On the early 20th century, more and more people became interested in leadership. This has led to the development of different leadership theories. If you try to examine these theories, you will find out that it is all about the distinguishing characteristics of leaders and their followers. Other theories looked into variables such as skill levels and situational factors.
To learn more about leadership, you need to know the 8 major types of leadership theories. Though there are lots of theories that are still emerging, these types are the main classifications.
To start with, the Great Man Theory is one of the most popular. In this leadership theory, it is believed that an individual is born and destined to become a leader. The term ‘man’ is used because when this theory was conceptualized men had greater power than women.
Trait Theories believe that a leader inherits traits or qualities. In this theory, the behavioral and personality characteristics that are shared by effective or successful leaders are the main focus or determinants of becoming a leader.
Situational theories suggest that certain situational variables must be considered by a leader when making an informed decision. There is a need to identify the most appropriate leadership style to make the right decisions.
There is no ‘one best’ leadership style that will suit all situations and this is according to Contingency Theories. Certain variables like followers and aspects of every situation will influence a leader’s choice in terms of leadership style.
The Behavioral Theories are opposite the Great Man Theory. Leaders are not born but are made. Internal states and mental qualities are not important. These theories believe that leaders and their actions are based on their observations and teachings.
Management Theories are also called transactional theories. This theory focuses on the group performance’s role, that of the organization, and supervision. It is all about giving rewards to a job well done and punishments for the not-so-good ones. Employees need to work hard to get rewards or incentives; otherwise, the leader will not give them anything.
Participative Theories, as the name suggests, encourages participation from the group or subordinates. Despite such encouragement for participation, the leader still has the final say on things. If the leader doesn’t allow the input of other people, the decision is final.
The Relationship Theories are also called transformational theories. So far, this is one of the best theories on leadership because such leader follows moral and high ethical standards.
The leader believes that every person has a potential. A good leader inspires other people and motivates them to do their best, and fulfill their goals. Here, the leader also welcomes the efforts of group members.
Now that you know the chief leadership theories, can you identify which theory you belong? There isn’t a single theory that explains everything there is to know about leadership.
Once you decide to follow the path to becoming a leader, you have to make sure that you look into these theories. You can use the newfound knowledge to become a better and highly effective leader that what you’re used to before.