There are many definitions of leadership. However, there is consensus that leadership is a process used by an individual to influence group members toward the achievement of group goals, where the group members view the influence as legitimate.
To summarize, leaders seek the voluntary participation of subordinates and superiors in an effort to reach organizational goals
Disagreement about the definition of leadership stems from the fact that it involves a complex interaction among the leader, the followers, and the situation.
CORE CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERSHIP Actions focus on influencing behavior Systematic and continuous series of actions Influence is directed toward achieving group goals A single individual usually fulfills the role for a group Influence is viewed by followers as reasonable & justified
Tom Peters, co-author of “A Passion for Excellence” describe leadership in broader terms:
“ Leadership means vision, cheerleading, enthusiasm, love, trust, passion, obsession, consistency, the use of symbols, paying attention, creating heroes at all levels, coaching, effectively wandering around, and numerous other things”
Holds that the there is no universal answer to leadership. The appropriate leader/leadership behavior varies from situation to situation.
Fred Fiedler developed a situational model of leadership. It is the oldest and one of the most widely known models of leadership.
Fiedler believes that leaders are either task motivated or relationship motivated, similar to the managerial grid concern for production/people.
Representation of Fiedler’s Contingency Model Situational Control High Control Situations Moderate Control Situations Low Control Situations Leader-member relations Task Structure Position Power Good Good Good High High High Strong Weak Strong Good Poor Poor Low High High Weak Strong Strong Poor Poor Low Low Strong Weak Situation I II III IV V VI VII VIII Optimal Leadership Style Task Motivated Leadership Relationship Motivated Leadership Task Motivated Leadership