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Leadership Theories Essay

“Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2012). The learner had to identify and compare four theories of leadership. The theories selected to analyze by the learner are contingency, behavioral, transformation, and transactional. For a better understanding of how these theories will fit into her desired line of work, these theories must first be defined. According to Northouse (2012), “Contingency Theory is a leader-matched theory that tries to match leaders to appropriate situations to fit the leader’s context (as cited by Fiedler and Chemers, 1974).

Contingency theory depends on the idea that a leader ability to solve a situation depends on certain given factors. There is not one specific leadership style that a leader can apply to every situation. Whenever a factor is presented, the leader must change his leadership style. Dependent upon the situation, a leader may succeed or fail. Behavioral theory assumes that leaders are made and not born and focuses on the certain behaviors of leaders. Behavioral theorists believe that successful leadership can be learned and defined by the leader’s actions. Leaders usually have a specific response to a specific situation and this is because people believe that a leader can be conditioned or taught how to react. For example, the President of the United States cannot act out violently towards a person that may have been murdered in his immediate family. He would have to learn how to control himself in the eyes of the public.

Thoughts of retaliation and foul language in front of peers would not be tolerated. “Transformational leadership theory is a process that changes and transforms people” (Northouse, 2012). It deals with the leader’s emotions that motivates their followers to act with those same feelings and work toward a common goal. Leaders get their followers involved by putting them in the forefront with them to excel to the next level. They show them they are individually considered and acknowledge them for their commitment and hard work. Whenever a leader is able to enthusiastically listen and show a sense of public need, it will build a relationship bond that will raise the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower. The last theory analyzed was the Transactional leadership theory. He stated, “Transactional leadership theory focuses on the exchanged that occur between the leader and the follower” (Northouse, 2012). When using transactional theory, there is usually rewards and/or punishments issued depending on the performance of the followers. If the goal is accomplished and is favorable to the leader, the follower is usually rewarded.

If it is less than successful, some type of punishment may be rendered. An example of the transactional leadership theory is when a police officer perhaps pulls over a manager from an electronic store, instead of the officer giving the manager a ticket; he may accept a gift card from the manager to use in the store. This is also unethical. In the learner’s current profession, she has chosen to use the Transformational leadership theory. This theory is most influential because she is the founder of a non-profit charity. The organization deals with people of all races, origins, ethnicities, and more. She is dedicated to helping others without expecting anything in return. When her followers see the kindness she possess it inspires them to volunteer to help her reach the goals of her organization.

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