Three Aspects of Leadership Essay

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Leadership is defined as a process by which an individual influences others to obtain goals. There are three aspects that should be addressed when explaining leadership. One aspect is that leadership is a social influence process; leadership could not exist without a leader and one or more followers. Another leadership aspect is compliance; all of the leader’s directions must be complied with voluntarily. Compliance is what separates leadership from other influence-based formal authority. Finally, leadership results in the followers’ behavior, that is purposeful and goal-directed which must be in some organized setting (Leadership Theories and Studies, 2009).
Some people believe leadership and management are one in the same; however,
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During the trait leadership research, supporters used three distinguishing personal characteristics (physical, mental, and social) of successful leaders to find trait similarities and prove how distinctive characteristics account for leadership effectiveness (Lussier & Achua, 2010). The early conclusions of the trait leadership studies, performed by leadership researcher Ralph Stogdill, revealed that most leaders had slightly higher intelligence measures and a positive relationship between leadership and adjustment, extroversion and dominance (Leadership, 2008), but there was no evidence in the research which identified universal characteristics that separated great leaders from ordinary individuals. This research was confirmed by Richard Mann who conducted a similar research study. Mann believed that although individuals with certain characteristics were more likely to be successful, leaders were not altogether different from followers (Leadership, 2008).
The notion of the trait leadership theories were rebuffed until the publication of a meta-analysis in 1986 by Robert Lloyd Christy de Vader and George Alliger, which contradicted previous studies pertaining to successful leadership due to personality traits. In the article the authors state that earlier studies of trait theories were misleading; the studies did not represent leader effectiveness but actually applied to the relationship

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