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Whitney Brown LEAD 7000 Akey October 23, 2009 Midterm Question 1: In the workplace and beyond, individuals

must join together to accomplish a common goal. In addition to their skill level, each individual brings to the group their own set of beliefs, values, and cultural norms. These variables impact the type of leadership needed to guide the members towards the goal. Because of the various backgrounds and developmental levels of group members, my leadership style is most similar to situational leadership. Situational leadership is built on the premise that different situations demand different kinds of leadership. My personal leadership theory is built on the premise that different situations and the contextual background of the subordinates demand different types of leadership. My theory is most like situational leadership in terms of my beliefs about assessment of subordinates, my beliefs about practical application, and my beliefs about subordinate motivation. The situational leadership theory most coincides with my contextual and constructivist approach to leadership. Beliefs about assessment of subordinates As a leader, I believe that I am responsible for knowing my subordinates strengths and weaknesses in completing a given tasks. Knowledge of the subordinates strengths and weaknesses is essential to effective achievement of goals. When the leader is aware

of the subordinates strengths he or she can delegate tasks to the subordinate with confidence and minimal training. When the leader is aware of the subordinates weaknesses, he or she can properly provide support to the subordinate or create effective teams that allow for growth in the subordinates weak area. Situational leadership suggests that leaders should change the degree to which they are directive or supportive to meet the changing needs of subordinates (Northouse, 2007, p.91). In order to properly adapt to meet the subordinates needs, it is beneficial to assess if supportive or directive leadership is best for the given task, and whether there are contextual reasons to choose more or less directive leadership. The goal of assessment in situational leadership is to evaluate which leadership style is most appropriate. In my leadership theory, the goal of assessment is to also predict the outcomes of the subordinates work on the tasks, best utilize subordinates strengths are choose projects that aid in subordinate growth, and lastly to establish an effective line of communication between with the subordinate. Beliefs about practical application My personal leadership theory calls for a highly interactive and present leader. The leader is responsible to personalizing his interacting with each subordinate in order to move the subordinate from dependence to autonomy. According to Northouse (2007), the essence of situational leadership demands that the leader match his or her style to the competence and commitment of the subordinates (p.92). This theory is best represented in my personal leadership experience through my experience in the classroom and when working with college students. In the classroom, I use am aware of each of my students developmental level and their personal preferences. When giving

my students a new tasks, I assess what level of familiarity they have with the task and decide which students I need to be directive with and which students I need simply need to delegate tasks. While the situational leadership model implies that delegating style is a sign that the subordinates are developed, I also interpret this as a need to present more challenging opportunities for my subordinates. The model mimics an undulating wave in which each new experience brings a need for directive leadership. Beliefs about subordinate motivation I believe that if the subordinate is given proper leadership, he or she will be more motivated to complete his or her tasks and more satisfied with the job. Situational leadership theory argues that subordinates need to be both competence and commitment (Northhouse, 2007, 95). Competence can define as the subordinates familiarity with the tasks and their commitment can be defined as their willingness or motivation to complete the job. Both I and the situational theory believe that commitment is the product of a supportive leader. I provide support to my subordinates in the form of rewards, verbal and strategic praise, and by offering new opportunities with more ownership. I personally believe that when I provide clear direction for my subordinates and verbal appreciation for their effort, they will become more committed. This belief is in line with situational leaderships reminder that we should treat each subordinate differently based on the task at hand and seek opportunities to help subordinates new skills and become more confident in their work (Fernandez & Vecchio, 1997; Yukl, 1998 as cited in Northouse 2007, p. 97). Question 2: Introduction

The attributes of an effective leader consists of both personality attributes and skills. The trait and skill approaches to leadership take opposing perspectives on how one becomes a leader. Trait approach to leadership focuses on the inherent traits that individuals possess that make them effective leaders. Of Stogdill, Mann, Lord, DeVader, and Alliger, and Kirkpatrick and Lockes work, the traits that are most influential to leadership are intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability (Northhouse, 2007, p.18). The skills approach to leadership took a variety different perspective of the leader. According to the skills approach, a leader can acquire the capacity to lead in a variety of settings with proper education and work experience. From these two premises, the trait and skill approaches to leadership can be compared in terms of theory, application, and strengths and weaknesses. Similarities in theory Both the trait approach and the skills approach offer a leader-centered perspective on leadership. The skills approach is divided into three categories Technical Skill, Human Skill and Conceptual Skill Technical Skill relates to the knowledge and proficiency in a particular area (Katz 1955 as cited in Kim, 2009). Human skill relates to the ability to work with people and adapt their own ideas with those of others. This skill is similar to trait approaches sociability trait. Sociability is important for leaders because it is the ability to form pleasant social relationships. Both the trait and skill approach argue that as a leader, must be sensitive to the needs and motivations of others and take into account others needs in ones decision making (Northouse, 2007, p.42).

Technical skill relates to the leaders competence as it relates to the required work or activity. This is slightly similar to trait approaches need for an intelligent leader. According to trait approach, intelligence is the amount of verbal, perceptual, and reasoning ability a leader has (Northhouse, 2007, p.19). While leaders tend to have more intelligence than their subordinates, it is also important that leaders intelligence does not differ too greatly from the subordinates because of the counterproductive effect that can have on the ability to communicate. While the skills approach focuses extensively on the technical skills, the ability to reason within ones technical realm is a key component of intelligence. Like the trait approach, the skills approach theory claims that in order to be an effective leader, one must have a combination of some form of intelligence and sociability. They both also argue that certain position require a difference distribution of these attributes. Differences in theory Both the trait approach and the skills approach add attributes that are not shared between the theories. The trait approach adds the necessity of self-confidence, determination, integrity, and emotional intelligence. According to trait approach, selfconfidence is the ability to be certain about ones competencies and skills (Northouse, 2007, p.19). A study by George B. Yancey and Noriko Watanabe (2009) concluded that self-confidence is a necessity as they found that Americans perceive that being, being confident, and being respectable were the most important traits of a leader. In order for a leader to effectively influence the subordinates, he or she must be able to be confident in oneself.

Along with self-confidence, the trait approach claims that a leader must have determination or the desire to complete ones tasks with persistence, and initiative. Determination is an effective sign of leadership because a leader must be able to accomplish a goal even if there is a lack of resources, support, or subordinate skill. Integrity is a vital attribute of an effective leader that is often overlooked by leadership approaches. Integrity is the ability to exhibit honesty and trustworthiness. Leaders have to be dependable and model dependability to leaders as well. There are also several ethical issues surrounding higher education that require confidentiality to faculty, students, and parents. Lastly, the trait approach adds emotional intelligence or ones ability to understand the emotions of others and to manage emotions maturely. The trait theory argues that those who understand their emotions will be more effective leaders than those than do not. The skills approach distinguishes intelligence conceptual skills, claiming that conceptual skills are the ability to work with ideas and concepts. This skill focuses on ideas rather than things, and people. While this skill can be a form of intelligence mentioned in trait approach, it is also distinct because is focuses on the leaders ability to general ideas and problem solve in order to move the company in the proper direction. One of the last differences in theory between trait approach and skills approach is instead of focusing on attributes that are innate parts of ones personality, skills approach focuses on abilities that can be learned and developed. The skills mentioned above are acquired though training and experience. This means that a leader can receive training in

a weak area and be prepared to lead in a different capacity. Trait approach on the other hand, claims that its attributes are fixed and that there are certain fixed roles that a leader can most effectively lead based on his or her personality.

Similarities in application The application of the trait approach and the skills approach are quite different. The trait theory approach assumes that having a leader with the aforementioned traits is integral to effective leadership. Thus, his or her personality can either positively or negatively affect his or her capacity to lead. With the ideal leader in mind, organization can begin to classify the ideal leader for a given position. The skills approach, on the other hand, allows the leader to understand the various skills an effective leader has in order to understand what skills are necessary at various levels of management. Because skills approach focuses on the attributes of leadership that can be learned rather than those that are innate, the theory can be configured into a model. The model examines the relationship between a leaders knowledge and skills and the leaders performance (Northouse, 2007, p.43). The skill-based model examines leadership capabilities in terms of competencies, individual attributes, leadership outcomes, career experiences, and environmental influences (Northouse, 2007, p. 44). The model provides a map of how to obtain the skills needed to be an effective leader. Rather than a model, the trait approach uses an instrument are used to pair the proper traits with the proper management roles and enhance personal awareness for further improvements.

Similarities in strengths and weaknesses Both the trait approach and the skills approach are intuitively appealing. The trait approach is supports the common belief that leaders has a unique innate abilities that makes them a part of a unique group. Society wants to believe that not everyone can be a leader and to hold a leadership position is a privilege. Skills approach is intuitively appealing for the opposite reason. By focusing on the skills that a leader has, it makes the ability to lead obtainable for anyone who works towards it. While personality influences ones ability to acquire these skills, the approach focuses intently on learned skills.

Differences in strengths and weaknesses While the trait and skills approach are intuitively appealing, both have a number of unique strengths. The trait approach is grounded in theory and provides a glimpse of what personality traits to look for in a leader (Northhouse, 2007, p. 25). Unlike the trait approach the skills approach provides an expansive view of leadership and is can be easily be implemented in the curriculum of leadership programs (Northhouse, 2007,p.55). Because trait approach relies on personality attributes, it cannot be easily integrated into training, curriculum, or strategic development. Trait approach has failed to take situational leadership in account and that leaders may be leaders in one situation leaders in another situation. The skill approach however argues that leaders can be trained to leaders in most situations or find a level of management that fits the skill they already posses.

References Kim, C. (2009). Developing Effective Leadership Skills. Public Administration Review (Washington, D.C.), 69(3), 547-9. Retrieved October 23, 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega database. Yancey, G., & Watanabe, N. (2009). Differences in perceptions of leadership between U.S. and Japanese workers. The Social Science Journal, 46(2), 268-81.

Retrieved October 13, 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega database

Question 3: The Path-Goal theory of leadership can be used to productively transform an organization because it focuses on how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish goals. Instead of focusing on the leaders role in preventing poor organizational management, the path-goal model is includes methods to address existing problems in organizational management. Path-goal leadership uses motivation as a means to increase employee production and satisfaction (Northhouse, 2007, p. 127). By emphasizing the ability and potential growth of the employers through direct interaction with the leader, employees will be more motivated to complete tasks with full effort. Path-goal theory argues that the key to motivating employee is by choosing the appropriate leadership style to fit the employees needs. Thus, the first step in transforming an organization is by assessing the needs on the employees. This can be done in form of an evaluation, personal conference, or observation. This assessment will accomplish two goals. First the opportunity to provide feedback to the leader enhances

the rapport between the employee and the leader. The employee then feels confidence in knowing that he or she had influence over the work environment. The second goal the assessment accomplishes is that it will help the leader create a clear path for the employee to follow in order to reach his or her desired level of success. Again, the employees are motivated when they believe that are traveling down a path towards a goal with the support of the leader. After the assessment is completed, using the path-goal theory, the leader can choose which type of leadership would be most effective. The path-goal theory has 4 behaviors that leaders can enact to motivate the employees-directive, supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented. The first behavior is directive leadership. This leadership is one in which the leaders gives explicit objectives, instructions, and timeframes for the subordinate to follow (Northouse, 2007, p. 130). This type of leadership be idea to transform the production of subordinates who believe that they are not in control of situations and do not seek to participate in decision making. I assume these employees are either prefer structured environments or new to the organization an would prefer structure while they get acclimated to the system. The second type of leadership is supportive leadership which requires the leader to invest in the comfort and pleasure of the subordinate. This leader uses a great deal of praise, rewards, and communicates appreciation for the subordinates efforts. This type of leadership could be used to transform the subordinate who does behind the scenes work that often goes unnoticed, or with subordinates who are externally motivated to complete tasks.

The third type of leadership is participative leadership. The participative leader allows subordinates to participate in decision-making and accepts the subordinates feedback when making future plans (Northouse, 2007, p. 130). Participative leadership can transform the environment where the subordinate feels the need to have say in the progress of the organization. If the subordinate addresses a concerned with being controlled by external factors, the leader can enact the role of a participative leader and begin to hold biweekly progress meetings, asking for feedback in survey form, or implement peer-feedback during projects. The last type of leadership is achievement-oriented. By challenging the subordinate to meet high expectations and expressing confidence in subordinates abilities, the achievement oriented leader motivates the subordinate to perform at the best of his ability. The subordinate that expresses that he or she is not feeling challenged by his or her duties, and wishes to explore more opportunities, may need achievementoriented leadership. The leader must be observant of this type of subordinate if notice a decrease in productivity or signs of redundancy. In order to transform an organization using path-goal theory, the leader must be able to adapt to the needs of the subordinates as they change. The path-goal leader must be reflective daily, and observant of the behaviors of the subordinates. Because motivation is the foundation of the path-goal theory, the leader must believe that motivation is positively related to the interactions the subordinates have with the leader, as well as positively relation to production. The more that the subordinate perceive that they are under the proper leadership, the most satisfied they subordinates will be with their work environment, and the higher their work quality will be.