Thispaper analyses leadership based on traits, skills, and style approachesaccording to the experiences I have had in different situations. Furthermore,it considers the relationship of leaders with traits, skills, and leadership style.Moreover, it identifies some leadership qualities that I want to develop. According to Northouse (2004), traits focus on leaders’personal characteristics, and skills are evidenced by leaders’ developablecapabilities, whereas styles can be highlighted by leaders’ behavior.Leadership is delineated as an interpersonal relationship in a review that showeda leader in one situation may not be a leader in another (Stogdill, 1948). However, leadership elements are essential to be consideredas situational requirements. Vision andcharisma are two major traits associated with leadership (Birk, 2010).
Personality and emotional intelligence (EI) are alsosignificant aspects of leadership. (Stogdill, 1974). EI is closely related to leaders’personalities and take into consideration both personal and social competencies.The trait approach proposes that managers with the suitable leadership profilesare essential for an organization’s success. The trait approach is intuitive, theoretical,time-proven, and invaluable (Northouse, 2004).
However, this approach does not consider situationaleffects. It is impossible to determine important traits which affect the outcome. Leadership skills can be educated and developed (Katz, 1955). Technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills areessential. Senior management is more associated with conceptual skills while supervisorymanagement, technical skills. However, interpersonal skills play an equallyimportant role at all levels. Social judgment, knowledge, and problem-solvingskills are also found to be important in order to respond to the continuallychanging environment (Mumford et al.
, 2000). The skills approach is leader-centered, intuitive,consistent, and expansive; yet, it is general, weakly predicted and inaccurate (Northouse, 2004). Thus, it may not be widely applied. The style approach considers both task and relationshipbehaviors that influence others to obtain goals (Northouse, 2004). An employee-oriented leader is considerate,relationships-focused, and respectful while a production-oriented leader concentrateson organizing and scheduling tasks. Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid presentsdifferent leadership styles according to concerns shown in terms of bothproduction and people (Northouse, 2004).
The style approach widens the leadership focus.Furthermore, it attests the fundamental principles that form the coreleadership process. I had encountered an authority-compliant leader. He wasvisionary, task-oriented, and motivated.
However, employees were merely a toolto achieve organizational goals. Training and staff-bonding sessions were mostlycalled-off or indefinitely adjourned due to last-minute tasks assigned to staff.This resulted in high-turnover rates as employees felt unappreciated andincompetent. After several futile efforts to communicate with the management, Icompiled a step-by-step guide to each task for the employees and organized team-lunchesfor staff-bonding purposes. I had exhibited motivation and integrity traitswhile adopting team-management style with my problem-solving skills. However, Iwill need to develop a better interpersonal skills and EI in order to handleleadership better. In conclusion, leadership is a combination of theapplication of appropriate personalities, behaviors, and capabilities. The manyapproaches have their places in different settings and they complement oneanother.
Everyone has a certain individual leadership potential, and it isimportant to determine and maximize that potential (Northouse, 2004). Interpersonal skills are important in allenvironments. Strong interpersonal skills can help to build strong relationshipsand respects in both business and family settings.