Critical evaluation of leadership theories

Leadership is process in which a leader givers the resolution to his followers and ask them to take actions beside him. Leader’s have some capabilities to tackle with some issue and problems and he who take the initiative called a leader and when people follows him, then it come out as a leadership. Leader is person who has some born qualities and all of his followers like and appreciate him because of his leadership qualities. Leader is person who learns, who is enough energize and acts in such a way those people respects him and follows him, and he develop himself in such way that become empower with authorities and recognize achievements.

Leaders have some born qualities and these qualities assured him to be a leader and lead a team. Some of his skills are born, but some of them he adopts from the day life and from past experiences.

According to Mitchell (2008)

“Leadership has been seen as the focus of group processes, as the personality attribute, as art of inducing compliance, as an exercise of influence, as a particular kind of act, as a form of persuasion, as power relation, as an instrument in the attainment of the goals, as an effective of interaction, as a differentiated role and as the initiation of structure.”

According to Bernard M. Bass (2006)

“An interaction between two or more members of a group that often involves a structuring or restructuring of the situation and the perceptions and expectation of the members.”

Effective leadership always tries to achieve the goals of the organizations smartly, and completion of all jobs is guaranteed by effective leadership.

Leadership has a classical history and now this is a modern way of directing the organizations and management of these organizations. Leader is person who motives these followers and become a famous person because of his leadership qualities, leader is figure of any organizations how meets with other people and directs them as a figure head. Leader is person who manages the managers; in fact leaders have some attributes of managers in his leadership so leaders are someone who directs the managers. In big organizations leaders move around international in multinational companies and on small level leaders are meant to be as figure head.

Ingredients of leadership:

Leaders must have the following ingredients within them (Kondalkar 2009).

Ability to use power effectively

A born leader inherit power and he knows how to use it, he also know the legitimate way of using this power, by this is become successful to achieve expert power, referent power, reward and coercive power . This ability makes him authoritative.

Ability to comprehend

People of civilization have different mood and behaviors and these mood and behaviors changes with time, to understand these natures is a tough task, but one successful leader must have this comprehended ingredient in him. This ability to comprehend his followers gives him more respect among his flowers and they start believing him more because leader is more into their personal lives to understand their expectations.

Ability to inspire

Followers always tries to perform according to their leader and they get inspire from him, he is does is always in the notice of his followers. People get inspire by the devotion, charismatic personality and his appeal in the favor of their willing.

Leadership style

In the leadership style firstly, leader must be devoted to his passion to lead his people and secondly he must create the sense of motivation among his followers. He must develop a way where he can influence his followers for the effective and efficient performance. He should indentify what leadership traits must be there in the personality of a leader and how to use these leadership abilities and skills.

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If we talk about the leadership style then it is most important to talk about the skills these leaders have. Mainly these skills are categories into three main parts that are useable in different levels and situations (Kondalkar 2009).

Human skills

One leader must be human to his followers, this skills is concerned with interpersonal relations with his subordinated and all the other persons who are in relation with leader. A leader influences, motivates and ask his followers to be obedient on all his rational sayings.

Conceptual skills

This skill revolves around the strategic and authoritative level; this kind’s ability is useful in taking long term and in strategic planning. As all followers considers the leader an influential personal so they all thinks him reliable to believe on.

Technical skills

A leader must be sound good in technical skills, by this the subordinates have trust that their leaders knows all and can take out them from any technical fault happens in organization.

Leadership styles and theories:

Followings are different types of leadership styles which are actually implementation of classical and modern leadership theories.

Great man

To answer the question “what is the difference between leadership and in an individual?” Great man theory came up. This theory gives foundation to all theories. The foundation or the critical point of this theory was all leaders are great man and all of them come from a nobel and social background, all these great man are good planner, coordinators, achievers, organizers and controllers.

After Great Man theory philosopher tried to joint some traits to leadership theories. So, as a result trait theory came up.

Trait Theory

Trait theory is basically come from the foundation of Great man theory. In great man theory it has been discussed that all the leaders have some born qualities and in trait theory philosophers tries to identify those qualities and skills (Stogdill, 1974). These skills are the main objective of this theory. It says that leader and some traits and skills with them. Every theory have some assumption with it, traits theory have following assumptions associated with it; it says that it is assumed that leaders are born with inherit traits, these traits are part of their own personalities and which distinguish them from others, the good leaders adopt some of traits and skills by the time they become leaders.

Autocratic Leadership style:

In these style leaders uses downwards communication style from leaders to subordinates. This style is applicable when there is quick decision is required and large number of un-skills employees are there. In this style suggestions from employees are not being entertained (Lewin 1939).

Participative Leadership Style:

This is democratize kind of style, here leaders involves their followers in to the decision making process and all the decision taken by the leaders are participative by their followers. A leader motivates his employees to take decisions and he entertains their suggestions. This style encourages employees to work with more efforts.

Free rein style Leadership Style:

In the style leader allows his teams to take decisions at their own and work freely. It gives the sense of responsibility and authority to the teams and they feel good to work at their own.

Management Grid

Management grid has two directions:

Management have concern of people, and

Management concern of production

All together it contributes 81 different leadership styles. Following graph entails this model.


Five main leadership styles indentified by gird are:

Improvised management Style: They put less effort but tries to get work done. This is sort of lazy approach.

Country Club management Style: Here the management tries to help the employees to get their job done, management want that all the organizational objectives must meet so they care about the employees.

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Middle of the Road Style – Organization-Man Management: There is balance in between the efforts and people at work. Here labors or the staffs don’t put much effort to get the job done but still they can put more efforts.

Produce or perish Style – Authority-Obedience Management : In the style of management there is a strong focus on task, but not much concern about the people at work and firing (wherever possible) of people is also part of this style.

Team Style – Team Management: Here people are committed to work as teams (Blake & Mouton, 1964) citied by Alan Bryman, A. (1986).

Contingency approach to leadership:

It says that no leadership style is appropriate in all kind of situations. They need to change their selves from time to time and situation tot situation. It depends upon the different variable to take the responsibilities and to change their behaviors.

According to Martin, B. (2006) “Any situation plays a large part in determining qualities and the leader in situation and the leadership qualities and the product of previous leadership situation that molded individual.”

Path-Goal theory:

This theory accompanies contingency and situational leadership theory but in path-Goal theory has some different variables which are important in leadership. Path-Goal theory can be defined as this is all about leaders who motivate their followers to accomplish the goals and tasks asked them to complete (Rowe, W. &Guerrero, L. 2010).


Obstacles In the path goal leadership, a leader makes it possible to motivate followers to accomplish the task and ask their followers to walk through these defined paths to achieve goals and objectives. Leader thinks to clarify the goals and task so that a followers easily get their defined goals. Path-Goal theory can be elaborated through flowering diagram.

Goal / Productivity Path Path

Path-Goal Leadership

Defines Goals

Clarify paths

Removes obstacles

Provide support

Charismatic leadership:

According to Walden, M. & Thoms, P. (2007) “Charismatic Leadership describes a style of leadership that is inspiring and stimulating.”

These leaders attract and influence their follower by their charm and personality. Some of assumptions are associated with charismatic leadership that is as follows: They have charm and grace in their personalities that influences followers. They are confidence and have belief on their selves. Charismatic leader makes their group of people and make them prominent and different from other group of people and they stick to these groups and become leaders of that group.

Transactional Theory and Transformational Theory

Bass (2006) says that transformational leaders always influence their followers and get respect and admiration.

There are few assumptions of this theory:

People must aware of the responsibilities and importance of the work.

They must work in teams to enhance productivity.

Ruth Chambers. R, (2007) “Transactional leadership concerns maintenance and monitoring of a pre-existing service, having an operational rather than a strategic focus.”

There are few assumptions if transactional theories are:

Teams must be motivated through rewards and punishments.

One should have social relationships to have great command.

Their sole purpose must be that they work what they have asked to do.

Part Two:

Determine leadership approaches relevant for the 21st century, drawing on theories and tools as practiced by leading international organizations.

Leadership models and competency frameworks:

In different organization different model of leadership are being operational and they have sat their own competency frame work. Some of renowned organizational and their competency frame works are as follows.

To elaborate leadership models and competency frame work we can describe in through following examples.

Minnesota Mining Manufacturing Co. (3M):

MINNESOTA MINING AND MANUFACTURING CO (3M) has defined leadership and competency model in such a way.

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Fundamental Leadership Competencies

Essential Leadership Competencies

Visionary Leadership Competencies

It shows that these competencies may be shown by the individual at the time of hiring and with time it developed by individual’s progression.

It must show commitment and integrity to the corporate values of the organization.

It must be capable of handling technical situations and also communicate clearly and concisely.

Must have sound knowledge to deal with the corporate challenges.

It shows that now individual will develop essential skills as he becomes the part or department and the unit.

It gives the value to customer and makes customer happy.

Here they selects and retain the developed staff and work force and respects their contribution and individuality.

Motivation and encouragements may be provided to upgrade their moral and their performances.

Here 3M leaders possess to assume that the level of responsibility is high.

They are now working globally and taking care of visionary aspects.

This global leader’s works globally in multicultural environments.

These leaders make long term strategic plan to pursue a common goals and objectives.

They also try to support the innovations and new experiments.

New business alliances also build by 3M.

They try to take advantage of maximum use of resources.

FedEx Leadership Competencies

FedEx has a system for rating aspiring leaders according to 9 attributes:


Individual consideration

Intellectual stimulation






Respect for others <>

Shell Global Leadership Competencies

The Leadership Framework used by Shell includes nine key elements as indicated below:

Builds Shared Vision

Champions Customer Focus

Maximizes Business Opportunities

Demonstrates Professional Mastery

Displays Personal Effectiveness

Demonstrates Courage

Motivates, Coaches & Develops

Values Differences

Delivers Results

These above key attributes are parts of leadership competency framework. <>

Leadership Qualities required:

A good leader should possess certain qualities:


A leader should be intelligent that he foresee problems and gives solutions to these problems in a intellectual way.

Communicative Skills:

A leader should have effective communication skills; he should communicate clearly and precisely. He must look into what ways of communications are suitable at what time.


A leader should be impartial and not to be bias on any situation of decision making.

Knowledge of work:

A leader must possess sound knowledge of work, he must know what is he going to do and must consider his leadership skills.

Human Relations:

A leader should be good in making relation inside and outside the organization. He must keep good public relations.

Self Confidence and Will-Power:

A good leader is people who have confidence on himself and will power of combating with every situation.


Good leader must have empathy to his followers and he must respect the view points of others.

Sense of Responsibility:

A good leader must keep the sense of responsibility; he should not lose temper in any situation and present himself as a good leader in front of others with sound authority and responsibility.


A good leader is always proves good leader when he keep looking his strengths and weakness, he must overcome on his weakness as soon as possible to present himself well aware leader.

Sound health and Stamina:

A leader must have sound health, both mental sanity and physical fitness to combat with the situations that are coming ahead.


Leaders are born not made, seems to be true as leader come up with their own notions and skills, it can be seen from the history too, as some great leader were meant to be great and they had all leadership qualities but with the time these leaders polishes their skills. They learn from the experiences and from the past examples.

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