6 Top Leadership Theories Explained and How to Implement Them

6 Top Leadership Theories Explained and How to Implement Them

Understanding leadership theories and approaches can enable you to be so much more efficient in your position, especially if you team up or manage others regularly. Additionally, recruiters may evaluate your leadership prospects during the hiring process, so understanding your chosen leadership theories could be beneficial.

This blog post defines leadership theories, examines six major leadership theories, and explains how to describe your leadership model.

What is the difference between leadership theory and style of leadership?

Leadership theory investigates the characteristics of effective leaders. Leadership theory is studied and developed by psychologists, and scientists attempt to identify the similar elements or behavioral tendencies of good leaders. They examine the following aspects of leadership:

  • Personality character traits
  • Behavior
  • Decision-making Methods
  • Surroundings
  • Circumstances
  • How is feedback obtained?
  • How are relationships preserved?

A leader’s style of leadership is how he or she manages staff members. These styles were officially created as a result of leadership theory research, so each style has different characteristics.

Typical leadership styles involve:

  • Mentor: Identifies weaknesses and strengths, assists people in establishing objectives, and offers full feedback.
  • Visionary: Leads through motivation and self-assurance.
  • Servant: Aims to make employees feel accomplished.
  • Authoritarian or autocratic: Makes decisions without involving everyone else.
  • Laissez-faire or Hands-off: assign responsibilities and offer minimal guidance.
  • Democratic: Before settling on a decision, take into account the views of everyone else.
  • Pacesetter: Establishes high standards and prioritizes achievement.
  • Bureaucratic: adheres to a rigid hierarchy and wants group members to adhere to the process.

Six major leadership theories

Among the main leadership theories are:

Theory of the Great Man

According to the great man leadership theory, outstanding leaders are born possessing all of the necessary personality characteristics like intellectual ability, boldness, confidence, instinct, and charisma.

This theory, which was common in the nineteenth century, affirms it is impossible to learn leadership skills; you either possess them or you don’t. Opposers of this theory argue that its basic assumption is impractical.

The theory of traits

According to the trait theory, specific natural attributes are likely to produce competent leaders. Possessing these attributes, however, doesn’t automatically imply that a person is a great leader.

Some leaders are excellent listeners or communicators. However, not everyone who is a great listener or communicator is a great leader.

Behavior theory

The behavior leadership theory concentrates on the way an individual’s surroundings shape the person into a leader rather than innate talents. Conditioning is an important concept. It affirms that environmental reactions to actions increase the likelihood of an individual behaving or leading in a specific manner. According to the theory, anybody can become a leader if they act like other leaders.

Management theory or transactional theory

According to the transactional leadership theory, also known as “managerial theory,” leadership is a structure of punishments and rewards. It considers good leaders to be results-oriented and hierarchical. Transactional leaders value structure and organization over inventiveness, rewarding those who achieve goals and punishing those who don’t.

Relationship theory or transformational theory

According to the transformational leadership theory, also known as “relation theory,” good leadership is the outcome of a healthy relationship among team members and their leaders. Transformational leaders encourage and motivate others with their passion and energy. They set a good example for their groups by prioritizing a strong sense of teamwork, strategic communication skills, and effective delegation.

Situational theory

The situational leadership theory doesn’t refer to a specific style of leadership or argue that one style is superior to another. Rather, it affirms that the ideal type of leader can change their approach depending on the circumstances. They could react to a situation by instructing, mentoring, convincing, engaging, reassigning, or any other method they deem appropriate. Situational leaders are distinguished by their adaptability.

Why should you know your leadership theory and style?

Consider your leadership ideas and methods to assist you in determining your areas of strengths and flaws and act quickly to grow into a stronger leader. Consider what characteristics you already have and those you could cultivate. Consider which leadership theories you agree with or want to implement. You can discover how to more effectively lead your team by assessing your skills.

Some leadership theories and styles are particularly well suited for specific workplaces than many others. Depending on the requirements, you can start practicing a specific style or a combination.

Leadership theories have influenced today‚Äôs modern workplace decision-making procedures. These theories can assist you in improving your leadership style. Below is how it’s done:

Enhance your advantages.

Determine the key characteristics which would enhance your abilities as a leader. Below are a few examples of how you might leverage your strengths:

  • Leaders who possess strong self-discipline are more resilient when confronted with adversity. Rather than dwelling on how challenging a situation is, look for your internal power to get through it. This will allow you to focus on your strengths and inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
  • Some leaders are effective due to their decisiveness. They can select one method to bring others together. They are, however, inclined to make amends for their errors. Although as a leader, being capable of learning can help you maximize your possibility and prepare you to assume additional responsibilities.

Include everyone.

A few of the more situational leadership theories concentrate on leaders’ relationships with their teammates. Becoming an inclusive leader entails being aware of your limitations and drawing on the skills of your group to supplement the circumstances. You can try practicing being open and accepting in the workplace by welcoming colleagues to share their perspectives and cautiously paying attention to their knowledge and experience to arrive at more educated choices. Accepting feedback from others can help you become a more capable leader.