The Major Theories of Leadership

What Are The Major Leadership Theories?

1. Trait Theories of Leadership

The notion that leadership is based on the attributes of an individual is called the trait theory of leadership. It argues that some attributes or characteristics make an individual an effective and efficient leader.

2. The Great Man Theory

At the core of the great man theory of leadership is a notion that leaders are born and not made. One major variant argues that these great individuals possess natural attributes that make them influential leaders.

3. Management or Transactional Leadership Theory

The management or transactional leadership model argues that the primary goal of a leader is to supervise individuals, organize these individuals and the leadership setting, and develop and implement a system of rewards and punishment to motivate these individuals.

4. Relationship or Transformational Leadership Theory

Enhancing motivation, increasing morale, and improving the performance of individuals are the focus of transformational leadership. The primary goal of a leader is to motivate and inspire individuals to establish and maintain commitment.

5. Behavioral Theories of Leadership

Behaviors or a set of behaviors and predispositions can determine the effectiveness of a leader. For example, behavioral predispositions that demonstrate self-confidence and high self-esteem are not only useful but also essential in leading people.

6. Situational Leadership Theory

Central to the assumptions of situational leadership theory is that notion that different situations require different approaches to leadership. There is no single best style of leadership. An effective and successful leader is someone who can adapt their leadership style in accordance with the situation.

7. Functional Leadership Model

At the heart of functional-based leadership theories or models is a focus on how leadership occurs rather than focusing on who does the leading. There is a focus on enabling a leader to think and decide what he or she needs to do to be successful in his or her role.

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