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Emerging Models of Leadership


Submitted By ananana
Words 2430
Pages 10
By definition, a leader is someone who guides, directs and inspires people. From Julius Cesar, to Napoleon all the way to Steve Jobs, many influential people have been pinpointed as great leaders throughout history. These people have been scrutinized, thoroughly studied in an attempt to understand what makes a great leader, what makes someone an inspirational, influential person. There is a multitude of different theories and models of leadership, which evolve or become outdated as the world changes and studies multiply. For instance, in the 1930s, the developed trait theory of leadership focused on specific physical and psychological attributes positively correlated to leadership effectiveness. In this view, people are ‘born’ leaders dividing the population into leaders and non-leaders. Early trait theorists assumed that one’s personality defined their potential to be great leaders no matter the context. As a result, the situational approach to leadership emerged and the focus turned to behaviors around the 1960s. As opposed to the traits theory, it gave leadership a dynamic dimension: the environmental factors play a role in dividing people into leaders and followers. Rather than personality traits, the situational approach studied human behavior. Building on these approaches, the contingency theory defined three styles of leadership: the authoritarian, democratic and laissez-faire leadership styles, that each were suited to certain situations. Later on, Fred Fiedler distinguished between two types of leaders: relationship-oriented and task-oriented leaders. By the 21st century, leadership could be viewed from a personality perspective, focus of group processes, as an act, or as a behavior.
With the growing complexity of agreeing upon a single generally accepted definition of leadership, scholars came to realize the limits of the existing models. They had been

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