Essay The Theories Of Leadership And Leadership

999 Words Oct 6th, 2016 4 Pages
What is leadership? Leadership can be traced back millions of years; one could postulate that the first forms of life on earth showed forms of leadership. For instance, Insects show leader ship behaviors with their foraging skills, as do birds with flocking. Thus, people from ancient times to now have tried to explain where leadership is derived. Consequently, there are seven theories that have been composed to explain leadership, great person, trait, behavioral, situational, contingency, transactional, transformational, and big five theories; each theory building upon the other and the ever advancing definition of leadership.
To start, the great person theory’s (or great man theory’s) came about in the 1840’s. The theory says that leadership comes from innate qualities. “These theories asserted that leadership qualities were inherited, especially by people from the upper class. Great men were, born, not made.”(Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991 p.48) This type of leadership style speculated that leaders were destined to lead, and were militaristic in their approach. “Early in the 20th century, the great man theories evolved into trait theories. Trait theories did not make assumptions about weather leadership traits were inherited or acquired. They simply asserted that leaders’ characteristics are different form non-leaders.” (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991 p.48) Trait theories initiated a lot of research, common traits could be found so that leaders could be called upon. Some of the…

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