Trait Approach To Leadership

740 Words 3 Pages
Unlike traits approach, skills approach is more coherent with the four components of leadership. Both the three-skill approach (Katz,1955) and skill-based model (Mumford et.al, 2000) discusses the process, influence, groups and common goals in leadership. For instance, emphasis on career and environmental experiences, crystallized cognitive ability and technical skills in skills approach infer that leadership develops with learning, and signifies the process. Furthermore, its focus on knowledge and skills also indicate that such skills can be developed in a person. Likewise, human skills and social judgment skills emphasize on the relation between the leaders and followers and how leader’s ability to influence can help in problem-solving and …show more content…
It can also be considered as the most studied approach in leadership. However, as the concept of leadership evolved, traits approach despite some of its major strengths has since faced many criticisms. Firstly, although high volume of research and the consistency of these research in studying specific characteristics like intelligence, self-confidence, and sociability is its greatest strength, it has been criticized for drawing ambiguous results and inability to limit or take into account subjective interpretation in defining leader’s characteristics. Secondly, traits approach’s undivided focus on leaders and their personal characteristics/development has kept the concept clear and easy to understand. But critics argue that this approach does not assess social interactions and situational influences in leadership, which plays a crucial role in leadership development. Thirdly, while traits approach identifies leaders and their unique personality traits (which can be sometimes set as leadership goal), their analysis of the effectiveness of these traits in leadership or their leadership outcome is largely limited. On the whole, despite its various strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion, traits approach still do provide a strong groundwork in leadership studies and its recent progression into aspects like emotional intelligence and social intelligence keeps traits approach abreast and …show more content…
Although they share many commonalities, the fundamental difference between them is their functionality (Kotter,1990); leadership which works to instigate change and movement, and management which works to ensure order and consistency. In terms of similarity, leadership, and management both work to influence people, however as Bennis and Nanus (1985) explain, management seeks to influence people to follow rules and manage them, while leadership, on the other hand, engages in influencing people to gain vision and direct the organization. Because of which, management is often associated with planning, organizing and smooth operation of an organization, and leadership with strategic direction. For example, mostly oranization's board (leadership level) are involved in major decisions like an organization's structural change or goal, while managment team would be more inclined towards working to execute it rather than deciding it. Another striking similarity is working with people. Both leadership and management involve high social engagement, but as described by Rost (1991) leadership is more multi-directional and influence based relationship while management is more unidirectional and authoritative based. Goal attainment is also common to leadership and management. Both parties equally value and work towards goal attainment. However, their approach may differ. According to Zaleznik (1977), managers are

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