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Leadership Case Essay

4002 words - 17 pages


Leadership Behaviors, Attitudes, and Styles

The purpose of this chapter is to provide the reader with an understanding of basic leadership behavior and attitudes, as well as styles. Some of the information goes back to classic studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s, and some is recent. Several other topics are featured: servant leadership, and how leaders use 360-degree feedback to fine-tune their behaviors, entrepreneurial leadership styles, and gender differences in leadership.

This chapter covers pioneering information about leadership behaviors and attitudes that served as the basis for studies of leadership styles and contingency ...view middle of the document...

An important output of the research on initiating structure and consideration and initiating structure was to categorize leaders with respect to how much emphasis they place on the two dimensions. As implied by Figure 4–1, the two dimensions are not mutually exclusive.

A current examination of the validity of consideration and initiating structure indicates that these classic dimensions do indeed contribute to an understanding of leadership because they are related to leadership outcome such as satisfaction and performance.

Task-related means that the behavior, attitude, or skill focuses more on the task to be performed than on the interpersonal aspects of leadership.

A. Adaptability to the situation. Effective leaders adapt to the situation by choosing a tactic based on the unique circumstances at hand (the contingency approach).
B. Direction setting. The leader must set the direction of change. According to Kotter, leaders gather voluminous data and search for patterns, relationships, and linkages that help create events. Direction setting creates vision and strategies.
C. High performance standards. Effective leaders consistently hold group members to high standards of performance. Setting such standards increases productivity, partly because of the Pygmalion effect.
D. Concentrating on the strengths of group members. Making good use of the strengths of group members rather than concentrating effort on patching up areas for improvement is an effective tactic. The effective leader helps people improve, yet still capitalizes on strengths.
E. Risk taking and execution of plans. To bring about constructive change, the leader must take risks and be willing to implement these risky decisions.
F. Hands-on guidance and feedback. The leader who provides hands-on guidance helps the group accomplish important tasks, and at the same time group members learn important skills. Too much guidance, however, can lead to poor delegation and micromanagement. The leader can rarely influence the actions of group members without appropriate performance feedback.
G. Ability to ask tough questions. Many times leaders can be effective by asking tough questions rather than providing answers. A tough question is one that makes a person or group stop and think about why they are doing or not doing something.
Leadership involves influencing people, so it follows that many effective leadership attitudes, behaviors, and practices deal with interpersonal relationships.

A. Aligning people. Many people have to be aligned (a state of pulling together) to create significant change toward a higher purpose. Alignment enables people to have a clear sense of direction because they are pursuing a vision. Alignment of people also incorporates getting the group to work together smoothly. Mobilization is easier with an...

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