Are Leaders Born or Made?
The belief that leaders are born rather than made dominated much of the late 19th century and early part of the 20th century... it was commonly believed that leaders, by virtue of their birth, were endowed with special qualities that allow them to lead others. (Nahavandi 2006)
TRAITS / CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL LEADERS
Some of the traits/characteristics that were found by Bass (1990) to be common to successful leaders were:
• Capacity (intelligence, verbal skills, originality)
• Job-relevant knowledge
There was a lack of consistency in these results.
It was noted that:
• behaviours can be observed
• behaviours are measurable and
• behaviours can be taught
At the same time, leaders were categorised as being autocratic, democratic or laissez-faire (Lewin 1938).
It was generally found that the democratic style was the most effective in employee productivity. However, it was also found that the democratic style could lead to less effective group performance than the autocratic style.
task-related behaviours and relationship-related behaviours
Most recently, leadership theory dictates that leaders are most effective when they make their behaviour contingent upon situational forces, including the characteristics of group members (DuBrin et al, 2006). This is...