Everyone has read the assigned readings, therefore, there is no need to summarize.
For each reading assignment set, answer the following questions in your own words, and then read and respond to your classmates
1. What do you think are the important points you would like to discuss from each reading? (Answer this question for each chapter of the reading assignment)
2. Which points are most intriguing or persuasive to you? Why?
3. Which points do you disagree with or find unpersuasive? Why?
4. What questions do you have about the readings? What would you like to discuss further with your classmates?
5. What news articles, stories, or personal experiences have you seen/had this week that relate to the theoretical concepts in the readings? Give at least one example for class discussion.
1.What do you think are the important points you would like to discuss from each reading?
The reading “Leadership: Theory and Practice” by Peter G.Northouse sheds light on the basis of a leader and the transformation of an evolving leader. Many people seek out to become a leader, but some don’t have the distinguishing qualities to be portrayed as a leader. In order to start as a leader, a person must have a relationship with their followers they attend to and vice versa to achieve goals because they have a common purpose to want to obtain a certain goal. A leader gives all learned qualities and passes them down to its followers. In order to be transformed into a complete leader, an individual will first need to learn from others and emerge into a dominant position. Power comes with being a leader. The more power a leader holds, it increases the probability to spread desired beliefs to others that is easily accepted and relatable.
The reading “Thinking about Leadership” by Nannerl O. Keohane highlights aspects and goals that a leader must have in order to clearly define its position. A leader’s purpose is to accomplish or complete a task that is commonly shared amongst a group that the leader is serving. To accomplish this shared desire, a person must rise to a leadership role to form a connection within the group. Without the connection established, it will be challenging to achieve tasks that are sought after. The leader guides the group to a direction of singularity by making key decisions and implementing strategies and roles that are necessary for the followers. The leader can only do this by understanding the role of both the follower and the leader. Once a clear understanding is made, the leader can thoroughly execute their necessary tasks that will result in achievements for all.
2- Traits: Traits provide a model of understanding leadership that can be both helpful and disheartening to those trying to use it. Since traits cannot typically be changed, they can allow individuals to conduct an analysis of their own personal characteristics and focus themselves to develop these traits and position themselves in places where they will be most effective. However, within a fast changing environment, this model fails to describe how a leader can be adaptive in dealing with a wide variety of problem sets. The traits studied are also very diverse and each one could support a separate study to pin down what that trait really entails.
3- Skills: The skills model is a capability model designed to assess problem solving ability that seems largely managerial. Unlike traits, technical, human, and conceptual skills can be learned in order to improve effectiveness. By using social judgement, a leader can change themselves to meet different situations. Although this is undoubtedly useful, I am curious if there are any possible negative effects of changing how you act or are perceived in the eyes of followers.
4- Behavioral: This approach combines a mix of task behaviors and relationship behaviors in order to better understand what leaders prioritize in an organization. Behaviors needed to be placed on two separate spectrums in order to allow for leaders to be able to be oriented towards both results and people. According to this model, every action that a leader takes must fall on the grid between concerns for results and people This method of categorization begs the question of how do we categorize organizational needs so that we may better tailor our actions as leaders to the organization rather than just arbitrarily striving for team management (9,9).
5- Situational: The biggest drawback of the SLII is that it is largely subjective in how it assigns followers into each of the development levels. Because of this ambiguity, it is relevant to discuss what kinds of characteristics we should look for as leader in order to identify where followers may fall on the spectrum. The reading suggests that there are flaws in the testing methodology in that it leads respondents to answer within one of the four predetermined leadership style but we may take this a step further by associating other commonly used leadership descriptors with the SLII continuity. I believe that this additional step may work to overcomplicate the model for mass use but can potentially yield a useful way of understanding various other leadership approaches.
b)Which points do you disagree with or find unpersuasive? Why
I do not agree with the point that there are individuals who are born leaders according to the trait theory. I feel that the traits that are listed in the theory are traits that can be shaped by the environment and circumstances in which an individual exists. Behavioral theory focuses on how leaders behave. The theory is based on results from a series of studies. I feel that individuals change their behavior when they feel that they are observed. Thus, there is no guarantee that the people will behave in that similar manner when no one is observing them. Directing is not a very effective leadership style, I feel that the best way to be a leader is to lead while others follow. Individuals will be more productive when leaders show the way by participating. Technical skills help individuals carry out their roles at work. However, when situations change some technical skills are rendered useless.
C) What questions do you have about the readings? What would you like to discuss further with your classmates?
I would love to debate the trait theory with my classmates. The theory states that leaders are born and not made. Also, I have a question on the effectiveness of the behavioral theory. Does it mean that just because an individual has the right behavior they are able to carry out their leadership roles effectively? Skills outlines that human skills are needed for one to effectively lead an organization. I would love to understand what it means when an individual does not have all the three skills. Does it mean that they cannot lead or does it mean there are capable to lead? Situational leadership talks about leaders who are able to change their leadership skills and strategies when situations change in an organization. The question of concern is these, what happens when the strategies that are used are against an organization’s policy? Doesn’t this leadership style cause a lot of confusion in the organization or lack of uniformity?
d) What news articles, stories, or personal experiences have you seen/had this week that relate to the theoretical concepts in the readings? Give at least one example for class discussion.
When I used to work for The United Postal Service (UPS), I had seen a situation when a manager lacked the necessary human skills to lead the organization. The supervisor was very qualified for the role; he had the necessary academic qualifications and working experience. He also had good concept skills when he was able to put information gathered from the previous reports of the organization to develop strategies for the organization. When dealing with employees the manager was very rude and arrogant. He was never willing to listen to the employees’ opinions and contributions. Most of the employees disliked him because of his attitude and how he looked down upon them. This impacted negatively on the organization output since the employee turnover went up. Just as indicated by the skills approach of leadership, the lack of human skills makes one an ineffective leader; because they cannot relate well with the employees.