Eight major leadership theories
Here are eight different leadership theories that your business can use.
Number one: Great Man Theories
This theory actually assumes that a person's capacity for leadership is inherent.
This theory is saying that you cannot be trained to be a great leader because great leaders are not born. In order to be a great leader you have to be born a great leader, the term man is only used in describing this theory because it used to be assumed that only men could be great leaders. When describing this theory you hear about great leaders that have had to rise to the occasion, stand up when leadership is needed rather than be appointed to it.
Number two: Trait Theories
While this theory is somewhat similar to the Great Man theories because it assumes that people are born natural leaders, people inherit certain traits and qualities that make them better leaders than others are. The difference with trait theories is that they identify particular personality and behavioral traits that are shared by leaders, which are traits that are key traits of leaders.
Number three: Contingency Theories
This type of theory focuses on particular variables that are related to the environment a person is in to determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. This theory relies on the fact that not all leadership styles will work out the best for all situations. Whether or not it is successful in certain situations relies on various factors, such as leadership style, qualities of the followers, and aspects of the situation.
Number four: Situational Theories
This theory of leadership suggests that the best course of action for any situation is going to depend on situational variables. Like the contingency theories, this theory relies on the fact that not all types of leadership styles are going to work in every situation. Using the situational theories, different styles of leadership might be more appropriate for specific types of decision-making situations.
Number five: Behavioral Theories
These theories are based on the belief that great leaders are made rather than born. The reason for this is that this theory is rooted in behaviorism and focuses on the actions of the leaders rather than on their mental qualities or their internal frame of mind. The basis of this theory is that people can learn how to be a leader by observing other leaders, but they can also be taught how to be a leader.
Number six: Participative Theories
This theory implies that the best leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account. This style of leadership encourages group members to participate and contribute in what is going on, this helps the various group members to feel more committed to the decision-making process, but it also makes the group members feel more relevant. Even though the input of others is wanted in this theory that doesn't mean that they are always allowed, the leaders of the group have a say as to if they input is going to be allowed or not.
Number seven: Management Theories
This theory is also called transactional theories and it focuses on the role of supervision, organization, and group performance. This theory bases leadership on a system of reward and punishment, and are most often found in businesses. For example, when employees are successful, they are rewarded, but when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.
Number eight: Relationship Theories
This theory is also referred to as transformational theories and focuses on the connections that are formed between leaders and followers. How this theory works is that the leaders motivate the followers by helping the followers see the importance and higher good of the task at hand. These leaders are focused on the performance of the group members because they want each member to fulfill his or her potential.