There is never a ready formula for a leader. As someone has said, some leaders are born and some are made by their choices, efforts, and dedication. “How to be a leader?”, is the most asked and most unanswered question. For decades, leadership theories have been the source of numerous studies. Many have tried to decode the theory of leaders, which makes them stand apart from the mass. The theories of leadership, often focus on the qualities of leaders, but some attempt to identify the behaviors that people can adapt to improve their own leadership abilities in different situations.
With the increase in interest towards leadership aspects, a number of different theories have been initiated to elaborate exactly how and why certain people become great leaders. What is that one thing, that makes great leaders? Do certain personality attributes make people better equipped to leadership roles, or do characteristics of the situation make it more likely that certain people will take charge?
An early study of leadership theories focused on the qualities that differentiate between leaders and followers, while recent theories also considered other variables such as situational factors and skill levels. Theories are commonly categorized by which aspect is believed to define the leader the most.
Great Man Theory:
We usually hear leaders described as “born to lead”. According to this point of view, great leaders are simply born with the qualities and attributes, that result in being a natural leader.
The Great Man theory evolved around the mid 19th century. In 1860, an English philosopher debated the great man theory by proclaiming that these heroes are simply the product of their times and their actions on the results of social conditions.
This theory believes that people are either born or are made with certain qualities that will make them excel in leadership roles. The qualities of intelligence, sense of responsibility, creativity, and other values puts anyone in the shoes of a good leader.
There are plenty of people who possess the personality traits associated with leadership, yet many of these people never seek out positions of leadership. This is the main drawback associated with particular theory.
Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation.
The theory argues that there is no single way of leading. There are certain people who perform at the maximum level in certain places, in order to lead the mass. It is generally accepted within the contingency theories that leader are more likely to express their leadership when they feel that their followers will be responsive.
This theory states that leadership is the process by which a person engages with others. In such cases, he/she is able to create a connection that results in increased motivation and morality in both followers and leaders.
The key to transformational leadership is for the leader to be attentive to the needs and motives of followers in an attempt to help them reach their maximum potential. In addition, transformational leadership typically describes how leaders can initiate, develop, and implement important changes in an organization.
There are several definitions meant to build a certain framework in order to structure Leadership. In spite of all this study, the original question remains same i.e. is actually there a definition or theory to define leadership?
Each individual who chooses a different path to achieve the success becomes a leader. Each individual who works hard to achieve his dream becomes leaders in his own way. Summing up, we can say, there is no specific definition for the term leadership. Anyone who proves his way to become a successful leader has its own theory. His own Success Mantra. His own Leadership Theory.