Early views of leadership described that leaders are born. According to this theory some people are born with the traits of leadership and possess inherent properties to become leader. Subsequently many theories were developed.
A. Trait Approach
This approach attempts to tell which personal characteristics lead to effective leadership. It has been found that the following are major traits of leaders:
Belief in oneself (self-confidence), along with openness to the ideas of others, a passion for the job and a drive that set an example for others, love of people, acceptance of others, maturity and responsibility and desire to achieve goals are other relevant leadership traits.
B. Behavioral of Approach
Successful leaders exhibit two types of behaviours, task centered and employee-centered. Task orientation relate to the quality and the quantity of work. On the other hand, employee-centered orientation focuses on meeting the personal needs of the group members.
C. Situational Approach
Situational variables play important role in effective leadership. The effectiveness of a particular style of leadership behaviour depends on the situation. As situation changes different leadership styles become appropriate.
D. Path-Goal Approach
Path-goal theory focuses on how leaders influence followers’ expectations. According to it leader behaviour is acceptable when followers view it as a source of satisfaction or showing the way to future satisfaction. The four styles of leadership identified by path-goal theory are:
Directive style provides guidance to followers about what should be done and how to do it.
Supportive style is primarily concerned with establishing interpersonal relations with the followers.
Participative style believes that follower participation improves the quality of decisions.
Achievement oriented style sets challenging goals for the followers. Minimal supervision is required with this style of leadership.
E. Charismatic Leadership
This kind of leadership focuses on the interpersonal transaction between leaders and followers. Leaders are engaged in behaviours that maintain a quality interaction between themselves and followers. The main characteristics of these leaders are:
- They offer an unusual or far-out vision of reality.
- They make sacrifices or take risks to further their vision.
- They use unconventional methods to achieve their goals.
- They communicate with confidence.
Charismatic leadership transforms followers by creating changes in their goals, values, needs, belief and aspirations. They accomplish this transformation by appealing to followers selves.