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Assumptions in Theories of Leadership. The leader (trait, style, behavior, vision, charisma) . The task (from holistic to reductionism, needing discretion or direction). The led (follower) (motivations, readiness, attitudes). The organization (structural, political, moral purpose, etc. ).

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assumptions in theories of leadership
Assumptions in Theories of Leadership

The leader

(trait, style, behavior, vision, charisma)

The task

(from holistic to reductionism, needing discretion or direction)

The led (follower)

(motivations, readiness, attitudes)

The organization

(structural, political, moral purpose, etc.)

the importance of perspectives
The Importance of Perspectives
  • An Englishman visiting Rome for the first time. As he strolled through the ancient boulevards, he saw three men laboring over a patch of stone and concrete. He asked what they were doing.
  • “I’m breaking my back for a lousy 475 lira an hour.”
  • “I’m putting up bricks for a big wall.”
  • “I’m building a cathedral.”
  • Each man’s efforts were probably influenced by his perspective on the task at hand.
personality perspectives
Personality Perspectives
  • Personality perspectives view leadership as a function of individual person’s trait, behavior, style, cognition, affection, charisma, or other characteristics.
in propaganda north korean leader portrayed as mythic figure may 8 1977
In propaganda, North Korean leader portrayed as mythic figure May, 8 1977
  • WASHINGTON (AP)—For those armies of intelligence analysts starved for insights into the world of North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong II, his loyalists have served up a literary feast of fact and fiction.
  • Kim was a “baby giant” when he was born—in a log cabin—and grew up to be an astounding shot with a gun and a master of all things military. Unpretentious, he prefers cotton blossoms to rose petals and likes wearing patched clothing.
in propaganda north korean leader portrayed as mythic figure may 8 1997
In propaganda, North Korean leader portrayed as mythic figure May, 8 1997
  • He is a heck of a writer. With more than 890 major “pieces of writing” to his credit over the past 30 years, the speed and quantity of his writing is “unparalleled in history.” One piece along contains “all the truths of the world.”
  • Even his birth was special. In a log cabin at a secret “anti-Japanese” guerrilla camp at Mount Paekdu on February 16, 1942, the cry of “baby giant” pierced the stillness. It was Kim. At the moment of his birth, the book says, the sound of ice cracking on a nearby lake resounded throughout the mountains– “as if the great fortune of Korea was gushing out from the bottom of Lake Chonji.”
history of the personality perspectives
History of the Personality Perspectives
  • Leadership and charisma
  • Leadership and personal trait
  • Leadership and attitude
  • Leadership and behavior and style
  • Leadership and charisma
  • Leadership and emotional intelligence
leadership and personal trait
leadership and personal trait
  • IQ and leadership
  • Measurement and statistics
  • .25 (Stogdill, 1974) to .49-.82 (Kenny & Zaccaro, 1983) of the variance
  • Unchangeable traits
leadership and attitude
leadership and attitude
  • McClellan (1982), 237 AT & T managers; “high need of achievement predicts success for lower-level managers”
  • Miner (1978) studied the motives of those who were most frequently promoted; “the motives most strongly linked to promotion were desire to exercise power, desire to compete with peers, and positive attitudes toward authority.
leadership and behavior or style
Leadership and behavior or style
  • Ohio State leadership Studies –initiating structure and consideration
  • Michigan Leadership Studies—employee and production orientations
  • Blake & Mouton—impoverished, country club, task, middle-of-the-road, team
leadership and charisma
Leadership and Charisma
  • Weber (1947)
  • rediscovered by, e.g., Starratt (1993)
  • charisma—difficult in defining; charisma is a person’s quality in its totality or entirety
  • an example—”Charisma is the ability to make someone else behave in a particular way” (Broussine & Guerrier, 1985)
  • few empirical studies—mystified, lack of subjects, difficulty to quantify, artistic vs scientific
weber 1947 distinguished three bases for leaders authority
Weber (1947) distinguished three bases for leaders’ authority

1. Rational grounds –resting on a belief in the legality of patterns of normative rules and the right of those elevated to authority under such rules to issue commands (legal authority)

2. Traditional grounds –resting on an established belief in the sanctity of traditions and the legitimacy of the status of those exercising authority under them (traditional authority)

3. Charismatic grounds—resting on devotion to specific and exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him (sic) (charismatic authority)

weber s definition of charisma 1947 p 329
Weber’s definition of charisma (1947, p. 329)
  • “A certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he (sic) is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional qualities”.

IQ and technical skills are important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadershipWhat makes a leader?By Daniel Coleman, 1998

  • “Every business person knows a story about a highly intelligent, highly skilled executive who was promoted into a leadership position only to fail at the job. And they also know someone with solid — but not extraordinary—intellectual abilities and technical skills who was promoted into a similar position and then soared.”
  • “Such anecdotes support the widespread belief that identifying individuals with the ‘right stuff’ to be leaders is more art than science. After all, the personal styles of superb leaders vary: some leaders are subdued and analytical; others shout their manifestos from the mountaintops. And just as important, different situations call for different…”
  • From deterministic to educable characteristics
  • From the totality to simple characteristics and back to the totality
  • From one dimension (task vs personal relationship) to multiple dimensions
  • Still a prevailing perspective on leadership