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Leadership- Definitions Traits and Styles

Leadership- Definitions Traits and Styles



Definition of Leadership

Define Leadership.

Discuss The Trait Perspective On Leadership.

Describe The Functional Perspective And Its Advantages Over The Trait Perspective.

Explain The Relationship Between Situational Variables And The Effectiveness Of Different Leadership Styles.

Leadership ability and problem-solving ability for a person and organisation. It is helping achieve the individual and shared objectives by guiding the subordinate employees. According to Seibold, leadership cannot be explained by the role of the designated leader. Leadership occurs when the intervention of a leader motivates the sub-ordinate employees to accomplish the objectives which are the fulfilment of the target, resolution of the problems of internal groups, and enhance the ability of the team members to work together (Seibold, 1979). This paper aims to define leadership, explain the leadership traits, analyse the leadership style, and compare the group problem-solving approaches.

In this part, the definition of leadership will be provided. Leadership can be characterised as the communication of behaviour which allows the leader to influence, lead, motivate, and control a group of subordinate people. According to Beebe and Masterson, the most effective leadership behaviour is one which can fulfil the needs of the group (Beebe and Masterson, 2015).

In this part, the explanation of leadership traits will be analysed. The Trait perspective explains leadership as a combination of personal attributes. Being influenced by the combination of personal attributes the leader possesses. Previous research in this issue has identified that several attributes such as intelligence, dominance, social perception, self-confidence, and egalitarianism influence the leader while making the decision. Recent studies of the trait perspective refer that social competency, creativity and emotional competency influence leaders. Leadership ability can be influenced by physical traits. It is expected that a leader should be energetic, and proactive in comparison with other subordinate members. According to recent research, the leader must have certain abilities which are self-control, cheerfulness, discipline, versatility and the idea of Justice (Seibold, 1979).

To define the Trait perspective of leadership, it can be said that leaders possess personal attributes or qualities. In certain situations, the Trait perspective of leadership is effective. A leader can use the Trait perspective while leading the troops into battle. The necessary qualities or attributes to lead the subordinate troop in this scenario are different from other leadership positions like operating a business and meeting (Seibold, 1979). The high dominance attribute of a leader can be useful in certain situations to become counterproductive. There are certain cons of the Trait perspective of leadership. Which attributes are significant to becoming a leader and which attributes are significant to maintaining the position are not identified by the trait approach of leadership. These are the weaknesses of the traits though it is useful in one situation they are not effective in another situation.

Explanation Of Leadership Traits

In this part, analysis and the description of Transformational leadership will be provided. Three transformational skills will be identified in this part. Transformational leaders have a responsibility to motivate subordinate employees to move beyond personal interest and work as a team to achieve collective good. To describe leadership in an organisation transformational leadership is one of the most appropriate leadership styles. This type of leader is interested in changing the elephant and unifying the objectives of subordinate team members. This type of leader motivates the subordinate team members to chase exciting and shared goals. According to the Management and Public Administration literature, by analysing the Transformational leadership it can be said that there are four defining characteristics of this leadership style (Seibold, 1979). Those four characteristics of Transformational leadership are known as the Four I’s. The first ‘I’ refers to the idealised leadership. The second ‘I’ refers to the inspirational motivation. The third ‘I’ refers to intellectual stimulation. Lastly, the fourth ‘I’ refers to individual consideration.

The transformational leader is interested in creating an inspiring vision within the subordinated team members about the thing that can be through idealised leadership. By acting as a role model and having a charismatic personality this type of leader generates interest among the followers to become more like the leader. This concept helps the transformational leader to develop trust among his followers and in return subordinate employees build confidence in their leader (Seibold, 1979).

Inspirational motivation is the communicative ability of the transformational leader to stir subordinate employees to action. The leader has to inspire the confidence and motivation of the subordinate employees to achieve shared objectives. Having a clear vision for the future will allow the transformational leader to communicate with followers not only to inspire but also to motivate. Power, sense of authority, and appropriate communication skills can be useful for the leader to inspire the confidence of the followers by using inspirational motivation ability. To inspire and motivate the followers, the leader should be in enthusiastic and optimistic to identify the positive aspects.

Intellectual stimulation refers to the ability of the leader to engage subordinate employees in challenging the status quo and assumptions about the procedure. To maximise the engagement of the followers, transformational leaders allow their followers in the decision-making process. By prioritising the innovative and creative solutions of followers, this type of leader can enhance the engagement of the followers.

The ability to support and nurture every positive attribute, strength and quality of individuals can be characterised as individual consideration. Individual consideration can allow a transformational leader to support their followers to achieve the greater good. Every individual in a team has a specific interest. By using individualised consideration, the leader identifies the specific interest of the individual follower.

An Analysis And Description Of Your Leadership Style

According to Peter Senge, there are three critical skills which are necessary for a transformational leader. These three skills can be useful for a transformational leader to lead their followers efficiently. Creating a shared vision is the first necessary skill. Surfacing and challenging mental models are the second necessary skills for a transformational leader. The Third necessary skill is involved in system thinking.

There are three different approaches to understanding group problem solving which are the descriptive approach, the functional approach, and the prescriptive approach.

This approach detects the specific patterns of communication which occur when the member of a group Interacts to solve the problem. Instead of providing specific guidelines for solving group problems, this approach provides an outline of the way most of the groups solve problems (Seibold, 1979). There are four factors in this approach which are orientation, conflict, emergence and reinforcement. This approach to problem-solving is useful for a group to understand how groups generally solve problems.

This approach emphasizes effective communication for its contribution to problem-solving. This approach detects primary task requirements. As a major factor, effective communication is used in this apple to solve the problem effectively. The task which should be performed to maximise the effectiveness of a group is identified by the functional approach. According to Randy Hirokawa, there are five key functions which can create a high-quality solution. The first step is to prepare an appropriate understanding of the problem (Seibold, 1979). The second step is to prepare requirements for a suitable choice. The third step is to prepare several alternatives as a solution to the problem. The fourth step is to evaluate the positive aspects of the alternatives for solving the problem. The fifth step is to evaluate the negative aspects of the options for solving the problem. This approach presumes that groups are goal-centred and to achieve the objective of the group-specific communication functions must be performed.

To develop group problem-solving performance, the prescriptive approach detects specific plans and techniques. This approach provides specific suggestions for sequencing certain types of communication in a group. This approach presumes that a group need more than a general understanding of how groups manage problems and the significance of the key function of group communication. To solve a problem what should be done and what should not be done are recommended by this approach (Hartwig, 2010). To accomplish the objective, the perspective approach invites group members to perform a specific behaviour (Seibold, 1979). This approach relies on the assumed ideal procedure. According to Fisher, the perspective approach relies on two factors which are the members of the groups are rational and the recommended sheet of techniques will deliver a better solution.


Thus, this paper concludes that leadership is beneficial for every organisation. The leadership trait is the sum of attributes which help the leader to make the decision. In this paper, transformation leadership is analysed to identify its significance. Four ‘I’, the characteristics of transformational leadership are analysed. In the end, the comparison between the descriptive approach, the functional approach and the prescriptive approach of group problem-solving is done to identify the difference between these three approaches.


Beebe, S. and Masterson, J., 2015. Communicating In Small Groups: Principles And Practices. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, pp.Chapter 9 & 10.

Hartwig, R. T. (2010). Facilitating problem-solving: a case study using the devil’s advocacy technique. Group facilitation: a research and applications journal, 10, 17-31.

Leadership- Definitions Traits and Styles


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