Theory Assessment

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Understanding the theories behind leadership is vital to its application and practice. The 20th century has produced many new theories and studies in leadership. While an exact solution for leadership has yet to be discovered, the theories themselves have significantly demystified the field. The military as an organization has a high demand for competent leaders. While experience may be the best teacher, a solid theoretical understanding of leadership is a worthwhile resume piece in a career field where everyday decisions can directly impact the lives of any number of people. The goal of military organizations has steep consequences; therefore, its leaders assume a great deal of responsibility. The definition of leadership as a…show more content…
The trait approach is clearly flawed because it only takes into account one side of leadership; however, it does provide valuable insight on the leadership side. Trait theory provides an outline for feedback. Subordinates can quickly pick up on qualities that a leader does or does not have. This feedback can provide individuals with a good understanding of where they stand as a leader. Simple surveys such as the leadership trait questionnaire can be conducted to translate feedback into tangible evidence. I have distributed this questionnaire and collected results for myself to grasp my perceived leadership trait levels. For my example as a plebe, I had a clear perception of where the firstie stood as a leader. I unconsciously recognized many leadership traits without having a solid understanding of what I saw. This illustrates the nature of the approach. It identifies people who have demonstrated leadership traits and has no description for how a leader should act in an environment or situation. It is extremely easy to conceptualize but fails to take the leadership situation and context into account. The trait approach provides important concepts to better understand leadership but is clearly is not enough be used exclusively as a guiding theory. The situational approach is an easily comprehensible leadership theory, applicable to both the cadet and military experience. It has a high prescriptive
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