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WS100 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Servant Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Great Man Theory

Women & Gender Studies
Course Code
Lorraine Vander Hoef
Study Guide

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- Leaders are present in all types of organizations and their decisions affect our daily
lives. In organizations and professional associations, leaders make decisions on
whether or not to hire additional employees, invest in new technology, sponsor
community initiatives, expand facilities and so on. In community groups, leaders
must learn how to inspire volunteers to share a vision, and motivate volunteers
through shared values. In sports, leaders must make player decisions, build teams,
and inspire players in good times...and through losses. In politics, leaders make
decisions that affect local, provincial, or national policies, economies, and citizens.
- Early views on leadership focused on the view that the person at the top of the
organizational chart was the leader and everyone else followed (more or less!). In
recent years, this perspective on leadership has changed. With increasingly complex
decisions, global environments, technological advances and opportunities, and
changing values of organizational members to mention a few factors, the definition
of makes a leader and the skills that s/he needs have evolved. Second, leadership is
increasingly being seen as a capacity that needs to be demonstrated
by all organizational members not just those who hold traditional leadership
positions. This introductory course will help you understand the leadership
challenges, opportunities, and strategies of others but will also help you assess and
develop your own leadership potential.
- Working DEFINITION: Leadership involves identifying a vision or goal and inspiring,
aligning, and motivating others to work with the leader to realize the goal.
Leadership should involve a relationship of mutual influence and respect between
those in a leadership role and followers.
- Leadership involves a relationship with others. Remember, you are only a leader if,
when you look over your shoulder, there are others following you.
- 1940s, Stogdill suggested that the key traits of leaders included: intelligence,
alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative, persistence, self-confidence, and
sociability. Very early trait theories even considered physical attributes such as
height, a necessary trait to be an effective leader!
- 1990s, researchers identified drive, motivation, integrity, confidence, cognitive
ability, and task knowledge as the key traits of leaders.
- Early studies, such as those conducted by Blake and Mouton, identified “task
behaviour” orientation and a “relationship” orientation of leaders.
o Task-oriented leaders tended to be very goal-oriented, focusing on the
activities and tasks at hand, developing structures and policies to complete
the tasks.
o Relationship-oriented leaders, on the other hand, tended to focus on the
people working on the tasks building relationships, understanding the needs
of the employees, building trust, and respect.
- leadership researchers such as Hersey and Blanchard started to consider the ways in
which leadership style and the demands of the situation influence leadership
effectiveness. So, for instance, in a situation where individuals are very experienced
at the task at hand, an effective leader would know that they should not be directive
and dictatorial rather supportive and making sure that the people have the
resources they need to get the job done!
- The leader-member exchange theory (LMX) considered the types of relationships
formed between leaders and individual followers. This perspective recognizes that
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leaders will form close and strong relationships with some followers (“in-groups”),
and a less close relationship with other followers (“out-groups”).
- Many of the emerging views on leadership are based on a positive view of leadership
which see leaders as working from a position of authenticity in the service of others
to enhance their capacity for growth, realization of potential, and be drivers of
change: transformational leadership, authentic, charismatic, and servant leadership.
- The six conceptualization of leadership
o 1. Leadership is a trait (focus on the individual)
o 2. Leadership is an Ability (focus on the individual)
can be developed & individuals have the capacity to lead
o 3. Skill
can be thought as a competency that allows one to accomplish your
o 4. behavior
Leadership is about behaviours and getting things done being results
oriented. In other words, although individuals may have certain traits,
leadership is evident in the behaviours and actions that individuals
exhibit. Leaders pay attention both to the “what” (the task that needs
to get done) and the “how” (of getting the task done through
motivating, inspiring, and leading others).
o 5. Relationship
o 6. influence process ( focus on the leader & followers)
In order to accomplish tasks, leaders have to influence followers. They
have to influence follower understanding and “buy-in” about an
initiative, they have to influence follower willingness to expend energy
and their skills to accomplishing the task, and they can do this using a
range of tools such as reward systems, growth opportunities, and
One of the principles of “leadership as influence” is ethics. As Peter
Drucker, one of the great thinkers about leadership suggested, the
first principle of leadership is “do no harm.” While we will discuss
leadership and ethics in chapter 12, it is important that you are aware
that influence should be done in the spirit of helping to achieve
common goals not simply goals of the self-interested leader.
- Dark side when leadership is when leadership positions take advantage of others,
and improve their own personal position withut regard for the impact of their actions
on others.
Leadership trait theory
Great man appoach
- Thomas Carlyle (b. 1795, d. 1881), a Victoria era Scottish historian is generally
credited with the “great man” approach to understanding leadership,
- Carlyle suggested that major historical events were a result of the action of great
heroes and leaders whose qualities and characteristics (e.g., charisma, intellect,
Machiavellianism, etc.) influenced history
- From Carlyle’s perspective, these individuals had special and extraordinary qualities
that led to their leadership. The term, “great man theory” of leadership reflected the
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view that leadership was in the purview of men, and that “leadership had a mythical,
heroic sense of destiny (with leaders assumed to be born, not made).
- Involved studies of military leaders & political leaders
Trait Theory
- The traits explored included physical traits such as height, physical stature (which
were seen as helpful in a military context), and psychological traits such as
intelligence, etc. During these early years of trait theory, the world endured two
world wars, and a great depression, so the need for military and business leaders,
for example, and the capacity to identify individuals who would fulfil those leadership
roles was strong.
- 8 traits intelligence, alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative, persistence, self-
confidence and sociability.
- 2nd study 10 traits drive, persistence, risk taking and originality, initiative …
Trains & leadership
- Leader Emergence: What are the leadership factors that contribute to an individual
being seen as a leader in a group? Often leaders emerge in a group setting
sometimes it is the first person to speak up at an initial meeting.
- Leadership Effectiveness: How do group members assess a leader’s effectiveness
in helping the group achieve their goals, for instance?
- The Big 5 Traits
o Extraversion characterized by excitability, sociability, assertiveness & high
emotional expressiveness
Outgoing, tend to gain energy in social settings
o Agreeableness empathetic, care about others, trust, kindness
o Conscientiousness spend time preparing, set schedule, attention to detail
o Neuroticism sadness, moodiness & emotional instability
o Openness creative, imagination & insight
Fitzpatrick and Locke suggested that seven key traits differentiated leaders from others.
These traits included:
Determination: reflects a high level of effort, achievement, ambition, energy,
tenacity, initiative
Leadership Motivation: desire to lead and influence others, possibly also a need
for power
Honesty and Integrity: do what you say you are going to do, be truthful
Self-Confidence: important for decision making and gaining the trust of others
Cognitive Ability: capacity to deal with a large volume of information and make
Knowledge of the Business: know your company, know your industry
Other possible factors? charisma, creativity/originality, flexibility
The trait of honesty has also been noted by Kouzes and Posner in their book, “The
Leadership Challenge” as the #1 trait that managers look for in their leaders.
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