group of people in order to accomplish pre-set goals. The leader is an individual that possesses characteristics others may not. These characteristics enable the individual to guide and manage the group, and although some individuals are natural born leaders, I believe that most leaders can be created. An ongoing process of teaching individuals how to follow, instilling discipline within the individuals, and sociability achieves the development of leaders. I agree more with Hersey and Blanchard's "Situational Leadership Theory" than House's "Path-goal Theory." Leaders must have the ability to become flexible. Different situations require different measures. Therefore, in order for leaders to become effective, they must be able to adjust to every situation. In this research I explained the differences between leadership and management. Although these two fields are interrelated, it is important not to confuse leaders with managers. I also described different sets of personality measures that leaders possess, which help improve the quality and efficiency of the individual's leadership skills. Finally, I described a couple of theories on leadership that are a representation of the psychological view of leadership.


Works Cited · Bartol, Kathryn M., and David C. Martin. Management. Third Edition. The McGraw Hill Companies Inc., 18. · Blank, Warren. The Natural Laws of Leadership. New York AMACOM, 15. · Clark, Kenneth E., and Miriam B. Clark. Measures of Leadership. West Orange, New Jersey Leadership Library of America Inc., 10. · Georgiades, Nick, and Richard Macdonell. Leadership for Competitive Advantage. England John Wiley & Sons, 18. · Kakabadse, Andrew, and Nada Kakabakse. Essence of Leadership. United Kingdom International Thomson Business Press, 1. · Karlof, Bengt. Conflicts of Leadership Good for People of Good for Business? Trans. Alan J Gilderson. Cyprus 16. · Schermerhorn, John R. Jr., James G. Hunt, and Richard N. Osborn. Organizational Behavior. Seventh Edition. John Wiley & Sons, 000.

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