Articles: Leadership Skill

If you've been working for awhile, you've probably come to realize that there are a lot of smart people in the workforce.  This age of information has turned many workers into technical experts, nearly overnight.  But for those of you that want to be recognized as future leaders of their organizations, you need to start to separate yourself from the rest of the pack.

Leadership Theories

A relatively recent phenomenon, the interest in leadership theories has been advanced by the desire to identify the characteristics, and behaviors, exhibited by historical leaders.  By understanding these characteristics, their successes and failures, in addition to the political and work environment they faced, the modern day worker can hope to replicate this success.

Leadership Style

Managers often get feedback on their leadership style through formal training.  But that training usually only identifies the styles their currently exhibiting.  They might learn the strengths and weaknesses of each, but that's only scratching the surface when it comes to leading others.

Transformational Leadership

Back in 1978, James MacGregor Burns published a book describing several different types of leaders and styles. Two of the most important styles that Burns identified within his theory were the transformational and transactional leaders.

Situational Leadership

One of the keys to the success of a manager is their ability to switch, or flex, styles as the conditions in their environment change.  This is commonly referred to as "situational leadership."  It's important to understand this concept because an approach that may have worked in the past may be ineffective in the future.

Transactional Leadership

The transactional leadership style was first described by Max Weber in 1947, and again by Bernard M. Bass in 1981.  Transactional leaders are on the opposite theory spectrum relative to transformational leaders.  The former depends on a system of rewards and punishments, while the latter takes advantage of internal motivations.

Leadership Characteristics

A discussion of the characteristics of a leader is an interesting topic, since people often wonder if they are true leaders.  This article will review those characteristics that are most commonly found in leaders, providing insights into how someone might measure up against this standard.

Leadership Qualities

One of those intangible characteristics that people often seek to obtain in their careers is leadership qualities.  People ask of themselves: Do I have what it takes to be a leader in this organization?

Leadership Traits

Everyone's heard a story about someone who stepped up during a crisis and became a leader.  They may have even been referred to as "a natural born leader."

Leadership Skill

Whether it's a Fortune 500 company or a top tier university, these organizations are looking for more than intelligent individuals, they're looking for leaders.  That's why developing leadership skills early in one's life is so critical.

Leadership Skills Assessment

There are many tests that can assess leadership skills or a style.  It's possible to spend hours filling out questionnaires that will determine both strengths and weaknesses.  The leadership skills assessment outlined in this article provides a fast and simple way to provide a directional indication that's nearly as insightful.

Developing Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are the behaviors exhibited when placed in various situations.  That's the foundation for textbook theories such as situational leadership.  Assessing one's style can not only help to identify strengths and weaknesses, but also develop leadership skills.

Understanding Soft Skills

Intelligent people can learn the technical skills they need to be successful at work.  But individuals looking to climb the corporate ladder need superior soft skills too.  Unfortunately, all too often people are promoted to leadership positions that lack the soft skills required to be successful.

Leadership

The theory of leadership is intriguing.  It's been studied for hundreds of years, with the hope of being able to teach others what it takes to become a better leader.

Leadership Training

After working for nearly 30 years, I have to admit that I've had quite a bit of leadership training.  I'm optimistic, and hope that my company has invested in my career because they saw the leadership qualities that I possess.  In this article, I'll provide insights learned over time.

Leadership and Management

Two words which are sometimes used interchangeably are leadership and management.  That's unfortunate, because there are many leaders that are not managers, and many managers that are certainly not leaders.

Leadership Development

A personal attribute that is extremely important to one's professional career, as well as growth, is leadership development.  In an ever evolving workplace, professionals are challenged with opportunities to learn new and exciting ways to fully develop their leadership capabilities.

Creative Leadership

Most of the leadership models discussed in this publication date back to the earlier thoughts on the subject.  Creative leadership is one of the more recent additions to this area of study, and in some ways has redefined the way people think about this topic.

Leadership Quotes

Leadership is a complex topic, one that goes well beyond the ability to come up with noteworthy quotes; but the study of quotes can be insightful.  Reading them serves as a reminder that it's sometimes good to step back from a harried world and think about situations, rather than just react to them.

Famous Women Leaders

While some cultures suppress the rights of women, there continue to be many success stories from around the world.  Given all of the challenges that women face, both politically and in the business world, it took a truly remarkable effort on behalf of these famous women leaders to achieve the political status they've reached.

Women in Leadership Roles

In this article, we're going to recognize the increasing numbers, and importance, of women in leadership roles.  Our list contains women in powerful positions; leaders and former leaders of Fortune 500 companies.

First Woman President

Back in 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States.  With the presidential elections of 2016 on the horizon, Americans may decide it's time to elect the first woman President.

Civil Rights Leaders

While the movement traces its roots back to the early 1800's, there were countless leaders in the civil rights movement throughout history.  However, when talking about the modern day movement, this term refers to those leaders that began to emerge in the mid to late 1930s.

Demonstrating Genuine Leadership

This article is called Demonstrating Genuine Leadership because it doesn't deal directly with theories about leaders and their attributes.  Instead it pulls an example from a real world opportunity to help move a nation in the right direction when a natural disaster struck America.

Effective Leadership

It's easy to recognize effective leadership when others are exhibiting the right behaviors.  An effective leader is able to obtain great results when faced with significant challenges.

Educational Leadership

Every day, millions of Americans rely on the teachers and educators across the country to provide their children with the fundamental skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.  These same Americans want their children to have every advantage, including obtaining the best possible education.  Unfortunately, the public educational system doesn't always provide that option to parents.

Ethical Leadership

Over the past century, there has been a lot of work, and thought, given to the development of various leadership theories.  From that work, came transformational, situational, and behavioral theories.

Leadership in Sports

From high school stadiums to professional arenas, sports today are played in a very competitive environment.  Coaches and players feel the pressure to succeed, and the measure of success is found in the win / loss column.  That's why, as a coach and a player, leadership in sports is getting so much attention.

Motivation Theory and Leadership

Anyone that's in a leadership role should understand how employees are motivated, and what they can do as a leader to keep them motivated.  The word is often defined as "getting someone moving."  Theory breaks down these forces into both internal or intrinsic motivation, as well as external or extrinsic motivation.

Presentation Skills

One of the talents leaders are often asked to draw upon are their presentation skills.  This can range from the relatively informal expression of an idea, through formal presentations given to large audiences.  Effectively communicating a vision, goals, strategies, ideas, or even results, allows the leader to gain agreement and alignment within an organization.

Affiliative Leaders

The affiliative leader was first described by Daniel Goleman in conjunction with the six leadership styles defined in his theory of Emotional Intelligence.  As described by Goleman, affiliative leaders can be summarized as individuals that are often more sensitive to the value of people than reaching goals.

Autocratic Leadership

The best leaders know when a given style is most effective.  In this article, the focus will be on the autocratic leadership style.  We'll discuss its strengths and weaknesses, as well as the circumstances that make this style most effective.

Authoritative Leaders

The authoritative leader was first described by Daniel Goleman in conjunction with the six leadership styles defined in his theory of Emotional Intelligence.  As described by Goleman, authoritative leaders are experts in their field of work, and individuals that are able to clearly articulate a vision and the path to success.

Charismatic Leaders

They're often thought of as heroes that are able to use their personal allure to lead others.  But charismatic leaders can be both a blessing and a curse on society.  That's because charisma can be used for the good of a company or nation, but also for less-than-honorable reasons too.

Coaching Leadership

If a company's intellectual capital is weak, or if they're looking for someone willing to share their knowledge, then it's critical to find someone practicing the coaching leadership style.  Coaching leaders are excellent at helping others to advance their skills, building bench strength, and providing career guidance.

Coercive Leadership

The coercive leader was first described by Daniel Goleman in conjunction with the six leadership styles defined in his theory of Emotional Intelligence.  While managers understand the need to adapt different styles to changing conditions, the coercive style is one that should be used with caution.

Democratic Leadership

When talking about democratic leadership, we're not referring to a politician such as a senator or representative.  We're talking about the style that exhibits "democratic" characteristics; one that allows everyone to have an equal vote in the workplace and elsewhere.

Pacesetting Leadership

The pacesetting leader was first described by Daniel Goleman in conjunction with the six leadership styles defined in his theory of Emotional Intelligence.  While there are documented situations where this style is effective, it's important to use it sparingly.

Trait Theory of Leadership

Perhaps one of the oldest attempts to describe, and identify, potential leaders involves the trait theory of leadership.  By examining the traits exhibited by past and present leaders, as well as their accomplishments, these theoretical models would attempt to predict the future success of an individual.

Former Russian Leaders

This article is going to review the role former Russian leaders played in the Soviet Union starting around the turn of the 20th Century.  We're going to divide these leaders into two groups, those that were considered Communist leaders, and those that held the title: President of Russia.

Russian Presidential Leaders

As the leaders of the Soviet Union continued to lose the faith of its followers, the door began to open on a new Russia.  With that change, came an end to Communist rulers, and the beginning of democratically-elected Russian presidential leaders.