In the previous articles, The Peterson Group Leadership Consulting and Coaching has defined leadership in a nutshell. Yet, the real definition of the thing itself remains unsaid whilst correctly putting the real meaning into words would seem verbose.
We can each define leadership in our own terms yet, a lot of people, even those who are highly intellectual, cannot specifically explain the word right on target. Because of this, dozens of theories have been developed to creatively interpret the concept, methods, approaches, styles and inclusions of leadership.
Some of the highly attributed studies were created by renowned philosophers who have used even scientific proponents to understand the system of this innate human characteristic. Regardless of the hundreds of studies, reviews and researches, leadership and what it’s worth is still debatable.
To be able to understand other people’s view of leadership, we have put together a group of theories which are mostly popular source of information on conversations among human development experts.
1.Trait Theory (1930s -1940s)
The argument on whether leaders are born or made is never made. This theory is one that takes neither of the two sides. Trait theory rather believes that people have a certain qualities that make them excel in their leadership skills. Intelligence, sense of responsibility, and creativity are suggested to be possessed by anyone who is to be a leader. Theorized by Gordon Allport, an American psychologist stated that there are “…almost 18,000 English personality-relevant terms” for leadership.
However, other studies complain of its insufficient proof as leadership were only measured among low level managers and there is not enough explanation provided as to the relevance of the said characteristics to leadership. Many other studies were also conducted in hopes to uncover traits that make leaders different, yet, the only evident traits among the surveyed individuals were height and intelligence.
2.Behavioral Theory (1940s – 1950s)
With lack of further research, trait theory stayed as a theory. In its place, behavioral studies were highly considered. Offering a new perspective, behavioral theory considers social, mental and physical characteristics of an individual. According to Swambud Ngandwa, leadership analysis speaker in leadership seminar in Jakarta, Indonesia, behavioral theory has seen leaders to be born as they need “conditioning” before being considered in the field.
3.Contingency Theory (1960s)
While above theories argue whether leaders are born or made, contingency theory focuses on the way leaders, well, lead. It states that there is no single way of leading and that leadership style depends on the situation, which signifies that there are certain people who perform at the maximum level in certain places; but at minimal performance when taken out of their element.