Characteristics of the leadership process

Stogdill’s definition has three key components. First, it defines leadership as an interpersonal process in which one individual seeks to shape and direct the behaviour of others. Second, it sets leadership in a social context. In which the members of a group to be influenced are subordinates or ‘followers’. Third, it establishes a criterion for effective leadership in goal achievement, which is one practical objective of leadership theory and research. Most definitions share these processual, contextual and evaluative components.

Some key charachteristics of the leadership process

Leadership is a process of influencing others primarily through the use of noncorecive influence techniques. This charachteristics distinguishes a leader from a dictator.

Leadership influence is goal directed to attain defined group or organisational goals

There are five approaches to the study of leadership:

Trait spotting: attempts to identify the personality trait and other related attributes of the effective leader in order to facilitate the selection of leaders.

Style counselling :attempts to characterize different leadership behaviour patterns to identify effective and ineffective leadership styles. In order to improve the training and development of leaders.

Context fitting: contingency theories which argue that the effectiveness of particular leadership behaviours is dependent on the organisational and cultural setting, which can also facilitate leadership awareness and training.

New leadership perspective approaches: which identify ‘new leaders’, ‘superleaders’ and ‘transformational leaders’ as heroic and inspirational visionaries who give purpose and direction to others, with an emphasis on senior executives and politicians whose motivational role is said to be central to organisational strategy and effectiveness.

Dispersing the role: a recent perspective which notes that leadership behaviour is not confined to those with formal leadership roles but can be observed across the organisation hierarchy, and thus one aspect of the ‘new superleadership’ role is to develop self -leadership skills in others.

Any study of leadership would be incomplete without an understanding of the debate between leaders Vs managers

Leadership versus management

We first have to deal with one crucial question: what is the difference between leadership and management? Some commentators argue that these terms are synonymous, as leadership is simply one facet of the management role. Other commentators argue that this distinction is significant. Leaders and managers play different contributions: leaders have followers, managers have subordinates.

Those who make a clear distinction portray the leader as someone who develops visions and drives new initiatives, and portray the manager as someone who monitors progress towards objectives to achieve order and reliability. The leader is prophet, catalyst and mover-shaker, focused on strategy. The manager is operator, technician and problem solver, concerned ‘with the here -and- now of goal attainment. The key distinguishing feature here is orientation to change . As Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (1985, p.21) observe, managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing.

Leadership versus Management

Creating an agenda

Establishes direction:

Plans and budgets

vision of the future, develops strategies

decides actions and timetables,

for change to achieve goals

allocates recourses

E Leadership functions Management functions

Developing people

Aligning people:

Organizing and staffing:

communicates vision and strategy,

decides structure and allocates staff,

influences creation of terms which

develops policies, procedures and

accept validity of goals



Motivating and inspiring:

Controlling, problem solving:

energizes people to overcome obstacle,

monitors results against plan and

satisfies human needs

takes corrective actions


Produces positive and sometimes

produces orders, consistency and

dramatic changes


Tutorial question

Discuss: ‘Modern day organisations need leaders or managers’ Please discuss and give relevant examples to justify your answer.

Power: what is it, and how can I get more?

Leadership is about influencing the behaviour of others. One cannot be a leader without followers. One key attribute of followers is that they must be willing to obey. Leadership is a property of the relationship between leader and follower. We need to know why people are willing to let themselves be influenced by some individuals and not by others. We thus need to understand the nature of compliance.

Leadership and power

Power is a useful concept with which to explain the social process of interpersonal influence. Power is a critical dimension of leadership, and the two terms are often used with the same or similar meanings: a leader is someone with power, powerful individuals are leaders.

We can thus define power in much the same way that we have defined leadership-as the ability of an individual to control or influence others, or to get some-one else to do something that they would perhaps not do.

There are different sources of power to name a few information power, affiliation power expert power, all these power bases are interrelated. The exercise of one power base may affect a leader’s ability to use another. The leader who resorts to coercive power may for example lose referent power. The leader may be able to use legitimate power to enhance both referent and expert power. A leader can operate from multiple sources of power and few leaders may be able to rely on a single power base.

Please see table: Sources of power

p+ are positive sources of power

p- are negative sources of power





remuneration, award, compliment, symbolic


gestures of praise


physical or psychological injury, symbolic gestures

of disdain, demotion, unwanted transfer,

withholding resources



Management right to control, obligation of others


to obey, playing ‘the boss’ and abusing authority

exercise of leadership in times of crisis or need



identification based on personal characteristics,

sometimes on perception of charisma; or reciprocal

identification based on friendship, association,

sharing information, common interests, values

and preferences



Possession of specialized knowledge valued by

Others, used to help others, given freely when solicited.


Unsolicited expertise creates barriers; expertise


condescendingly is coercive; withholding

expertise in times of need



access to information that is not public knowledge,

because of position or connections; can exist at

all organizational levels; secretaries and personal

assistants to executives often have information

power, and can control information flows



borrowed’ from an authority source-executive

Secretaries and assistants act as surrogates for their



acting on their own self-interest; using negative

affiliation power

by applying accounting and

personal policies rigidly



collective problem solving, conflict resolution,

creative brainstorming; group resolution greater

Than the individual contribution.


a few individual dominating the proceedings,



Tutorial question

Discuss : Which power base or which combination of power bases would you expect to be most effective for an organisation leader in current times?

Five approaches to Leadership

Research on leadership shows five main approaches in the study of leadership and that leadership theories have evolved gradually starting from the Trait spotting approach to New Leadership theories

Trait spotting: the research for personality markers

For the first four decades of the twentieth century, researches assumed that they could identify the personality traits of leaders It would then be possible to select individuals who possessed those traits and to promote them into leadership position.

This search for the qualities of good leaders was influenced by great man theory, which claims that (predominantly male) leaders are born as such, and emerge to take power, regardless of the social, organisational or historical context.

Great man theory is a historical perspective based on the premises that the fate of societies, and organizations, is in the hands of key, powerful, idiosyncratic (male) individuals who by force of personality reach positions of influence from which they can direct and dominate the lives of others.

Typical list of qualities:

Strong drive for responsibility;

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Focus on completing the task;

Vigour and persistence in pursuit of goals;

Venturesomeness and originality in problem solving;

Drive to exercise initiative in social settings;


Sense of personal identity;

Willingness to accept consequences of decisions and actions;

Readiness to absorb interpersonal stress;

Willingness to tolerate frustration and delay;

Ability to influence the behaviour of others;

Capacity to structure social systems to the purpose in hand.

Rosemay Stewart (1963) cites a study in which American executives were asked to identify indispensable leadership qualities. They came up with the following fifteen traits:







Human relations skill



emotional stability






Limitations of the trait spotting theory

It is difficult to challenge the list of qualities cited by either Stogdill or Stewart. Can we say that effective leaders should lack judgement, be low in energy, be undependable, lack drive, ambition, creativity and integrity’ and have little foresight? What happens when we compare Stewart with Stogdill? Both identify ‘drive’ as a key trait. However, Stogdill lists venturesomeness, self-confidence, stress tolerance and system structuring as traits which Stewarts omits. Stewart identifies foresight, fairness, integrity, fairness and co-operation, which are missing from Stogdill’s list.

Traits’ spotting presents several difficulties. First, there are more ‘attributes here than personality traits. Second, these attributes are vague. Third, many of the items on these lists describe skills and behaviour patterns which have to be observed, rather than personality traits that can be assessed by questionnaires or interview: persistence in pursuit of goals, ability to influence others. It is difficult to see how trait spotting can be used effectively in leadership selection context, as originally intended.

A further problem lies with the observation that one list of ‘good leadership’ qualities is as good as another. Stogdill’s review revealed some overlap between research findings, but it is also revealed disagreement and inconsistency. This line of research has been unable to establish a consistent set of leadership traits of attributes. Leadership is about power and influence, the chemistry of which it is difficult to analyse in terms of personality traits.

Style counselling: the search for effective behaviour patterns

Disillusionment with the traits approach meant that leadership, management and supervisory style became a major focus for research. Attention switched from selecting leaders on personality traits to training and developing leaders in appropriate behaviour patterns. This research tradition argues that a considerate, participative, democratic and involving leadership style is more effective than an impersonal, autocratic and directive style.

Two research projects, the Michigan and Ohio studies, in the 1940’s and 1950’s underpinned Employee- centred behaviour: focusing on relationships and employee needs;

employee-centred behaviour: focusing on relationships and employee needs

job-centred behaviour : focusing

Consideration is a pattern of leadership behavior that demonstrates sensitivity to relationships and to the social needs of employees.

Initiating structure is a pattern of leadership behavior that emphasizes performance of the work in hand and the achievement of product and service goals.

Consistent with the Michigan studies, the Ohio results identified two categories of leadership behaviour, consideration and initiating structure. The considerate leader is needs- and the relationship- oriented. The leader who structures work for subordinates is task-oriented.

The considerate leader is interested in and listens to subordinates, allows participation in decision making, is friendly and approachable, helps subordinates with personal problems and is prepared to support them if necessary. The leader’s behaviour indicates genuine trust, respect, warmth and rapport. This enhances subordinates’ feeling of self-esteem and encourages the development of communications and relationships in a work group. The researches first called this leadership dimension social sensitivity.

The leader initiating structure plans ahead, decides how thing are going to get done, structures tasks and assigns work, makes expectation clear, emphasizes deadlines and achievement, and expects subordinates to follow instructions. The leader’s behaviour stresses production and the achievement of organisational goals. This type of behaviour can stimulate enthusiasm to achieve objectives as well as encouraging and helping subordinates to get the work done. This is the kind of emphasis that the scientific management school encouraged, except that here it is recognised that task orientation can have a positive motivating aspect. The researches first called this leadership dimension production emphasis.

Consideration and structure are independent behaviour patterns and do not represent the extremes of a continuum. A leader can emphasize one or both. Job satisfaction is likely to be higher and grievances and labour turnover lower where the leader emphasizes consideration. Task performances, on the other hand, is likely to be higher where the leader emphasizes the initiation of structure. Inconsiderate leaders typically have subordinates who complain and who are more likely to leave the organisation, but can have comparatively productive work groups if they are high on initiating structure.

Initiating structure

High low

High performance low performance

High few grievances few grievances

Low turnover low turnover


Low High performance low performance

Many grievances many grievances

High turnover high turnover

Figure 1 : The Ohio State leadership theory predictions

The influential work of another University of Michigan researcher, Rensis Likert(1961), reinforced the benefits of considerate performance-oriented leadership. He found that supervisors in highly productive sections were more likely to:

Receive general as opposed to close supervision from their superior;

Give general as opposed to close supervision to their subordinates

Enjoy their responsibility and authority;

Spend more time on supervision;

Be employee- rather than production-oriented

Supervisors in sections where productivity was low were production-oriented and concentrated on keeping their subordinates busy on achieving targets on time. The effective supervisors were not just concerned with employee needs. They were seen as subordinates as emphasizing high performance and had a ‘contagious enthusiasm’ for achieving goals. Likert and his team identified four main styles or systems of leadership:

System 1: Exploitative autocratic, in which the leader

Has no confidence and trust in subordinates;

Imposes decisions, never delegates;

Motivates by threat;

Has little communication and team work.

System 2: Benevolent authoritative, in which the leader

Has superficial, condescending trust in subordinates;

Imposes decisions, never delegates;

Motivates by reward;

Sometimes involves subordinates in solving problems.

System 3: Participative, in which the leader

Has some incomplete confidence and trust in subordinates;

Listens to subordinates but controls decision making;

Motivates by reward and some involvement;

Uses ideas and opinions of subordinates constructively.

System 4: Democratic, in which the leader

Has complete confidence and trust in subordinates;

Allows subordinates to make decisions for themselves;

Motivates by reward for achieving goals set by participation;

Shares ideas and opinion.

Likert’s research showed that effective supervisors were those who adopted either system 3 or system 4 leadership, what Likert called and ‘alternative organisational lifestyle’.

Tutorial question: ‘The style counselling leadership approach is extremely relevant in current times’ Discuss this statement.

Context fitting: the development of contingency theories

The Michigan and Ohio perspectives offer leaders ‘one best way’ to handle followers, by adopting the ‘high-consideration, high-structure’ ideal. This advice is supported by the fact that most people like their leaders to be considerate, even when they are performance- oriented as well. The main criticism of this perspective lies with the observation that one leadership style may not be effective in all circumstances.

Departing from ‘one best way’, Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt (1958) presented the autocratic- democratic choice as a continuum, from ‘boss centred leadership’ at one extreme to ‘subordinate- centred leadership’ at the other. This is illustrated in figure 2

Subordinate-centred leadership

Boss- centred leadership

The contingency theory of leadership is a perspective which states that leaders to be effective must adapt their style in a manner consistent with aspects such as the work context, attributes of workers and the nature of the work to be done

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Use of authority by the manager

Area of freedom for subordinates

Manager Manager Manager Manager presents Manager presents Manager defines Manager permits

makes decisions ‘sells’ presents ideas tentative decision problem, gets limits; asks group subordinates to

and announces it. Decisions. and invites subject to change. suggestion, makes to make decision. function within limits

questions. Decision. defined bysuperior.

The Tannenbaum-Schmidt continuum of leadership behavior

The steps in this continuum are represented as alternatives for the leader; their article was subtitled ‘should the manager be democratic or autocratic- or something in between?’ Tannenbaum and Schmidt argue that the answer depends on three sets of forces:

Forces in the manager personality, values, preferences, beliefs about

Employee participation, confidence in subordinates

Forces in the subordinates need for independence, tolerance of ambiguity

Knowledge of the problem, expectations of involvement

Forces in the situation organizational norms, size and location of work

Groups, effectiveness of teamworking, nature of

The problem

Having concentrated on ‘forces in the manager’, having challenged the notion of ‘one best way, to lead, research now considered aspects of the context in which the leader was operating: the people being led, the nature of the work they were doing, and the wider organisational setting. This perspective suggests that leaders must be able to ‘diagnose’ the context and be able to decide what behaviour will ‘fit’. As the best style is contingent on the situation, this approach is referred to as the contingency theory of leadership.

Tutorial question

Leadership research and theory seems to be consistent in arguing that a considerate, employee- cantered, participative and democratic style is more effective.

What factors in an organisational context would make an inconsiderate, goal- centred, impersonal and autocratic leadership style more effective?

Contingency theory of leadership cont’d

Another influential contingency theory of leadership was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard (1988). They believe that leaders can alter their style to fit the context.

Hersey and Blanchard call their approach situational leadership, summarised in fig 3, which describe leader behaviour on two dimensions.

The first dimension (horizontal axis) concerns ‘task behaviour’, or the amount of direction a leader gives to subordinates. This can vary from specific instructions, at one extreme, to complete delegation, at the other. Hersey and Blanchard identify two intermediate positions, where leaders either facilitate subordinates decisions or take care to explain their own.

Situational leadership is an approach to determining the most effective style of influencing, taking into accounts of direction and support the leader gives, the readiness and maturity of followers to perform a particular task.

The second dimension (vertical axis) concerns ‘supportive behaviour’ and the amount of social backup a leader gives to subordinates. This can vary from limited communication, at one extreme, to considerable listening, facilitating and supporting at the other.

The model establishes four basic leadership styles, labelled S1 to S4

S1 Telling: High amounts of task behaviour, telling subordinates what to do, when to do it and how to do it, but with little leadership behaviour.

S2 Selling: High amounts of both task behaviour and relationship behaviour.

S3 Participating: Lots of relationship behaviour and support, but little direction of task behaviour.

S4 Delegating: Not much task behaviour or relationship behaviour.

Share ideas and Explain decisions and provide

Facilitate decision making. Opportunity for clarification.



Turn over responsibility Provide specific instructions

For decisions and and closely supervise

Implementation performance.

S4 S1

(Supporting Behavior/Relationship Behavior R




High Moderate low

R4 R3 R2 R1

Able and

willing or


Follower Readiness

Able but unwilling

Or insecure

Unable and unwilling

Or insecure

Unable but willing

Or confident

Follower directed leader directed

Hersey and Blanchard also argue that the readiness of followers to perform a particular task is a key factor. This is explained by the lower portion of the figure in which follower readiness is drawn on a continuum, with insecure subordinates unwilling to act at one extreme to confident followers able and willing to perform at the other. Superimpose the readiness continuum on the top half of the model and you have a basis for selecting an effective leadership style. It is compelling and consistent with other theories to suggest that insecure subordinates need telling while willing and confident groups can be left to do the job.

Tutorial question; Take an organisation of your choice and discuss the relevance and significance of the Hersey and Blanchard situational leadership theory.

Leadership in the twenty-first century

Two related trends in leadership thinking are now evident:

Recognition of the role of heroic, powerful, charismatic, visionary leader.

Recognition of the role of information leadership, at all levels.

These trends appear to be contradictory. We have the new leader, who is a rational figure motivating followers to superlative levels of achievement. However, we have also the super leader, who is able to ‘lead other lead themselves’ .The super leader thus encourage, develops and co-exists with informal leadership dispersed throughout the organisation hierarchy.

The new leader is an indispensable and inspirational visionary, a coach, a facilitator concerned with building a shared sense of purpose and mission, with creating a culture which ensures that everyone is aligned with the organisations goals and is skilled and empowered to go and achieve them.

The super leader is a leader who is able to develop leadership capacity in other, developing and empowering them, reducing their dependence on formal leaders, stimulating their motivation, commitment and creativity.

The new leadership theory originates from the work of McGregor Burns (1978), who distinguished between transactional and transformational leaders.

The transactional leader is a leader who treats relationship with followers in terms of an exchange, giving followers what they want in return for what the leader desires, following prescribed tasks to pursue established goals.

Transactional leaders see their relationship with formers in term of trade, swaps or bargains. Transformational leaders are characterised as individuals who inspire and motivates others to go ‘beyond contract’, to perform at unexpected levels. Although Burns saw these two types of leadership it was easy to see why some commentators equate transactional with ‘management, and transformational with ‘leadership’.

The transactional leader is a leader who treats relationship with followers in terms of an exchange, giving followers what they want in return for what the leader desires, following prescribed tasks to pursue established goals.

The transformational leader is a leader who treats relationships with followers in terms of motivation and commitment , influencing and inspiring followers to give more than mechanical compliance and to improve organisational performance

Transformational leadership occurs when leaders:

Stimulates others to see what they are doing from new perspectives;

Articulate the mission or vision of the organisation;

Develop others to higher levels of ability; and

Motivates others to put organisational interest before self-interest.

They achieve this, according to Bass and Avolio, by using one or more of ‘

Idealised influence

act as role models, attract admiration, respect

and trust, put needs of others before personal

interest, take risks and demonstrate high

standards of ethical conduct

Inspirational motivation

motivate and inspire by providing meaning and

challenge, arouse team spirit, show enthusiasm

and optimism, communicate expectations,

demonstrate commitment

Intellectual stimulation

question assumptions, reframe problems,

approach old issues in new ways, encourage

innovation and creativity, avoid public criticism

of mistakes

Individualised consideration

attend to individual needs for growth and

achievement, act as coach or mentor, create new

learning opportunities, accept individual

Differences, avoid close monitoring.

The transformational leader is a leader who threats relationship with followers in terms of motivation and commitment, influencing and inspiring followers to give more than mechanical compliance and to improve organizational performance. It is tempting to regard the profusion of new terms and the shift in emphasis in leadership theory and research as a systematic development of earlier ideas. However, the identification of new, super, transformational leaders represent a simplification of the concept of leadership, returning to ‘trait spotting’ (hunt the visionary) and overlooks what is known about the influences of a range of contextual factors on leadership effectiveness.

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Tutorial question

Considering senior business and political leaders with whom you are familiar, either directly or through the media, which come closest to these definitions of new leader, super leader and transformational leader?

The new, super, transformational leader looks like a ‘one best way’ approach. Does this vindicate trait spotting and discredit contingency perspectives?

Dispersing the leadership role

In the distinction between leadership and management, orientation to change is a defining characteristic, a distinctive ‘mark of the leader’. These results suggest, therefore, that leadership is a widespread phenomenon. Leadership behaviours are dispersed rather than concentrated in the hands of formally appointed managers. Leadership functions are best carried out by people who have the interest, knowledge, skills and motivation to perform them effectively. This observation is reinforced by the development of self-managing autonomous teams, which often have no leaders, or have ‘coach-facilitators’ whose role is to develop team skills. These ‘coaching- facilitating’ are super leaders.

Recognition of dispersed leadership does not imply a shift of focus away from formal, senior figures. It may be useful to separate notions of leadership from formal positions and prestige job titles. However, it is necessary to recognise that senior figures with prestige title continue to exercise leadership roles and functions as well.

This ‘twin-track’ approach, which combines recognition of visionary new leadership with the notion of a widely dispersed leadership decoupled from high office, is illustrated by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (1985). Their model of twenty-first century leadership (in which the new role of the leader is to be (‘leader of leaders’) is summarised in table 4.

The ‘new-leader’ is neither an autocratic dictator nor a wildly charismatic figure, nor is he necessarily male. The emphasis of the ‘new leader’ lies more with the ‘soft’ skills of enthusing and inspiring, of coaching and facilitating . While women faced systematic discrimination in the pursuit of seniors management positions throughout the twentieth century, commentators were arguing as the century closed that, given the significance of interpersonal competencies (for economic, political and cultural reasons), women are better equipped than men for ‘new leadership’ roles.

Many commentators argue that the hostile, rapidly changing competitive climate and consequently pressured conditions of work requires participative, visionary and inspirational styles of leadership. A traditional, autocratic, task-oriented style encourage little more than mechanical compliance with directions. The new, transformational super leader, in contrast, encourages commitment, initiative, flexibility and high performance. The style and behaviour of new leaders also seems more appropriate to the motivation of knowledge workers and the development of the learning organisation .

Table 4: the Bennis-Nanus model of twenty- first century leadership



few top leaders, many managers

leaders at every level, few managers

Leading by goal setting

leading by vision, new directions

downsizing, benchmarking, quality

create distinctive competencies

Reactive, adaptive to change

creative, anticipate future change

design hierarchical organisation

design flat, collegial organisations

direct and supervise

empower, inspire, facilitates

information held by few decision makers

information shared with many

leader as boss, controlling

leaders as coach, creating learning organisation

leader as stabiliser, balancing conflicts

leaders as change agent, balancing risks

Leaders develop good managers

Leaders develop future leaders.

The new leadership concept can thus be used to draw together the three main strands of twentieth-century leadership thinking:

The theory

the new transformational super leader

trait spotting

must have the right personality, appearance, attributes, voice

style counseling

must be caring, inspirational and visionary, ethical, risk taker

Context fitting

style is consistent with hostile and rapidly changing

environment, with the need to develop flexible

organisational forms, with the need to motivate knowledge

Workers and develop a learning organisation.


1 Explain the apparent difference between the concepts of leadership and management.

Leaders are typically portrayed as inspiring, change- oriented visionaries.

Manager is typically portrayed s planners, organisers and controllers.

In practise, the role overlap and can be difficult to distinguish.

2 Understand why there is little relationship between personality traits and effective leadership.

Many factors, besides personality traits, influence leadership effectiveness.

It has proved difficult to establish a consensus on specific traits.

The characteristics of the leader’s role also influence behaviour and effectiveness.

Power and influence contribute to leader effectiveness, as well as personality.

3 Understand the bases of a leader’s power in organisation and the role of followers in creating and supporting leaders.

A leader’s power bases include reward, coercive, referent, legitimate, expert, information, affiliation, and group.

Leaders have power only if followers perceive them to posses it.

Women are traditionally powerless by discrimination and exclusion by male behaviour.

Women are now widely recognised to have social and interpersonal leadership qualities, and are more likely to be promoted on merit than overlooked on account of sex.

4 Understand why effective leaders either adapt their style to fit the organisational and cultural context in which they operate of find contexts which fit their personal style.

Considerate behaviour reduces labour turnover and improves job satisfaction.

Initiating structure improves performance but reduces job satisfaction.

Effective leaders combine consideration with initiating structure.

Contingency theory argues that leaders are more or less effective depending on how structured the task is, how powerful the leader is and how good relationships are.

Situational leadership advises the manager to use telling, selling, participating and delegating styles depending on the task, relationship and employee readiness.

Some commentators argue that leaders cannot change their behaviour and that they have to move when less effective to a context more favourable to their style.

Most commentators argue that leaders can and should adapt their behaviour to fit the context and the culture in which they are operating.

5 explain contemporary trends in this field concerning new leadership, on one hand, and the dispersal of the leadership function, on the other.

One trend recognises the importance of charismatic, visionary, inspirational new leaders.

New leadership, super leader and transformational leadership are approximate synonyms.

One trend recognises that leadership can be observed at all organisational level.

The new leader-visionary- is a super leader-helping others to lead themselves, and these two trends are consistent, not contradictory.

The new leader has the right traits, and the right style, for the contemporary context, thus combining notions of trait spotting style counselling and context fitting.


What is the difference between leadership and management, and why is it difficult to separate these concepts of practise?

Adolf Hitler meets Margaret Thatcher. They discuss the function and traits of effective leaders, particularly in the context of implementing change. On what issue might they agree? Might they disagree? Alternative scenario Mother Teresa meets Bill Gates.

Why is trait spotting such a popular theme in leadership research, what has trait spotting told us about the sonality markers of successful leaders, and what are the problems with this perspective?

Leaders are, traditionally, men with special qualities. Why at the beginning of the twenty-first century, are women more likely to be considered effective leaders?

What is power, and how can the exercise of power be regarded in positive terms as well as negative? What has leader’s power got to do with his or her followers?

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