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History of Leadership
Leadership has been around since the roots of civilization. Egyptian leaders, Greek heroes, and biblical heads all had one thing in common. The common area was leadership. There are many definitions and theories of leadership; however, there are enough similarities in all the theories to determine that leadership is an effort to influence and the power to encourage compliance (Wren, 1995). Many areas of leadership such as ones work, work environment, the motivation to work, leaders, leadership, leadership style, and numerous of other work-related variables have been studied for almost two centuries.

Leadership has been defined in many ways and one definition as described by Robert Weinbach is, the ability of an individual to insluence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization of which htey are members.


Trait Leadership external image thumbnail.aspx?q=327805313372&id=39e05897d3df871a86b1cc1003d97a37&url=http%3a%2f%2fmgt115spring2008.files.wordpress.com%2f2008%2f03%2ftheory.gif





Style Approaches to Understanding Leadership

I think it is clear that no leadership style is right for all situations. However, it's useful to understand one's natural leadership tendencies, so that you can then begin working on developing personel skills. Weinbach discusses a popular framework for thinking about a leader's 'task versus person' orientation and was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s. It is called the Managerial Grid, or Leadership Grid, it plots the degree of task-centeredness versus person-centeredness and identifies five combinations as distinct leadership styles.

The Managerial Grid as Weinbach describes is based on two behavioral dimensions:

People – The first is the degree that a leader considers the desires of their team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to complete a task,
Production - This is the degree to which a leader looks at concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to complete a task.



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You will use the axis to plot leadership concerns for production as opposed to concerns for people. Blake and Mouton defined the following:

Five Leadership Theories

Impoverished Management (1, 1): Leaders with this approach are low on both sides of the grid and exercise minimum effort to get the work done from employees. The leader has low concern for employee satisfaction and work deadlines and as a result there is disagreement within the organization. The leaders are termed ineffective.

Task management (9, 1): Also called Authoritarian. Here leaders are concerned about production and have less concern for people. The style is based on theory X of McGregor. The employees’ needs are not taken care of and they are simply a means to an end. Such a style will increase the output of organization but due to the authoritarian style of leadership turnover will be inevitable.

Middle-of-the-Road (5, 5): This is basically a compromising style wherein the leader tries to maintain a balance between goals of company and the needs of people. This results in an average organization regarding performance.

Country Club (1, 9): This is a shared style. It is a low task and high people orientation where the leader gives care to the needs of people providing them with a friendly environment. The leader believes that a caring treatment of employees will lead to self-motivation and will find people working hard on their own. Often times if you have low focus on tasks it can cause production to decrease and lead to questionable results.

Team Management (9, 9): Characterized by high people and task focus, the style is based on the theory Y of McGregor and has been termed as most effective style according to Blake and Mouton. The leader feels that empowerment, commitment, trust, and respect are the key elements in creating a team atmosphere which will automatically result in high employee satisfaction and production.

Advantages of Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid
I believe that the Managerial or Leadership Grid can be used to help leaders analyze their own styles through training. This is done by administering a questionnaire that helps managers identify how they stand with respect to their concern for production and people. The training is provided to basically help leaders reach the ideal state of 9, 9.

Limitations of Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid

The grid does not take into account internal and external limits.




McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y


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Theory X and Theory Y are two concepts that describe leadership attitudes, in workplace environments and cultures, In Theory X, management assumes that their employees are bad. The core underlying assumption is that employees don't want to work, and so you need to set up structures which get them to work more efficiently. There is an assumption that employees are inherently inefficient and must be strictly monitored and given incentives in order to become efficient. Generally, modern practice of this theory has proven ineffective. One of the most recent 21st century X theory application in the workplace environment has been software that blocks certain websites and computer applications - the management has assumed that, if left to your own, you'll be extremely inefficient, and thus they have to set up policies to push you towards efficiency.

When leaders follow Theory Y, the assumption is that followers actually enjoy their work, and because of this, they will try to be productive and take on new responsibilities. It is assumed that employees are naturally efficient, and leaders trust them to do their job to the best of their ability. From my standpoint, I enjoy having a theory Y boss that's not looking constantly over your shoulder. At the same time, however, theory Y has a significant risk if not executed properly. A lot of people need significant feedback and projects in order for Theory Y to keep them motivated. If they don't get it, they risk developing lazy habits or being unhappy with their job.

While the two theories appear to be opposites, that is not the case. For example, you can have a manager who empowers you to make lots of decisions, trusts you to take on new tasks, gives you lots of feedback, while still tracking the websites that you go to. And while Theory Y might sound like the best option for a good work culture, sometimes it's just unreachable. For example, it is difficult for factories and franchises to use the Y theory. The fact is that it is difficult to get people excited about working in a factory or working at the bottom of a franchise where there are no promotion opportunities.



Contingency Theory

There are many forms of contingency theory. In a general sense, contingency theories are a class of behavioral theory that believes that there is no one way of organizing or leading and that a leadership style that is effective in some situations may not be successful in others (Fiedler, 1996). In other words: The optimal organization / leadership style is contingent upon various internal and external constraints.
Four important ideas of Contingency Theory are:

1. There is no universal or one best way to manage
2. The design of an organization and its subsystems must fit with the environment
3. Effective organizations not only have a proper fit with the environment but also between its subsystems
4. The needs of an organization are better satisfied when it is properly designed and the management style is appropriate both to the tasks undertaken and the nature of the work group.





Behavior Theory

Leaders can be made, rather than born. Successful leadership is based in defined behavior. Behavioral theories of leadership do not seek inborn traits or capabilities. Rather, they look at what leaders actually do. If success can be defined in terms of describable actions, then it should be relatively easy for other people to act in the same way. This is easier to teach and learn then to adopt the more brief 'traits' or 'capabilities'. Behavioral theories focus on developing leadership rather than looking for inborn traits. For example, role theory studies how social learning leads to an acceptance of our roles and the roles of others in particular situations. Managerial grid theory as I have indicated above that studies the balance between a leader's concern for employees on the one hand and productivity and efficiency on the other.




21st century Leadership

In the 21st century the fundamental meaning of leadership has not changed. Leadership has always been about the person in charge of a group. Being a leader has always meant having influence over people and the authority to make decisions for the group. We have made small changes to the definition of leadership. The major leadership change in the 21st century is dictatorial leadership to a more participative leadership style but the main ideas have remained basically unchanged for centuries.




Ethical Consideration
As students, we may want to reflect on what we have learned about ethics, in the classroom. I believe we can conclude that medical students engage in the study of medical ethics, law students study legal ethics, business students take on business ethics, military officers study military ethics, social work students study social work ethics and so on. What ethics in school does students that want to be leaders study?

I do not think ethics is based solely on compliance of the law, it is an important part. Many actions in government, business, or private life comply with the law but are not optimal from an ethical perspective. For example in a leadership role you may have access to financial accounts. It would be ethically but often times not against the law to bill tax payers for lifestyle enhancements such as ditch cleaning, the upkeep of expensive second homes, or the rental of adult movies while on a business trip.

We can conclude that ethics begins with Socrates': Socrates asked the question, how should one live? Ethics and leadership I believe we can conclude is about choice. What values guide us? What standards do we use? What principles are at stake? And how do we choose between them? An ethical approach to a problem will inquire about ends goals and means the instruments we use to achieve these goals) and the relationship between the two.
(Murphy, 1994)




Rural Leadership
Rural Leadership requires leaders to respond to emerging challenges for rural, regional and remote areas due to the lack of resouces. Leaders working in rural America need to be compassionate and have a commitment, strategic thinking, negotiating skills, the foresight to influence communities, industries, businesses and policy makers.
4-H Rural Leadership
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An example of rural Trait Leadership at work is the 4-H. There mission statement is to contribute to the leadership development of people through promoting the character traits of responsibility, respect, trust, honesty, fairness, sportsmanship, community mindedness, teamwork and caring.