- a need to be dominant
- Some argued know your style, then lead where your style fits the situations.
- Others argued know the situation, adjust your style to that situation.
- managers were compared with non-managers
- effective managers were compared with ineffective managers
In graduate school I brought to the attention of one of my professors that all the “leaders” in these “leadership” studies were managers. He replied there is no difference between management and leadership. Traditional “leadership” research and theory are often described in textbooks. But what is this research really? Mostly what we know about management style.
In 2001 Zaccaro and Klimoski concluded that trying to determine a best definition of leadership is “not a useful direction to take” (p. 5).
In 2009 Hackman and Wageman summed it up: “There are no generally accepted definitions of what leadership is, no dominant paradigms for studying it, and little agreement about the best strategies for developing and exercising it” (p. 43).
You have known people you perceive as leaders. Some you have observed from a distance, such as sports stars, people in political offices. Others you have observed up close, such as a boss or a friend who leads informally.
In my opinion you experience leadership in the workplace when in response to another person, you willingly go above and beyond the requirements of your job, taking your effort to another level, and doing so because you want to.
The leader inspires you. The best measure of whether someone is a leader is the follower’s response.
Edited from Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations, Praeger.
© John Ballard, PhD, 2015. All rights reserved.
Zaccaro, S. J., &Klimoski, R. J. (2001). The nature of organizational leadership: An introduction,” in The Nature of Organizational Leadership: Understanding the Performance Imperatives Confronting Today’s Leaders, ed. Stephen J. Zaccaro and Richard J. Klimoski. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hackman, J. R. & Wageman, R. (2007). Asking the right questions about leadership: Discussion and conclusions. American Psychologist, 62(1), 43-47.
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