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Leadership Theories and Styles
Syed Yousaf Shah
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• Understand different leadership theories.
• Discuss the styles of leadership.
• Describe the different types of power that a
• Discuss the role of manager and leader.
• Discuss ways to become a more effective
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• Interest in leadership increased during the early part of
the twentieth century.
• Early leadership theories focused on what qualities
distinguished between leaders and followers, while
subsequent theories looked at other variables such as
situational factors and skill level.
• While many different leadership theories have
emerged, most can be classified as one of eight major
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“Great Man” Theories
• Great Man theories assume that the capacity for
leadership is inherent – that great leaders are born, not
These theories often portray great leaders as heroic,
mythic, and destined to rise to leadership when
• The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time,
leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality,
especially in terms of military leadership.
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• Similar in some ways to “Great Man” theories, trait theory
assumes that people inherit certain qualities and traits that
make them better suited to leadership.
• Trait theories often identify particular personality or
behavioral characteristics shared by leaders.
• But if particular traits are key features of leadership,
how do we explain people who possess those qualities but
are not leaders?
This question is one of the difficulties in using trait theories
to explain leadership.
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Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular
variables related to the environment that might
determine which particular style of
leadership is best suited for the situation.
According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all
Success depends upon a number of variables, including
the leadership style, qualities of the followers, and
aspects of the situation.
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• Situational theories propose that leaders
choose the best course of action based upon
• Different styles of leadership may be more
appropriate for certain types of decision-
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• Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon
the belief that great leaders are made, not born.
• Rooted in behaviorism, this leadership theory
focuses on the actions of leaders, not on mental
qualities or internal states.
• According to this theory, people can learn to
become leaders through teaching and
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• Participative leadership theories suggest that
the ideal leadership style is one that takes the
input of others into account.
• These leaders encourage participation and
contributions from group members and help
group members feel more relevant and
committed to the decision-making process.
• In participative theories, however, the leader
retains the right to allow the input of others.
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• Management theories (also known as
“Transactional theories”) focus on the role of
supervision, organization, and group
• These theories base leadership on a system of
reward and punishment.
• Managerial theories are often used in business;
when employees are successful, they are
rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded
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• Relationship theories (also known as
“Transformational theories”) focus upon the
connections formed between leaders and followers.
• These leaders motivate and inspire people by helping
group members see the importance and higher good
of the task.
• Transformational leaders are focused on the
performance of group members, but also want each
person to fulfill his or her potential.
• These leaders often have high ethical and moral
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• A leadership style is a leader's style of
providing direction, implementing plans, and
• There are many different leadership styles
that can be exhibited by leaders in the
political, business or other fields.
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• The authoritarian leadership style or
autocratic leader keeps strict, close control
over followers by keeping close regulation of
policies and procedures given to followers.
• To keep main emphasis on the distinction of
the authoritarian leader and their followers,
these types of leaders make sure to only
create a distinct professional relationship.
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• The way a Paternalistic leader works is by
acting as a father figure by taking care of their
subordinates as a parent would.
• In this style of leadership the leader supplies
complete concern for his followers or
• In return he receives the complete trust and
loyalty of his people.
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• The democratic leadership style consists of
the leader sharing the decision-making
abilities with group members by promoting
the interests of the group members and by
practicing social equality.
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• The laissez-faire leadership style is where all the
rights and power to make decisions is fully given to
• This was first described by Lewin, Lippitt, and White in
1938, along with the autocratic leadership and the
democratic leadership styles.
• The laissez-faire style is sometimes described as a
"hands off" leadership style because the leader
delegates the tasks to their followers while providing
little or no direction to the followers
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• The transactional style of leadership was first
described by Max Weber in 1947 and then later
described by Bernard Bass in 1981.
• Mainly used by management, transactional
leaders focus their leadership on motivating
followers through a system of rewards and
• There are two factors which form the basis for
this system, Contingent Reward and
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• A transformational leader is a type of person in which
the leader is not limited by his or her followers'
• The main objective is to work to change or transform
his or her followers' needs and redirect their thinking.
• Leaders that follow the transformation style of
leading, challenge and inspire their followers with a
sense of purpose and excitement.
• They also create a vision of what they aspire to be, and
communicate this idea to others (their followers).
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Roles of Manager and Leader
Manage: A person responsible for controlling or
administering an organization or group of staff.
Leader: The person who leads or commands a
group, organization, or country.
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What is Supervision?
Supervision is formally defined as a relationship
between senior and junior member(s) of a
(a)is evaluative, (b) extends over time, (c) serves
to enhance the skills of the junior person, (d)
monitors the quality of the services offered by
the junior person, and (e) acts as gatekeeping to
(Bernard & Goodyear, 1992, 2004)
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Ways to Become More Effective
1. Learn More About Your Leadership Style
2. Encourage Creativity
3. Serve As a Role Model
4. Be Passionate
5. Listen and Communicate Effectively
6. Have a Positive Attitude
7. Encourage People to Make Contributions
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8. Motivate Your Followers
9. Offer Rewards and Recognition
10. Keep Trying New Things
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• Amabile, T. & Kramer, S. (2011). Do happier
people work harder? The New York Times.
• Riggio, R.E. (2009, March 24). Are you a
transformational leader. Psychology Today.
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