Emergent Leadership Characteristics Essay

"Leader" redirects here. For other uses, see Leader (disambiguation).

Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to "lead" or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.[citation needed] Specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) US vs. European approaches. US academic environments define leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".[1][2] Leadership seen from a European and non-academic perspective encompasses a view of a leader who can be moved not only by communitarian goals but also by the search for personal power.[citation needed] Leadership can derive from a combination of several factors.[citation needed]

Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits,[3] situational interaction, function, behavior,[4]power, vision and values,[5]charisma, and intelligence, among others.[2]

Historical views[edit]

Sanskrit literature identifies ten types of leaders. Defining characteristics of the ten types of leaders are explained with examples from history and mythology.[6]

Aristocratic thinkers have postulated that leadership depends on one's "blue blood" or genes. Monarchy takes an extreme view of the same idea, and may prop up its assertions against the claims of mere aristocrats by invoking divine sanction (see the divine right of kings). Contrariwise, more democratically inclined theorists have pointed to examples of meritocratic leaders, such as the Napoleonic marshals profiting from careers open to talent.[7]

In the autocratic/paternalistic strain of thought, traditionalists recall the role of leadership of the Roman pater familias. Feminist thinking, on the other hand, may object to such models as patriarchal and posit against them emotionally attuned, responsive, and consensual empathetic guidance, which is sometimes associated with matriarchies.[8]

Comparable to the Roman tradition, the views of Confucianism on "right living" relate very much to the ideal of the (male) scholar-leader and his benevolent rule, buttressed by a tradition of filial piety.[9]

Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline ... Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty. When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader. — Sun Tzu[10]

Machiavelli's The Prince, written in the early 16th century, provided a manual for rulers ("princes" or "tyrants" in Machiavelli's terminology) to gain and keep power.

In the 19th century the elaboration of anarchist thought called the whole concept of leadership into question. (Note that the Oxford English Dictionary traces the word "leadership" in English only as far back as the 19th century.) One response to this denial of élitism came with Leninism, which demanded an élite group of disciplined cadres to act as the vanguard of a socialist revolution, bringing into existence the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Other historical views of leadership have addressed the seeming contrasts between secular and religious leadership. The doctrines of Caesaro-papism have recurred and had their detractors over several centuries. Christian thinking on leadership has often emphasized stewardship of divinely provided resources—human and material—and their deployment in accordance with a Divine plan. Compare servant leadership.[11]

For a more general take on leadership in politics, compare the concept of the statesperson.

Theories[edit]

Early western history[edit]

The search for the characteristics or traits of leaders has continued for centuries. Philosophical writings from Plato's Republic[12] to Plutarch's Lives have explored the question "What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?" Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership[citation needed] and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the "trait theory of leadership".

A number of works in the 19th century – when the traditional authority of monarchs, lords and bishops had begun to wane – explored the trait theory at length: note especially the writings of Thomas Carlyle and of Francis Galton, whose works have prompted decades of research. In Heroes and Hero Worship (1841), Carlyle identified the talents, skills, and physical characteristics of men who rose to power. Galton's Hereditary Genius (1869) examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when his focus moved from first-degree to second-degree relatives, Galton concluded that leadership was inherited. In other words, leaders were born, not developed. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that leadership is rooted in characteristics of a leader.

Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902) believed that public-spirited leadership could be nurtured by identifying young people with "moral force of character and instincts to lead", and educating them in contexts (such as the collegiate environment of the University of Oxford) which further developed such characteristics. International networks of such leaders could help to promote international understanding and help "render war impossible". This vision of leadership underlay the creation of the Rhodes Scholarships, which have helped to shape notions of leadership since their creation in 1903.[13]

Rise of alternative theories[edit]

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, a series of qualitative reviews of these studies (e.g., Bird, 1940;[14] Stogdill, 1948;[15] Mann, 1959[16]) prompted researchers to take a drastically different view of the driving forces behind leadership. In reviewing the extant literature, Stogdill and Mann found that while some traits were common across a number of studies, the overall evidence suggested that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations. Subsequently, leadership was no longer characterized as an enduring individual trait, as situational approaches (see alternative leadership theories below) posited that individuals can be effective in certain situations, but not others. The focus then shifted away from traits of leaders to an investigation of the leader behaviors that were effective. This approach dominated much of the leadership theory and research for the next few decades

Reemergence of trait theory[edit]

New methods and measurements were developed after these influential reviews that would ultimately reestablish trait theory as a viable approach to the study of leadership. For example, improvements in researchers' use of the round robin research design methodology allowed researchers to see that individuals can and do emerge as leaders across a variety of situations and tasks.[17] Additionally, during the 1980s statistical advances allowed researchers to conduct meta-analyses, in which they could quantitatively analyze and summarize the findings from a wide array of studies. This advent allowed trait theorists to create a comprehensive picture of previous leadership research rather than rely on the qualitative reviews of the past. Equipped with new methods, leadership researchers revealed the following:

  • Individuals can and do emerge as leaders across a variety of situations and tasks.[17]
  • Significant relationships exist between leadership emergence and such individual traits as:

While the trait theory of leadership has certainly regained popularity, its reemergence has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in sophisticated conceptual frameworks.[25]

Specifically, Zaccaro (2007)[25] noted that trait theories still:

  • Focus on a small set of individual attributes such as "The Big Five" personality traits, to the neglect of cognitive abilities, motives, values, social skills, expertise, and problem-solving skills.
  • Fail to consider patterns or integrations of multiple attributes.
  • Do not distinguish between the leadership attributes that are generally not malleable over time and those that are shaped by, and bound to, situational influences.
  • Do not consider how stable leader attributes account for the behavioral diversity necessary for effective leadership.

Attribute pattern approach[edit]

Considering the criticisms of the trait theory outlined above, several researchers have begun to adopt a different perspective of leader individual differences—the leader attribute pattern approach.[24][26][27][28][29] In contrast to the traditional approach, the leader attribute pattern approach is based on theorists' arguments that the influence of individual characteristics on outcomes is best understood by considering the person as an integrated totality rather than a summation of individual variables.[28][30] In other words, the leader attribute pattern approach argues that integrated constellations or combinations of individual differences may explain substantial variance in both leader emergence and leader effectiveness beyond that explained by single attributes, or by additive combinations of multiple attributes..

Behavioral and style theories[edit]

Main article: Managerial grid model

In response to the early criticisms of the trait approach, theorists began to research leadership as a set of behaviors, evaluating the behavior of successful leaders, determining a behavior taxonomy, and identifying broad leadership styles.[31]David McClelland, for example, posited that leadership takes a strong personality with a well-developed positive ego. To lead, self-confidence and high self-esteem are useful, perhaps even essential.[32]

Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lipitt, and Ralph White developed in 1939 the seminal work on the influence of leadership styles and performance. The researchers evaluated the performance of groups of eleven-year-old boys under different types of work climate. In each, the leader exercised his influence regarding the type of group decision making, praise and criticism (feedback), and the management of the group tasks (project management) according to three styles: authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire.[33]

In 1945, Ohio State University conducted a study which investigated observable behaviors portrayed by effective leaders, They would then identify if these particular behaviors reflective in leadership effectiveness. They were able to narrow their findings to two identifiable distinctions [34] The first dimension was identified as "Initiating Structure", which described how a leader clearly and accurately communicates with their followers, defines goals, and determine how tasks are performed. These are considered "task oriented" behaviors The second dimension is "Consideration", which indicates the leader's ability to build an interpersonal relationship with their followers, to establish a form of mutual trust. These are considered "social oriented" behaviors.[35]

The Michigan State Studies, which were conducted in the 1950s, made further investigations and findings that positively correlated behaviors and leadership effectiveness. Although they similar findings as the Ohio State studies, they did contribute an additional behavior identified in leaders. This was participative behavior; allowing the followers to participate in group decision making and encouraged subordinate input. Another term used to describe this is "Servant Leadership", which entails the leader to reject a more controlling type of leadership and allow more personal interaction between themselves and their subordinates.[36]

The managerial grid model is also based on a behavioral theory. The model was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in 1964 and suggests five different leadership styles, based on the leaders' concern for people and their concern for goal achievement.[37]

Positive reinforcement[edit]

B. F. Skinner is the father of behavior modification and developed the concept of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement occurs when a positive stimulus is presented in response to a behavior, increasing the likelihood of that behavior in the future.[38] The following is an example of how positive reinforcement can be used in a business setting. Assume praise is a positive reinforcer for a particular employee. This employee does not show up to work on time every day. The manager of this employee decides to praise the employee for showing up on time every day the employee actually shows up to work on time. As a result, the employee comes to work on time more often because the employee likes to be praised. In this example, praise (the stimulus) is a positive reinforcer for this employee because the employee arrives at work on time (the behavior) more frequently after being praised for showing up to work on time.

The use of positive reinforcement is a successful and growing technique used by leaders to motivate and attain desired behaviors from subordinates. Organizations such as Frito-Lay, 3M, Goodrich, Michigan Bell, and Emery Air Freight have all used reinforcement to increase productivity.[39] Empirical research covering the last 20 years suggests that reinforcement theory has a 17 percent increase in performance. Additionally, many reinforcement techniques such as the use of praise are inexpensive, providing higher performance for lower costs.

Situational and contingency theories[edit]

Main articles: Fiedler contingency model, Vroom–Yetton decision model, path–goal theory, and situational leadership theory

Situational theory also appeared as a reaction to the trait theory of leadership. Social scientists argued that history was more than the result of intervention of great men as Carlyle suggested. Herbert Spencer (1884) (and Karl Marx) said that the times produce the person and not the other way around.[40] This theory assumes that different situations call for different characteristics; according to this group of theories, no single optimal psychographic profile of a leader exists. According to the theory, "what an individual actually does when acting as a leader is in large part dependent upon characteristics of the situation in which he functions."[41]

Some theorists started to synthesize the trait and situational approaches. Building upon the research of Lewin et al., academics began to normalize the descriptive models of leadership climates, defining three leadership styles and identifying which situations each style works better in. The authoritarian leadership style, for example, is approved in periods of crisis but fails to win the "hearts and minds" of followers in day-to-day management; the democratic leadership style is more adequate in situations that require consensus building; finally, the laissez-faire leadership style is appreciated for the degree of freedom it provides, but as the leaders do not "take charge", they can be perceived as a failure in protracted or thorny organizational problems.[42] Thus, theorists defined the style of leadership as contingent to the situation, which is sometimes classified as contingency theory. Four contingency leadership theories appear more prominently in recent years: Fiedler contingency model, Vroom-Yetton decision model, the path-goal theory, and the Hersey-Blanchard situational theory.

The Fiedler contingency model bases the leader's effectiveness on what Fred Fiedler called situational contingency. This results from the interaction of leadership style and situational favorability (later called situational control). The theory defined two types of leader: those who tend to accomplish the task by developing good relationships with the group (relationship-oriented), and those who have as their prime concern carrying out the task itself (task-oriented).[43] According to Fiedler, there is no ideal leader. Both task-oriented and relationship-oriented leaders can be effective if their leadership orientation fits the situation. When there is a good leader-member relation, a highly structured task, and high leader position power, the situation is considered a "favorable situation". Fiedler found that task-oriented leaders are more effective in extremely favorable or unfavorable situations, whereas relationship-oriented leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favorability.

Victor Vroom, in collaboration with Phillip Yetton (1973)[44] and later with Arthur Jago (1988),[45] developed a taxonomy for describing leadership situations, which was used in a normative decision model where leadership styles were connected to situational variables, defining which approach was more suitable to which situation.[46] This approach was novel because it supported the idea that the same manager could rely on different group decision making approaches depending on the attributes of each situation. This model was later referred to as situational contingency theory.[47]

The path-goal theory of leadership was developed by Robert House (1971) and was based on the expectancy theory of Victor Vroom.[48] According to House, the essence of the theory is "the meta proposition that leaders, to be effective, engage in behaviors that complement subordinates' environments and abilities in a manner that compensates for deficiencies and is instrumental to subordinate satisfaction and individual and work unit performance".[49] The theory identifies four leader behaviors, achievement-oriented, directive, participative, and supportive, that are contingent to the environment factors and follower characteristics. In contrast to the Fiedler contingency model, the path-goal model states that the four leadership behaviors are fluid, and that leaders can adopt any of the four depending on what the situation demands. The path-goal model can be classified both as a contingency theory, as it depends on the circumstances, and as a transactional leadership theory, as the theory emphasizes the reciprocity behavior between the leader and the followers.

The Situational Leadership® Model proposed by Hersey suggests four leadership-styles and four levels of follower-development. For effectiveness, the model posits that the leadership-style must match the appropriate level of follower-development. In this model, leadership behavior becomes a function not only of the characteristics of the leader, but of the characteristics of followers as well.[50]

Functional theory[edit]

Main article: Functional leadership model

Functional leadership theory (Hackman & Walton, 1986; McGrath, 1962; Adair, 1988; Kouzes & Posner, 1995) is a particularly useful theory for addressing specific leader behaviors expected to contribute to organizational or unit effectiveness. This theory argues that the leader's main job is to see that whatever is necessary to group needs is taken care of; thus, a leader can be said to have done their job well when they have contributed to group effectiveness and cohesion (Fleishman et al., 1991; Hackman & Wageman, 2005; Hackman & Walton, 1986). While functional leadership theory has most often been applied to team leadership (Zaccaro, Rittman, & Marks, 2001), it has also been effectively applied to broader organizational leadership as well (Zaccaro, 2001). In summarizing literature on functional leadership (see Kozlowski et al. (1996), Zaccaro et al. (2001), Hackman and Walton (1986), Hackman & Wageman (2005), Morgeson (2005)), Klein, Zeigert, Knight, and Xiao (2006) observed five broad functions a leader performs when promoting organization's effectiveness. These functions include environmental monitoring, organizing subordinate activities, teaching and coaching subordinates, motivating others, and intervening actively in the group's work.

A variety of leadership behaviors are expected to facilitate these functions. In initial work identifying leader behavior, Fleishman (1953) observed that subordinates perceived their supervisors' behavior in terms of two broad categories referred to as consideration and initiating structure. Consideration includes behavior involved in fostering effective relationships. Examples of such behavior would include showing concern for a subordinate or acting in a supportive manner towards others. Initiating structure involves the actions of the leader focused specifically on task accomplishment. This could include role clarification, setting performance standards, and holding subordinates accountable to those standards.

Integrated psychological theory[edit]

Main article: Three Levels of Leadership model

The Integrated Psychological theory of leadership is an attempt to integrate the strengths of the older theories (i.e. traits, behavioral/styles, situational and functional) while addressing their limitations, largely by introducing a new element – the need for leaders to develop their leadership presence, attitude toward others and behavioral flexibility by practicing psychological mastery. It also offers a foundation for leaders wanting to apply the philosophies of servant leadership and authentic leadership.[51]

Integrated Psychological theory began to attract attention after the publication of James Scouller's Three Levels of Leadership model (2011).[52] Scouller argued that the older theories offer only limited assistance in developing a person's ability to lead effectively.[53] He pointed out, for example, that:

  • Traits theories, which tend to reinforce the idea that leaders are born not made, might help us select leaders, but they are less useful for developing leaders.
  • An ideal style (e.g. Blake & Mouton's team style) would not suit all circumstances.
  • Most of the situational/contingency and functional theories assume that leaders can change their behavior to meet differing circumstances or widen their behavioral range at will, when in practice many find it hard to do so because of unconscious beliefs, fears or ingrained habits. Thus, he argued, leaders need to work on their inner psychology.
  • None of the old theories successfully address the challenge of developing "leadership presence"; that certain "something" in leaders that commands attention, inspires people, wins their trust and makes followers want to work with them.

Scouller proposed the Three Levels of Leadership model, which was later categorized as an "Integrated Psychological" theory on the Businessballs education website.[54] In essence, his model aims to summarize what leaders have to do, not only to bring leadership to their group or organization, but also to develop themselves technically and psychologically as leaders.

The three levels in his model are Public, Private and Personal leadership:

  • The first two – public and private leadership – are "outer" or behavioral levels. These are the behaviors that address what Scouller called "the four dimensions of leadership". These dimensions are: (1) a shared, motivating group purpose; (2) action, progress and results; (3) collective unity or team spirit; (4) individual selection and motivation. Public leadership focuses on the 34 behaviors involved in influencing two or more people simultaneously. Private leadership covers the 14 behaviors needed to influence individuals one to one.
  • The third – personal leadership – is an "inner" level and concerns a person's growth toward greater leadership presence, knowhow and skill. Working on one's personal leadership has three aspects: (1) Technical knowhow and skill (2) Developing the right attitude toward other people – which is the basis of servant leadership (3) Psychological self-mastery – the foundation for authentic leadership.

Scouller argued that self-mastery is the key to growing one's leadership presence, building trusting relationships with followers and dissolving one's limiting beliefs and habits, thereby enabling behavioral flexibility as circumstances change, while staying connected to one's core values (that is, while remaining authentic). To support leaders' development, he introduced a new model of the human psyche and outlined the principles and techniques of self-mastery, which include the practice of mindfulness meditation.[55]

Transactional and transformational theories[edit]

Main articles: Transactional leadership and Transformational leadership

Bernard Bass and colleagues developed the idea of two different types of leadership, transactional that involves exchange of labor for rewards and transformational which is based on concern for employees, intellectual stimulation, and providing a group vision.[56][57]

The transactional leader (Burns, 1978)[58] is given power to perform certain tasks and reward or punish for the team's performance. It gives the opportunity to the manager to lead the group and the group agrees to follow his lead to accomplish a predetermined goal in exchange for something else. Power is given to the leader to evaluate, correct, and train subordinates when productivity is not up to the desired level, and reward effectiveness when expected outcome is reached.

Leader–member exchange theory[edit]

Main article: Leader–member exchange theory

This LMX theory addresses a specific aspect of the leadership process is the leader–member exchange (LMX) theory,[59] which evolved from an earlier theory called the vertical dyad linkage (VDL) model.[60] Both of these models focus on the interaction between leaders and individual followers. Similar to the transactional approach, this interaction is viewed as a fair exchange whereby the leader provides certain benefits such as task guidance, advice, support, and/or significant rewards and the followers reciprocate by giving the leader respect, cooperation, commitment to the task and good performance. However, LMX recognizes that leaders and individual followers will vary in the type of exchange that develops between them.[61] LMX theorizes that the type of exchanges between the leader and specific followers can lead to the creation of in-groups and out-groups. In-group members are said to have high-quality exchanges with the leader, while out-group members have low-quality exchanges with the leader.[62]

In-group members[edit]

In-group members are perceived by the leader as being more experienced, competent, and willing to assume responsibility than other followers. The leader begins to rely on these individuals to help with especially challenging tasks. If the follower responds well, the leader rewards him/her with extra coaching, favorable job assignments, and developmental experiences. If the follower shows high commitment and effort followed by additional rewards, both parties develop mutual trust, influence, and support of one another. Research shows the in-group members usually receive higher performance evaluations from the leader, higher satisfaction, and faster promotions than out-group members.[61] In-group members are also likely to build stronger bonds with their leaders by sharing the same social backgrounds and interests.

Out-group members[edit]

Out-group members often receive less time and more distant exchanges than their in-group counterparts. With out-group members, leaders expect no more than adequate job performance, good attendance, reasonable respect, and adherence to the job description in exchange for a fair wage and standard benefits. The leader spends less time with out-group members, they have fewer developmental experiences, and the leader tends to emphasize his/her formal authority to obtain compliance to leader requests. Research shows that out-group members are less satisfied with their job and organization, receive lower performance evaluations from the leader, see their leader as less fair, and are more likely to file grievances or leave the organization.[61]

Emotions[edit]

See also: Emotional intelligence

Leadership can be perceived as a particularly emotion-laden process, with emotions entwined with the social influence process.[63] In an organization, the leader's mood has some effects on his/her group. These effects can be described in three levels:[64]

  1. The mood of individual group members. Group members with leaders in a positive mood experience more positive mood than do group members with leaders in a negative mood. The leaders transmit their moods to other group members through the mechanism of emotional contagion.[64] Mood contagion may be one of the psychological mechanisms by which charismatic leaders influence followers.[65]
  2. The affective tone of the group. Group affective tone represents the consistent or homogeneous affective reactions within a group. Group affective tone is an aggregate of the moods of the individual members of the group and refers to mood at the group level of analysis. Groups with leaders in a positive mood have a more positive affective tone than do groups with leaders in a negative mood.[64]
  3. Group processes like coordination, effort expenditure, and taskstrategy. Public expressions of mood impact how group members think and act. When people experience and express mood, they send signals to others. Leaders signal their goals, intentions, and attitudes through their expressions of moods. For example, expressions of positive moods by leaders signal that leaders deem progress toward goals to be good. The group members respond to those signals cognitively and behaviorally in ways that are reflected in the group processes.[64]

In research about client service, it was found that expressions of positive mood by the leader improve the performance of the group, although in other sectors there were other findings.[66]

Beyond the leader's mood, her/his behavior is a source for employee positive and negative emotions at work. The leader creates situations and events that lead to emotional response. Certain leader behaviors displayed during interactions with their employees are the sources of these affective events. Leaders shape workplace affective events. Examples – feedback giving, allocating tasks, resource distribution. Since employee behavior and productivity are directly affected by their emotional states, it is imperative to consider employee emotional responses to organizational leaders.[67] Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage moods and emotions in the self and others, contributes to effective leadership within organizations.[66]

Neo-emergent theory[edit]

Main article: Functional leadership model

The neo-emergent leadership theory (from the Oxford school of leadership) sees leadership as created through the emergence of information by the leader or other stakeholders, not through the true actions of the leader himself.[citation needed] In other words, the reproduction of information or stories form the basis of the perception of leadership by the majority. It is well known[by whom?] that the naval hero Lord Nelson often wrote his own versions of battles he was involved in, so that when he arrived home in England he would receive a true hero's welcome.[citation needed] In modern society, the press, blogs and other sources report their own views of leaders, which may be based on reality, but may also be based on a political command, a payment, or an inherent interest of the author, media, or leader. Therefore, one can argue that the perception of all leaders is created and in fact does not reflect their true leadership qualities at all.

Leadership Emergence[edit]

Many personality characteristics were found to be reliably associated with leadership emergence.[68] The list include, but is not limited to following (list organized in alphabetical order): assertiveness, authenticity, Big Five personality factors, birth order, character strengths, dominance, emotional intelligence, gender identity, intelligence, narcissism, self-efficacy for leadership, self-monitoring and social motivation.[68] Leadership emergence is the idea that people born with specific characteristics become leaders, and those without these characteristics do not become leaders. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela all share traits that an average person does not. This includes people who choose to participate in leadership roles, as opposed to those who do not. Research indicates that up to 30% of leader emergence has a genetic basis.[69] There is no current research indicating that there is a “leadership gene”, instead we inherit certain traits that might influence our decision to seek leadership. Both anecdotal, and empirical evidence support a stable relationship between specific traits and leadership behavior.[70] Using a large international sample researchers found that there are three factors that motivate leaders; affective identity (enjoyment of leading), non-calculative (leading earns reinforcement), and social-normative (sense of obligation).[71]

Assertiveness[edit]

The relationship between assertiveness and leadership emergence is curvilinear; individuals who are either low in assertiveness or very high in assertiveness are less likely to be identified as leaders.[72]

Authenticity[edit]

Individuals who are more aware of their personality qualities, including their values and beliefs, and are less biased when processing self-relevant information, are more likely to be accepted as leaders.[73] See Authentic Leadership.

Big Five personality factors[edit]

Those who emerge as leaders tend to be more (order in strength of relationship with leadership emergence): extroverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, and open to experience, although these tendencies are stronger in laboratory studies of leaderless groups.[74] Agreeableness, the last factor of the Big Five personality traits, does not seem to play any meaningful role in leadership emergence [74]

Birth order[edit]

Those born first in their families and only children are hypothesized to be more driven to seek leadership and control in social settings. Middle-born children tend to accept follower roles in groups, and later-borns are thought to be rebellious and creative [68]

Character strengths[edit]

Those seeking leadership positions in a military organization had elevated scores on a number of indicators of strength of character, including honesty, hope, bravery, industry, and teamwork.[75]

Dominance[edit]

Individuals with dominant personalities – they describe themselves as high in the desire to control their environment and influence other people, and are likely to express their opinions in a forceful way – are more likely to act as leaders in small-group situations.[76]

Emotional intelligence[edit]

Individuals with high emotional intelligence have increased ability to understand and relate to people. They have skills in communicating and decoding emotions and they deal with others wisely and effectively.[68] Such people communicate their ideas in more robust ways, are better able to read the politics of a situation, are less likely to lose control of their emotions, are less likely to be inappropriately angry or critical, and in consequence are more likely to emerge as leaders.[77]

Gender identity[edit]

Masculine individuals are more likely to emerge as leaders than are feminine individuals.[78]

Intelligence[edit]

Individuals with higher intelligence exhibit superior judgement, higher verbal skills (both written and oral), quicker learning and acquisition of knowledge, and are more likely to emerge as leaders.[68] Correlation between IQ and leadership emergence was found to be between .25 and .30.[79] However, groups generally prefer leaders that do not exceed intelligence prowess of average member by a wide margin, as they fear that high intelligence may be translated to differences in communication, trust, interests and values[80]

Narcissism[edit]

Individuals who take on leadership roles in turbulent situations, such as groups facing a threat or ones in which status is determined by intense competition among rivals within the group, tend to be narcissistic: arrogant, self-absorbed, hostile, and very self-confident.[81]

Self-efficacy for leadership[edit]

Confidence in one's ability to lead is associated with increases in willingness to accept a leadership role and success in that role.[82]

Self-monitoring[edit]

High self-monitors are more likely to emerge as the leader of a group than are low self-monitors, since they are more concerned with status-enhancement and are more likely to adapt their actions to fit the demands of the situation[83]

Social motivation[edit]

Individuals who are both success-oriented and affiliation-oriented, as assessed by projective measures, are more active in group problem-solving settings and are more likely to be elected to positions of leadership in such groups[84]

Leadership Styles[edit]

Main article: Leadership styles

A leadership style is a leader's style of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. It is the result of the philosophy, personality, and experience of the leader. Rhetoric specialists have also developed models for understanding leadership (Robert Hariman, Political Style,[85]Philippe-Joseph Salazar, L'Hyperpolitique. Technologies politiques De La Domination[86]).

Different situations call for different leadership styles. In an emergency when there is little time to converge on an agreement and where a designated authority has significantly more experience or expertise than the rest of the team, an autocratic leadership style may be most effective; however, in a highly motivated and aligned team with a homogeneous level of expertise, a more democratic or Laissez-faire style may be more effective. The style adopted should be the one that most effectively achieves the objectives of the group while balancing the interests of its individual members.[87] A field in which leadership style has gained strong attention is that of military science, recently expressing a holistic and integrated view of leadership, including how a leader's physical presence determines how others perceive that leader. The factors of physical presence are military bearing, physical fitness, confidence, and resilience. The leader's intellectual capacity helps to conceptualize solutions and acquire knowledge to do the job. A leader's conceptual abilities apply agility, judgment, innovation, interpersonal tact, and domain knowledge. Domain knowledge for leaders encompasses tactical and technical knowledge as well as cultural and geopolitical awareness.[88]

Autocratic or authoritarian[edit]

Under the autocratic leadership style, all decision-making powers are centralized in the leader, as with dictators.

Autocratic leaders do not entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates. The autocratic management has been successful as it provides strong motivation to the manager. It permits quick decision-making, as only one person decides for the whole group and keeps each decision to him/herself until he/she feels it needs to be shared with the rest of the group.[87]

Participative or democratic[edit]

The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision-making abilities with group members by promoting the interests of the group members and by practicing social equality. This has also been called shared leadership.

Laissez-faire or Free-rein[edit]

In Laissez-faire or free-rein leadership, decision-making is passed on to the sub-ordinates. The sub-ordinates are given complete right and power to make decisions to establish goals and work out the problems or hurdles.[citation needed]

Task-oriented and relationship-oriented[edit]

Main article: Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership

Task-oriented leadership is a style in which the leader is focused on the tasks that need to be performed in order to meet a certain production goal. Task-oriented leaders are generally more concerned with producing a step-by-step solution for given problem or goal, strictly making sure these deadlines are met, results and reaching target outcomes.

Relationship-oriented leadership is a contrasting style in which the leader is more focused on the relationships amongst the group and is generally more concerned with the overall well-being and satisfaction of group members.[89] Relationship-oriented leaders emphasize communication within the group, show trust and confidence in group members, and show appreciation for work done.

Task-oriented leaders are typically less concerned with the idea of catering to group members, and more concerned with acquiring a certain solution to meet a production goal. For this reason, they typically are able to make sure that deadlines are met, yet their group members' well-being may suffer. Relationship-oriented leaders are focused on developing the team and the relationships in it. The positives to having this kind of environment are that team members are more motivated and have support. However, the emphasis on relations as opposed to getting a job done might make productivity suffer.

Leadership differences affected by sex[edit]

A graphical representation of the managerial grid model
General Petraeus talks with U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan

When your small business grows, you will need leaders other than yourself. You can look among your current employees for anyone who displays leadership qualities. These are emergent leaders. You can search among job seekers for people to hire for leadership positions. These are assigned leaders. These two types of leaders can have different styles and different effects on your employees.

Assigned Leadership

Assigned leaders derive their authority from their positions in the company hierarchy. The titles you give them carry weight with the employees they lead and you expect employees to show respect for the position. Eventually, however, employees must come to respect the person. The assigned leader must demonstrate wisdom, problem-solving skills and the ability to motivate employees in order to maintain a position of leadership and justify the assignment.

Emergent Leadership

When an employee begins taking on tasks voluntarily, helping others complete their tasks better and encouraging consensus among coworkers, this person is an emergent leader. This type of leadership is distinguished by the leader proving herself before being formally given a leadership title. Emergent leaders offer you the advantage of knowing in advance of a promotion that the person can handle the job. This type of leadership can also garner the leader respect among employees who know that the leader has shown the ability to work hard. Employees may expect emergent leadership to demonstrate more empathy for the worker than assigned leadership.

Perception vs. Reality

Employees may perceive that assigned leaders are educated, intelligent and wise, even if they are not. This is because workers assume that you as the owner performed some kind of screening process and found the best person for the job. This kind of automatic authority has its pitfalls. If your assigned leader has areas in which he is incompetent, employees can begin to resent having to follow such a person. Similarly, an emergent leader may cause resentment if she has to make decisions that help the company instead of employees. For example, an emergent leader may come out against employee raises based on a review of company finances. Employees can feel betrayed by an emergent leader, even though the reality is the leader may be making wise decisions.

Two Leaders in Conflict

On occasion, you may have an assigned leader in a department when the actual leader is an employee under that person. The emergent leader may have the ability to encourage cooperation and consensus in a way that the assigned leader does not. The problem can become counterproductive if the emergent leader defies the assigned leader when they have different approaches or solutions to problems. At that point, you may have to reassign one or both people.

About the Author

Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.

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