Behavioral Theories of Leadership – Leadership theories explain how and why specific individuals become leaders. They concentrate on the characteristics and behaviors that people might acquire to improve their leadership qualities. Some of the top qualities that experts feel are essential for effective leadership include:
- High moral and ethical standards
- Excellent self-organization abilities
- Effective learner
- Encourages employee development
- Encourages connection and belonging
Behavioral theories of leadership focus on how leaders act and assume that these characteristics can be imitated by other leaders. It is sometimes referred to as the style hypothesis, and it proposes that leaders are not born successful, but may be developed through learnable conduct. Behavioral theories of leadership place a strong emphasis on a leader’s actions—this theory contends that observing how a leader act is the best predictor of leadership effectiveness. Behavioral learning theory focuses on actions rather than traits. In this approach, patterns of conduct are observed and classified as “leadership styles.” Task-oriented leaders, people-oriented leaders, country club leaders, status-quo leaders, dictatorial leaders, and others are examples of leadership styles. In the end, the deeds and actual behaviors of a leader are what define success in this theory.
The behavioral theories of leadership offer numerous advantages, the most important of which is that leaders may learn and determine what actions they want to take to become the type of leader they want to be. It enables leaders to be adaptable and flexible in response to changing situations. Another significant advantage of this leadership style is that it implies that anyone may become a leader. One shortcoming of behavioral theory is that, while it provides flexibility, it does not precisely recommend how to respond in certain situations. Many leadership styles derive from behavioral theory, but there isn’t one that is suited for every situation.
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