Theories surrounding leaders

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The topic of leaders and their style is as old as the human civilization, many myths and stories had been created describing the powers, specific characters and leadership style of the leaders. Later on, as the man developed more sense of understanding the actual world, and recognized the facts of nature, mythical beliefs about the leaders modified into concrete leadership theories. As stated by (Silva, 2016) that for many centuries, leadership was seen just as a personal quality, specific inborn qualities of a leaders were the common theme of the early period myths and leadership theories inscribed during the early period of more civilized world.

Maintaining the focus on personal traits, the early leadership theories portrays a simple top-down approach of the leaders. Particularly among the organizations or industries the sole leader was the only decision maker and responsible for the entire organizational performances. It was the period when the organizations were least developed and were operating within limited boundaries. However, with the advent of modern technologies, organizations made significant developments and expanding their operations across borders entered into a new phase of competition and challenges. Also, the new era of developments created many factors influencing the organizational performance. As such, considering the new challenges, and influencing factors the conventional top-down leadership approach appeared to be least affective. In contrast of the past theories, new leadership theories were designed illustrating new leadership styles according to the new era, highlighting the importance of employees and factors that might affect the organization’s performances.   


Any individual capable of influencing other people through his/her characteristics, personality, or behavior can be titled as a leader. Not only in organizations but in communities as well, there are individuals who possesses the ability to convince other members of a group or community about their ideas or decisions. Such individuals are equipped with certain traits or qualities which unifies them among their other members of an organization or a community, and enables them to compel others for a specific task or targeted goals. Thus, it is the traits either inborn or developed that enables an individual to perform as a leader. Considering the leaders of the past era and no learning or training opportunities, the same traits were rightly claimed as inborn. However, in the current advanced world with unlimited opportunities for skill development and gaining knowledge, traits required to be a leader can be developed through experience or training. As such, in contrast of the conventional belief that leaders are born and not made, in the current scenario anyone can be a leader if he/she possess the traits required for a leadership. 

Leadership Style:

Leaders are categorized by different criteria and one of them is the style of leadership (Veliu et al, 2017). It is the procedure or mode of management a leader adopts to influence or persuade his followers for the accomplishment of specific goals. Among organizations leadership style is of major significance, as it is the style of a leader which define the guidelines for the performance of all organizational operations. Hence, the success or failure of an organization is based on the style adopted by the leader. 

Conventionally, owing to the belief that leaders are born with specific traits, a hierarchical style was commonly adopted by leaders, that is, an organization’s entire performance was based on the abilities of its leader. However, as the organizations got more advanced implementing modern technologies, and multiple opportunities being available for developing leadership traits, the conventional belief became void. As stated by Alkahtani (2015) that the choice of a style is contingent on diverse factors such as personality traits of leaders, followers’ acceptance of the leaders, their readiness, task complexity and the norms and values embraced by the organizational members.  Now, it has become essential for the organizations to adopt varied leadership styles in accordance with their operational procedures and the situation they are operating in. 

Leadership Theories and their modifications:

Different leadership theories had been formulated since the beginning of industrialization describing leadership styles of a leader, while with the passage of time as new innovations took place and organizations enhanced their operations the same theories have been modified in context with the global advancements, organizational goals, and other internal/external factors likely to influence the organizational procedures. 

Different leadership theories portray a different leadership style, it is not necessary that each leadership style will match the procedures and goals of every organization. Leadership leads to more productivity and profitability, but the extent of success depends on the style of the leader (Ukaidi, 2016). It is the capability of the leader to discern his organization’s mission, procedures, influencing factors and the theme of leadership theory to select the most appropriate leadership style for his organization. Thus, it is the traits of a leader which enables him to understand his organization, and determine the best leadership style to be implemented. The leadership theories of the contemporary world have also altered the conventional belief about the leadership traits of being inborn only, the new leadership theories acknowledging the trait development and learning opportunities clarified that the same leadership traits can be developed through training, learning or experience. 

Though the conventional leadership theories seems to be effective in the past considering the least development of the organizations and meager challenges they were facing, however, the significant developments and innovations of the present world has compelled the need of new modified leadership theories for the organizations to maneuver their procedures through the challenges of the current advance scenario.

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