Leadership Research Essay Leadership Research Essay Introduction Leadership is a process of influencing activities of a particular group of people with the aim of attaining certain stipulated goals. In defining leadership there is need to consider a particular group, the common goals and the duties that are allocated to specific members of the group depending on their abilities (Fiedler 1976). Leadership therefore cannot successfully occur unless members of the group are given different considerations in terms of personality, traits and responsibilities. In considering leadership, it is important to look at the leader, the group or organization they are leading, the members as individuals and the situation; these are variables for interaction in the leadership processes, which are paramount for the success of the whole process. A leader is in essence the person who influences a group of people with the aim of attaining specific goals.
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Therefore, leaders in a group are separated from the rest of the group members by the extent to which they exert influence towards activities in the organization. It is to this effect that this essay will consider leadership using psychodynamic theory in an effort to bring out a marshal plan to improve my motivation and leadership skills. Various Models/ Approaches of Leadership According to psychodynamic Approach the leaders are aware of their personality and that of their followers. This is considered with an assumption that the personalities of individuals are deep rooted in individuals and very little can be done to change them (Northhouse, 2007).
The personality of an individual is therefore important in establishing an individual’s leadership potential. The approach in a sense functions to strengthen the relationship between the leader and the followers in that, the leaders understanding of the followers personalities makes them to be accommodative to various personalities of the followers. The leader is thus in a position to determine the most favorable work for their followers based on preferences in terms of making decisions and structuring work efforts (Northhouse, 2007). Psychodynamic approach to leadership is important because it makes leaders aware of their personality and that of their followers.
This is advantageous to specific leaders since it enables them to easily allocate tasks. For instance, if a follower is easily tempered then the leader will avoid giving this particular follower a task that will require them to directly be involved with customers who might be sometimes difficult to handle. There are other approaches that can be used to improve individuals’ skills; these include the trait approach and the style approach. On one hand the trait approach emphasizes on the characteristics being important to leadership status while the style approach consider certain behaviors as indicators of leadership (Northhouse, 2007). Situational approaches focus on the elements which are matched between leadership styles and behaviors versus the needs of the subordinates unlike psychodynamic approach which considers personality types of individuals. It is to this effect that leaders can use elements in these approaches to improve their skills. In defining leadership, a variable of leadership situation in the Contingency Model is of essence. This variable entails the need of controlling the situation and making it favorable for solid leadership.
In dealing with this concept, there are subscales that are considered including; the degree to which the leader is or feels accepted and supported by their groups, the clarity of the task in terms of identification of the goals, and the ability of the leader to reward and punish accordingly. Good leadership can be reflected by the Contingency Model in the sense that the concept of task-motivated leaders manifests their best performance when the situational control is high rather than when it is low (Fiedler 1976). On the other hand, relationship motivated leaders equally tend to perform best when the situation is under their control. The trait approach to leadership is a theory that stemmed from the late nineteenth century and in the early twentieth century when it was believed that leaders were born. It was believed that it was a man’s innate ability to lead (Fiedler 1976). Therefore the result was that an individual destined to lead had inborn traits or characteristics that enabled him to lead. It is to this effect that various researching agencies took the task to find out the truth behind this belief but no crucial evidence was found to support these allegations.
Leadership Theory that describes me as a Leader The leadership model that best describes me as a leader is the psychodynamic approach. The basic concept that underlies this approach is personality, which entails the consistent way an individual does things. The tendencies and qualities are equally considered; in this case my style of leadership is shrouded with independence in creativity and spontaneous reaction (Gastil, 1994).
The concept of personality therefore arises in the sense that I am able to decide accurately on very crucial issues spontaneously. Psychodynamic approach to leadership best describes my way of leadership because I usually consider my followers personalities before allocating tasks to them. In this case, each follower has to exhibit some relevant skills to the task that they are allocated. I also consider it difficult to change individuals’ personality and therefore encourage them to perfect the skills they have and not to change them.
This is an element in psychodynamic approach to leadership. The concept of predictability of an individual is an essential psychodynamic element in my way of leadership in the sense that the theory shows that human behaviors are predictable and understandable (Northhouse, 2007). In this sense I easily predict certain individual’s behaviors based on their personality and this makes my leadership style to be described best by psychodynamic approach. This can be illustrated by Jung’s way of classifying personality such that people’s personality can be classified by understanding that human behavior is predictable and understandable, they have preference of how they feel and think and these preferences become the basis of how they work and play their specific roles (Northhouse, 2007). My Distinguishing Leadership Traits One of the most distinguishing leadership traits I have is the ability to instill some sense of passion to my team and hence leave in the team members a conviction and the will to move on.
I also have the quality of listening to my team; in this case I listen carefully and consider various options to the issues raised before giving feedback. In essence, as a good leader, I involve everyone, give everyone responsibility according to their identified abilities and make everybody accountable; thus I am responsible for my actions and the actions of my followers. Another trait that distinguishes my leadership skills is the confidence I manifest. I communicate to my followers with a lot of confidence and endeavor to develop them, display trust and dedication.
In addition, as a leader I give example through my behavior and thus I am a role model to some of my followers. Moreover, I promote innovation by nurturing creativity tributes in my team. I am equally responsible enough to be decisive; I am able to make rational decisions under pressure and at a short notice. These outstanding traits are reflected in the positive results I get from my followers. As a follower, what leadership approach do you prefer? (Situational leadership: High supportive and low Directive Behavior) As a follower, I prefer the situational leadership approach. This is a contingency theory that focuses on the followers in the sense that the success or failure of a leadership is in the ability of the follower to either accepting or reject a leader (Mullins, 2000).
In this case the actions of the followers have been given prominence. I prefer this approach as a follower because it considers the extent to which I am willing to accomplish specific tasks. Equally important is the fact that this approach enables the leaders to adjust their leadership styles towards the follower’s readiness level and this gives the followers an easy throughway in handling tasks (Mullins, 2000). It therefore caters for the high support by the leaders and low directives by leaders; thus it is followers friendly and therefore this is why I prefer it. Goals and Action Plan for Improvement One of the goals that I am set to come up with to improve my leadership and motivational skills is ensure that I empower my followers so that they can be motivated in the course of my leadership.
I will do this by improving my skills to be sufficient enough to train my followers on specific skills. I will also up or improve my motivation skills by trying to identify the exact incentives that motivates my followers and by doing this, my followers will be able to appreciate the incentive I will give them and thus be motivated. I will ensure my followers are empowered and motivated through establishing teams that will make them to compete internally. The competition within the teams will be rewarded by identified incentives and this will ensure its (competition) sustainability. Within each team various talents and abilities will be identified and thus each team will be blended with numerous skills. In implementing the leadership skill that I will use to develop the teams I will use psychodynamic approach because I will be able to mix individuals with various personalities to come up with strong teams. On the other hand, in implementing my motivational strategy I will use Contingency Model in that the concept of task-motivated leadership manifesting their best performance when the situational control is high rather than when it is low while relationship motivated leadership equally tend to perform best when the situation is under their control will be taken into account (Fiedler 1976). Timeline My leadership empowerment skills will take one month to be accomplished.
The most challenging task is to put individuals in groups that will enhance competition. On the other hand, the motivational self -improvement goal will be implemented in two months that is when the results from the groups start to be seen so that they can be reinforced by rewards or incentives. However, these self- improvement goals will be continuous in the sense that empowering and motivating my followers will be done consistently and continuously when the need arise since we are living in a versatile world. References Baldoni, J (2005). Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders.
McGraw Hill Fielder, Fred. (1976). ‘ Situational Control and a Dynamic Theory of Leadership’, in B. King, S. Streufert and P. B Fielder (eds. ), Managerial control and Organizational Democracy. Washington: Winston & Sons, 107-31.
Gastil, J. (1994). ‘ A Definitions and Illustration of Democratic Leadership. ’ Human Relations, 953-75.
Mullins, L (2000). Management and Organizational Behavior. Berkshire: Penguin Northouse, P. G. (2007).
Leadership: Theory and Practice (4th ed. ). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc