About Leadership

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The interest in leadership was important throughout the history of man. A simple understanding of leadership was gained when several discipline-related ideas were coined to explain leadership. Although contemporary hypotheses explore abilities and situation-related elements that make certain people effective leaders, critical theories are focused mainly on what others can do while others emerge as followers (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Even though elements of emotional stability, integrity, and honesty are indispensable to leadership, they do not primarily define what leadership as an independent entity is. Indeed, leadership is both a discipline that can be researched and a practical skill as well, that determines how well an individual(s) is capable of giving a confident and informed direction to a group of people or single individuals. Whereas in the West, especially in America, a leader is defined as somebody who has the social abilities to influence others positively so they can come to a successful course by achieving a common task, the Eastern countries and parts of Europe are of the opinion that a leader is somebody that shows possession of power and is instrumental in helping achieve the central goals of the community (Avolio et al., 2009). Scholarly research has shown across decades that leadership is both taught and naturally acquired. Even though the traits in different personalities might portray essential skills without the nurtured prowess, the opposite could be true as well. Therefore, leaders are born as well as they are taught. Indeed, the information that people should be taught so they can become the leaders they are expected to be should be accurate and founded on reason (McCleskey, 2014). Therefore, understanding the aspects of leadership people should learn remains a central prerequisite in the guest to unleashing leadership skills to the learners. It is not only imperative to focus on the evaluation of the aspects of leadership that should be taught to make successful leaders but also critical to outline criteria and the theoretical framework of leadership.

Theoretical Framework

Leaders are born

There are many theories which have been formalized to affirm the argument that leaders are born. One of this hypothesis is the Great Man Theory. This theory stipulates that people are born with peculiar characteristics that make them emerge as leaders in their respective societies without objection. Some of the elements familiarized with such the theory include possession of behavioral characteristics like social skills, intelligence, confidence and charismatic proficiency (Avolio et al., 2009). Indeed, the theory was formulated long ago when the world believed that men were the most likely if not solely so, the human persons who could make leaders, and not their female counterparts. Furthermore, under this theory, leaders are born, and the skills are inherent, whereby when one rises to a leadership platform, they do so without external skills to be taught.

The second theoretical element associated with leadership is the traits theory. The hypothesis related to this framework embrace the argument that people through genetic analogy acquire specific characteristics that enable them to be leaders. That the particular characteristics are espoused in the personality of an individual, and they naturally allow them to be natural leaders. For instance, tall, huge, and strong people are thought to be leaders, with a mix of characteristics like self-confidence, courage, and extraversion (McCleskey, 2014).

On the other hand, the contingency theories according to scholars are the equally central hypothesis that defines who leaders are, and what they possess naturally. The argument draws most of its philosophical acumen from the assertion that leadership is gotten and therefore designed for the environment. Consequently, depending on the prevailing situation, somebody could show unmatched leadership skills (McCleskey, 2014). It is thus critical to consider that not all situations favor a certain form of leadership, rather, the diversity in either way is characteristically imperative to portray leadership. The aspects that define the condition, the nature of the followers, and the unique qualities of an individual are fundamental to the contingency theories.

The behavioral principles are founded on the fact that great leaders are never natured, rather, they are naturally born as such. As opposed to the Great Mans Theory, the behavioral theory is founded on the analogy that leadership is shown through actions and that the leaders are not judged by what they think or say (Avolio et al., 2009). Nevertheless, this theory asserts that people could observe or be as well taught specific elements of real leadership.

Participatory leadership is an abstract form of leadership whereby the perceived leader gives direction on what should be done, but he as well allows others to contribute in the process. All people, both the followers and the leader, are considered as critical partners. Therefore, everybody is arguments are held as valid (McCleskey, 2014). Nevertheless, the participatory leader reserves the right whether he or she could consider the suggestion of others or not.

One of the most different and unique theories of most hypothesis on leadership is the management approach. This interpretation stresses on the managerial, organizational, performance, and supervisory characteristics, no wonder it is mostly referred to as a transactional method. The elements of reward and punishment characterize the process. When the subordinates in a firm, for instance, perform well and meet the set objectives they are rewarded. Nevertheless, with failure comes further training and demotion (Cameron, 2011).

Leaders are taught

On the contrary, many theoretical formworks have been formulated to affirm the argument that leadership is learned, and therefore leaders are trained. Even though scholars do not necessarily entirely rule out the beliefs that leaders are born, they do believe, as shown in the research data that there are individual skills and prowess that the human person acquires only through learning from others. Therefore, education, coaching, and training have been outlined as the most fundamental aspects that define the need for teaching leadership to potential leaders.

Considering the technological framework in this twenty-first century, new inventions have come up that need everybody in a managerial position to be knowledgeable and stay informed at all times. Without education, therefore, well-tailored to the leading curriculum, leaders can never deliver what is expected of them (Avolio et al., 2009). This becomes more realistic when one finds themselves in specialized fields like the corporate world, political, and technological disciplines. Special skills are desirable for people to deliver the set objectives in their areas of specialty.

There are essential aspects of leadership that all leaders should be taught. If the learners possess such expertise, then their ability to perform cannot be compromised by the common challenges experienced in diverse cultures and traditional set-ups of professionalism. Strategic thinking and adaptability to change are fundamental elements that should be taught. The leaders who can make their plans carefully according to the unfolding of events stand a better chance to succeed in their objectives (Cameron, 2011). Furthermore, change is inevitable anywhere and everywhere, hence the need for everybody to learn and get accustoming to engaging a changing gear in case it is needed. Therefore, adaptability is equally important.

Furthermore, trustworthiness, being in possession with excellent communication skills, remaining visionary and upholding integrity are critical stuff that should be led known to young leaders. If individuals are exposed to such unique characteristics of human personality, they are capable of standing out of the crowd, and hence tower above the rest to emerge irresistibly as leaders (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Personal awareness, a delegation of duties, both fixed and diversified mindset, as well as possession of the skills to foster and maintain teams is vital. If such information is given to and grasped by the learners, then their ability to making leaders is even increased in significant proportions.

Qualities Any Good Leader Must Have to be Successful

Successful leaders are indebted to peculiar yet characteristic qualities of leadership for them to meet their objectives. Honesty is a fundamental quality for leaders. If one is the judge of a given group of people, then they should raise their ethical standards even higher. This is imperative to the success, or the failure of a business entity is always a reflection of the management. Furthermore, delegation is another quality that successful leaders need. The ability to share confidently one's objectives with the junior staff is very important. This allows all people to be challenged to work as a team and everybody is compelled to remain responsible (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Communication is a third quality that is indispensable for quality leadership. A manager could be aware of everything needed. However, without keenly and appropriately sharing the information to other related and responsible stakeholders, the whole process could be paralyzed. Communication put all people on a single platform, and working on common objectives becomes primary to the entire team. Confidence is an important aspect to be espoused by all leaders. Occasionally, for instance, the brand of the organization could deteriorate. This means profit margins are at stake and the competitors gain an advantage in the market. Nevertheless, the leader, in this case, the manager, should remain stable and meet the challenges by strategizing the most appropriate solutions (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). In addition to this, commitment is critical because when leaders lead from the front, the followers felt encouraged and psyched up to do even better. When a manager shows commitment, the subordinates are challenged to emulate the example and deliver the objectives put in place, both short and long term. Finally, creativity and positive attitude are some of the first qualities for successful leaders (Leithwood & Levin, 2010). Coming up with new approaches to doing things and initiation processes of problem-solving are necessary. The positive attitude makes the whole methodology interesting, and whether challenges are bound to happen or not, the management is willing and able to proceed.

Criteria Categorizing Successful Leaders

The primary criterion for leadership assessment is the success factor, where individuals are assessed based on the level of training that they took, the application of the learned skills, and utilization of the experiences in a professional setting. It is also worth assessing leaders based on their promotion, which involves the determination of the level of impact in of leadership on promotion. If the skills are related to promotion, it would mean the acquisition of new skills that define the qualities of the individual. Another relevant criterion is the salary rise, where it is considered that there should be an apparent link of salary rise and the gaining of new skills. The last applicable aspect is the element of responsibilities. The level of impact on the community and professional setting should be directly related to the leadership skills and self-trained skills that had been obtained.


Leadership is an essential and admirable characteristic as a quality of a human person. Research has proven that leaders are both made and can as well be trained to assume certain skills and understand standard principles. The naturalist perspective underscores the consideration that leaders have inherent capabilities that tend to manifest over the course of development. In both cases, the unique qualities that leaders tend to have include honesty, delegation, ability to communicate, confidence, and commitment to one’s endeavors. When categorizing leaders, the primary considerations include their success, promotion capacity, salary rise, and the impact that they have in the professional setting.


Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163621

Cameron, K. (2011). Responsible Leadership as Virtuous Leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(SUPPL.1), 25–35. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-1023-6

Leithwood, K., & Levin, B. (2010). Understanding how leadership influences student learning. In International Encyclopedia of Education (pp. 45–50). http://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.00439-5

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.leedsmet.ac.uk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=96783710&site=eds-live&scope=site

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