Leadership Styles

By: Trimble, Joseph Langford, Sara; California State Polytechnic University Pomona, PSY/SOC Thompson, Joshua; Western Washington University Camp, James

Leadership has been a topic of contentious debate since the time of the ancient philosophers. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a number of leadership theories have been advanced. 

The Great Man Theory gives the basic framework on which contemporary theories have been based. Contemporary theories of leadership first began to focus on both traits and behaviors. Recently, there has been more of a focus on leadership styles, two of these being transactional and transformational. 

Most recently the focus has shifted again to the study of diversity in leadership and the need for more culturally reflective leadership.

One Response

  1. Great synopsis of various leadership theories , providing a quick review of how the understanding about leadership has been evolving over the decades. The only difference of opinion I have is about the servant leadership. It has been mentioned in the article that such leaders serve their subordinates. I think this is one of the popular misnomers. Servant leaders serve the vision. mission and the objectives of the organization. They are zealous about their work and rally their teams behind the exciting future they are co-creating. They are willing to do everything in their capacity to advance the mission and realize the vision, including supporting their teams in that journey. Teams trust them because there is no hidden agenda and the objectives are transparent. These leaders can be counted upon for any support required. It is not about just helping the teams but helping them in their mission. One more thing conspicuously missing is any reference to emotional intelligence which has evolved as one of the most important leadership traits.

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