Leadership is a human skill that concerns itself with all effort at keeping other members of the organisation focused on the goals of the organisation. For this to be made effectual, leaders are expected to encourage and support their subordinate so that they as leaders can cause and sustain their commitment even to long term organisational goals,
It is pertinent to know that people and groups differ widely especially in their response to different types of treatment. Therefore, what is capable of inducing one person or group to put forth enthusiastic effort to do a good job may make others apathetic or arouse their hostility.
This situation creates a problem for all managers since it is difficult if not altogether impossible for managers to study subordinates individually with a view to determining the type of treatment that will work best in each case.
One possible approach to the problem is the provision of INSPIRING LEADERSHIP. No doubt, a leader can have tremendous impact on the performance of those under him which is the reason why most organisations are on the look out for some ways of selecting better leaders and or training their managers in effective leadership technique.
However, organisations are at a loss of what good leadership causes. Some are of the view that nature bestow leadership quality while others are of the view that leadership is a human skill that can be learned formally or through experience.
In order to find answer to this problem, researchers especially psychologist have developed four important theories, of which two will be briefly discussed:
- Trait Theory
- Behavioural Theory
This identifies the personal characteristics of leaders. The theory assumes that leaders share certain inborn personality traits. In measuring this trait, researchers took two approaches viz:
- Comparing the trait of those who have emerged leaders with those who have not.
- Comparing the traits of effective leaders with those of ineffective ones.
Most studies reveal that leaders are brighter, more extroverted and more self-confident. They also tend to be taller, however, they are many with these traits who never attain leadership position. While there are indisputable leaders who do not have these traits. The possibilities also exist for individual to be become more confident and assertive the moment they occupy leadership position.
This theory was developed from the failure of the trait’s theory. This theory centred on what effective leaders do and not who they are.
The behavioural theory concern itself with how effective leaders do their jobs i.e., how do they work with and through people in an organisation, how they communicate with subordinate, delegate duties and the manner of motivating the member of staff. Behaviour theory has to do with participative management.