Core Leadership Theories you should Know

core leadership theories

 In the modern business world, Core Leadership Theories come a dime a dozen. It seems that more and more books are being published claiming to hold leadership secrets. Often these seem to be little more than hyped-up hype, but sometimes they contain valuable insights into what it means to be a leader.

Great leaders are transformational

Great leaders are transformational. Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their teams to move beyond the status quo with innovation and fresh ideas. They create a vision that energizes the team and a strategy that allows them to reach that vision. Transformational leaders are effective communicators and listeners, which allows them to be effective at both inspiring their teams and getting their teams to effectively implement strategies. 

Theories of transformational leadership have been around since 1948, when James MacGregor Burns defined it as “a process of social influence by which one person (the leader) acting individually or within a group, successfully persuades others to adopt his or her point of view.” In the 1970s, Bernard Bass developed a more sophisticated model that identified three specific leadership styles: visionary, affiliative, and coaching. The visionary style is characterized by creating a clear vision for the organization and building commitment toward that vision. 

The affiliative style involves forming relationships with followers so they feel loyalty to the leader as well as the organization. These two styles can be combined in an authoritative style, where the leader is able to take charge and make decisions without being overly concerned about gaining followers’ approval. Core Leadership Theories lead to the coaching style, where the leader provides feedback and guidance so followers can improve their own performance.

Getting people to do stuff together

Many companies and other organizations have had to deal with managing large numbers of employees, whether they’re working at a single location or spread out across the world. They have all found that managing people is hard work, and there are many different ways of doing it right. In this article, I’m going to go over some basic theories of management and leadership that you can use in your own team-building efforts.

The first and basic theory  I’d like to look at is Kurt Lewin’s three-step model for group decision-making and change: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. In the unfreezing stage, the group must become aware that it is not functioning well. A leader must help them understand why their current methods are not as effective as they could be. The changing stage is where the group works to come up with new ideas for how to do things better. The last step is refreezing, in which the group comes back together to figure out how they want to implement changes that everyone can agree on and then decide who will be responsible for each part of the plan moving forward.

The Three Core Leadership Theories

Many leadership theories have been developed over the years, but three, in particular, are considered to be the “core” or “father” theories that most of the others stem from. The first is trait theory. This is a pretty straightforward idea people who hold positions of power or responsibility simply have certain traits that make them better at doing so than others.

The second theory is behavioural theory. This suggests that leaders are created by modelling the behaviours of others whom they admire and respect. In other words, people aren’t born with inherent leadership abilities; rather, they learn from their surroundings and take on the positive attributes of their role models as their own.

The third theory is situational leadership. This concept says that there’s no “one size fits all” approach to leading a group. People respond differently in different situations, and what works for one group might not be appropriate for another (or even for the same group in different circumstances). To be an effective leader, it’s necessary to constantly adapt your style to fit whatever makes sense given the circumstances—even if you’re using a leadership style you’ve used before, it could be modified in specific ways depending on your situation and it may not unfold exactly as before because every new situation presents its own challenges and opportunities.

Theories of leadership vary widely

Theories of leadership vary widely from the “great man” theory (leaders are born, not made), to the “rational-legal” (a rational, logical approach to problem-solving), to transactional leadership (a focus on the exchange of rewards and punishments) to transformational leadership (emotional appeal and inspirational motivation).

Also Read: A Motivation Theory To Try Right Now

Most of us probably have a sense that one or more of these theories best describes our own approach to being a leader. In some cases, we may lean toward one theory over others depending on the situation or the team with which we’re working by LMA. For example, a school might hire a prominent reformer as their new principal with the hope that their passion and emotional appeal will translate into significant change in the school’s culture and achievement. If that doesn’t work out, they might ask someone else to lead who better fits the style of an engineer or bureaucrat who can implement plans and policies effectively. Regardless of what your own style is, it’s important for leaders to understand how other people are leading and how those styles affect followers so that they can adapt their own techniques accordingly.

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