Essay by alfa_lum November 2003

download word file, 2 pages 3.7


In the past my understanding of leadership was first and foremost stipulated by having certain personal characteristics, like intelligence, know-how, dominance, self-confidence, accountability, integrity and interpersonal skills. The assumption underlying this understanding of leadership reflects the idea of the trait theories. Since human resources are the most valuable competitive advantage of any organization further style theories stamped my understanding of leadership. In that concern for both the tasks and people are seen as most effective style. Derived from this view of leadership my understanding was that those skills/abilities were required to be perceived as a successful and effective leader.

As a result of the studies my view of leadership altered in two ways. First of all, it revealed the limitations of the trait as well as the style theories and second it revealed the vital importance of think about leadership as a process. Furthermore the success of a manager depends on interpersonal skills.

In that being a leader is a core component of the expected interactions in various circumstances. The highlights of these key ideas are:


The trait and theories of Leadership have three common drawbacks. First, they are focused on how a manager should execute authority over subordinates. Second, they ignore strategic dimension of leadership in the context of giving employees a sense of direction towards a changing environment. Third, they match the formal authority of a person with leadership and therefore it is not considered that also employees may contribute its leadership in different areas.


The view of leadership as a particular kind of influence process attempts to overcome the former limitations. In that leadership means to influence people in an acceptable form, regarding certain core issues of a group or organization. It serves three distinct functions:

·Strategic - align the group...