Leaders are born, not made: Looking into Leadership Theories

Essay by manutd4evaHigh School, 11th gradeA-, June 2006

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There has been constant debate on weather leaders are born or are they made. There are leadership theories to support this statement or to disprove this statement. This idea is backed up by the trait theory which says that all good leaders are born with special traits that helps them become a good leader, and people with out those traits will not be able to become good leaders. However with the behavioral theories, things are focused on what a good leader actually does compared to only focusing on their traits. If the success of the leader can be measured by action that can be described then people can just copy their actions. This is much more easy to learn therefore disproves the above statement. Here I am going focus on behavioral leadership theories of 'Tannenbaum and Schmidt' and also 'Ouichi'.

Tannenbaum and Schimdt's continuum theory of leadership is based on relationship between the degree of freedom a manager gives a team and the level of authority used by the manager (Fig 1).

If the freedom the manager gives to a team increases, then the manager's level of authority will naturally decrease. One of a leader's responsibilities is to develop his/her team so they can give members of their team different level of freedom according to their own abilities. In the Tannenbaum and Schimdt continuum there are different levels of delegation, these are: (Taken from http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/teaching/338/behaviors.htm)

1. The Manager decides and announces the decision. (Tell)

2. The manager decides and then 'sells' the decision to the group. (Sell)

3. The manager presents the decision with background ideas and invites questions. (Consult)

4. The manager suggests a provisional decision and invites discussion about it. (Consult)

5. The manager presents the situation or problem, gets suggestions, then decides. (Consult)

6. The manager explains...