19). Still a part of the Great Man Leadership era, these trait theories just went a step further in attempting to pinpoint exactly which traits of these “great men” were consistently associated with the leaders, in an effort to more clearly define what a great leader was. This was again a further attempt to be able to identify a leader early on and predict which individuals were born to become leaders. It is thought that a major flaw with these theories was the failure to account for external factors, such as the environment in which the individuals were brought up in, as well as the situations they experienced (Horner, 2007, p. 270). Still today we do continue to study the characteristics of leaders in order to better define and understand what makes someone a good leader.
There are many ways to define leadership, but perhaps the most laconic as well as accurate definition is presented in Peter G. Northouse's Leadership: Theory and Practice book (Northouse, 2013, p.5): "Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal". Individuals, engaged in leadership, use influence to solve challenges, which the groups under their leadership face, in order to succeed in their common goals.
One definition of leadership states that it is a process by which a group is influenced and directed by a particular member of the group to reach a common goal (Northouse 2010). Many other definitions exist, suggesting that it is a concept as fluid and individual as leaders themselves (Curtis et al. 2011).
Leadership is a process of influencing activities of a particular group of people with the aim of attaining certain stipulated goals. In defining leadership there is need to consider a particular group, the common goals and the duties that are allocated to specific members of the group depending on their abilities (Fiedler 1976). Leadership therefore cannot successfully occur unless members of the group are given different considerations in terms of personality, traits and responsibilities. In considering leadership, it is important to look at the leader, the group or organization they are leading, the members as individuals and the situation; these are
Drucker’s summed up leadership as “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers” whereas, John C Maxwell said “leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less”. Warren Bennis focuses more on individual capability and defines leadership as "Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust
According to Business Dictionary.com, leadership is defined as the individuals who are the leaders in an organization, regarded collectively. It also can be define as the activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this. Leadership involves the establishing of a clear vision, sharing the vision with other so that they will follow willingly, providing the needed information, knowledge, and methods to realize the vision and coordinating and balancing the conflicts interests of all members and stakeholders.
The trait leadership theory focuses on the individual leader’s personal characteristics as the basis of its investigations. It is one of the earliest leadership theories upon whose tenets many researches on leadership have been done. Although it is not very coherent, its heuristic nature has contributed to its significance in leadership research. Zaccaro and Klimoski (2002) define traits of reference to leadership as the stable personality characteristics, which result in a consistent leadership performance pattern, given different scenarios and groups. They include individual personalities, temperament, rationale, prowess, as well as cognitive abilities. Initially, the theory explored both physical and psychological characteristics that tell apart leaders from non-leaders.
Leadership has been studied extensively and many varying definitions exist. Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy (2015, p.4) review many of these definitions and consequently describe leadership as ‘the process of influencing an organised group towards its goals’. Leadership involves the interplay of a range of different factors, not least the leader themselves, the followers and the situation. For
The Trait Approach was the 1st systematic attempt to study leadership. In the 20th century it was known as the “great man” theory. This approach takes a look at the leaders personal attributes such as but not limited to: motivation, energy, intuition, creativity, persuasiveness and foresight. Some of the traits that are essential to this list include: intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability. Thus it focuses mainly on the leader and not on the followers or situations. The strengths of the Trait Approach includes: 1) it is intuitively appealing, 2) it has research to back it’s theory, 3) it highlights the leader, 4) it identifies what the traits of a leader should have and whether the traits we do
There are certain essential elements that constitute the definition of leadership. It may refer to the totality of an organization’s top direction-giving functionaries, or the actions applied in providing direction that enables the organization or team to move forward towards a goal. In reality, there are very diverse definitions of leadership depending on
Moreover, the trait approach gives a deeper understanding of the leader element in the leadership process by emphasising exclusively on the leader, (Gore et al, 2011). The trait theory does not offer hypotheses about the role of situational variance or characteristic of the followers. Instead, this approach provide information about leaders, and about which traits cause which behaviours and that certain set of traits are central to the leadership process and play an indispensible part of effective leadership.
In the textbook Leadership is defined as ‘the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals’ (Hughes, Ginnet & Curphy 2015, p. 5). Leadership involves leader, followers, and situation.
Leadership is vital for organisational development. A complex group of theories and constructs in addition to a spectrum of associated traits, skills and behaviour have been employed to describe leadership. This has generated an on-going debate amongst academics regarding the suitable definition for leadership including the appropriate approaches to participating in and learning about leadership (O’Connell: 2014). According to Katz and Kahn (1978) cited in Gronn (2008), leadership is described as the influence by any individual in an organisation over significant issues aimed at organisational effectiveness. Organisations are investing in leadership development as they perceive effective leadership as a competitive advantage
For a quick review, the definition of leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group or individuals, to achieve a common goal.