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Leadership

Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others In the accomplishment of a common task”. [l] Other In-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged. Leadership Is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. The leader may or may not have any formal authority. Studies of leadership have produced theories Involving situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and charisma, and intelligence, among others.

Somebody whom people follow: somebody ho guides or directs others he search for the characteristics or traits of leaders has been ongoing for centuries. History’s greatest philosophical writings from Plat’s Republic to Plutarch Lives have explored the question “What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader? ” Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess.

This Idea that leadership Is based on individual attributes Is known as the “trait theory of leadership”. The trait theory was explored at length In a number of works In the 19th century. Most notable are the writings of Thomas Carlyle and Francis Gallon, whose works have prompted decades of research. [4] In Heroes and Hero Worship (18411 Carlyle Identified the talents, skills, and physical characteristics of men who rose to power.

In Gallon’s Hereditary Genius (1869), he examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when moving from first degree to second degree relatives, Gallon concluded that leadership was inherited. In other words, leaders were born, not developed. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that leadership is rooted in characteristics of the leader.

Rise of alternative theories In the late sass and early 1 sass, however, a series of qualitative reviews of these studies (e. G. , Bird, 1940;[5] Stodgily, 1948;[6] Mann, 1959[7]) prompted researchers to take a drastically deferent view of the driving forces behind leadership. In reveling the extant literature, Stodgily and Mann found that while some traits were common cross a number of studies, the overall evidence suggested that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations.

Subsequently, leadership was no longer characterized as an enduring individual trait, as situational approaches (see alternative leadership theories below) posited that individuals can be effective in certain situations, but not others. This approach dominated much of the leadership theory and research for the next few decades. Reemergence of trait theory New methods and measurements were developed after these influential reviews that loud ultimately reestablish the trait theory as a viable approach to the study of leadership.

For example, Improvements In researchers’ use of the round robin research design methodology allowed researchers to see that Individuals can and do emerge as leaders across a variety of situations and tasks. [8] Additionally, during the sass statistical advances allowed researchers to conduct meta;analyses, in which studies. This advent allowed trait theorists to create a comprehensive picture of previous leadership research rather than rely on the qualitative reviews of the past. Equipped with en