Leadership is a very broad discipline. In realism, every person is a potential leader but not everybody is opportune to be in leadership positions. A good leader must possess certain qualities such as: self-confidence, integrity, philanthropist, innovation, intelligence, generosity, responsible, collaboration, influential. So many authors have contributed to leadership development with emphasis on the field of study; authors such as Yukl, Stogdill, Bass, Bono, Ilies, Carlyle, Kurt Lewin, Fiedler, Kerr, Jermier, House et al, Garcia to mention a few. Leadership consists of so many theories such as: Contingency Theory of Leadership (LPC Contingency Theory, Path-Goal Theory, Leadership Substitute Theory, Multiple Linkage Model, and Cognitive Resource Theory), Great Man Theory to mention a few. Leaders must possess certain character traits, the good work of Fred Kiel and other authors and notwithstanding the necessity and importance of a good referencing style.
Leadership has no universally accepted definition this is so because so many scholars have contributed to the discipline, it is also applicable to so many field of study. In practice, leadership varies according to the type of the organization, nature of work, the personality of the individual, internal and external factors that emanate from the business environment, to mention a few depending on your understanding and the situation at hand. Thus “Leadership may be defined as the ability to direct and coordinate the activities of men, machines and finance towards achieving the set down goals, aims and objectives of the organization”.
The contingency theory of leadership was proposed by an Australian psychologist Fred Edward Fiedler in his book “A Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness”. The contingency theory emphasizes certain situations in which a leader operates. These situations led Fiedler to develop an “integrative model”; a system for classifying group situations. He postulated further that three critical situational components are likely to affect the leaders’ influence on his group and it includes: “affective leader-group relations, task structure and position power”.
This article is written to figure out a logical connection between the following leadership theories: “Great Man Theory” and “Cognitive Resource Theory” of leadership.
The Great man theory assumes that traits of leadership are intrinsic and postulates further that “leaders are born not made” (Thomas Carlyle 1840). This theory has been accepted not only by scholars, but by those attempting to influence the behavior of others (Cawthon David 1996). It leads to personal ideologies such as “born to rule”, “I was born to reign”, “I am destined to be great” all these ideologies are “intrinsic” and when connected with “situational forces” makes an individual a great leader such is the argument by Lee Lacocca and Douglas Mac Arthur. Some scholars like Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (1986) postulate that the Great man theory which state that leaders are born not made is a myth but identifies leadership as a “learned skill”. The question is: is learning intrinsic? Learning is intrinsic when you build up your cognition, increase your knowledge, develop your mind and standardize your thoughts and because it is a “relatively permanent change in behavior”, it clearly shows a connection with the cognitive resource theory because both theories are “intrinsic”.
Cognitive resources theory examines the conditions under which leader’s cognitive resources are related to group performance (Fiedler and Garcia 1987). It also focuses on the influence of the
Leadership from the traditional point of view centers on the trait theories of leadership. This theory distinguishes between “personality and leadership” which was studied by Judge and Bono in 2004. To distinguish between personality and leadership, we have to identify leadership effectiveness and leadership emergence.
Leadership effectiveness refers to the amount of influence a leader has on an individual or group performance, followers’ satisfaction and overall effectiveness (Durue, Nahrgang, Wellman and Humphrey 2011). It also refers
Kurt Lewin's scientific biography after his 1933 emigration from Nazi Germany and his move to the US exhibits a complex mix of continuity and change. In his work at the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station between 1935 and 1944, Lewin tried to recreate the scientific micro culture that had formed around him in Berlin. In the process, he converted biography into theory, adapting to current cultural concerns, to then-prevailing research styles, and to changing institutional and funding networks in American psychology. However, despite their considerable impact at the time, the later reception of Lewin's ideas and methods by American psychologists was ambivalent (Mitchell 1992). The first major study of leadership styles was performed in 1939 by Kurt Lewin, who led a group of researchers to identify different styles of leadership. This early study has remained quite influential as it established the three major leadership styles (U.S Army 1973).
Character traits are all the aspects of a person’s behavior and attitudes that make up that person’s personality. High character leaders can be shown to deliver significantly better business performance than those at the weaker end of the spectrum (Fred Kiel 2015). As a leader, the following character traits are very essential: