I was on a lecture today, which is a part of a course in Management and Leadership in Organizations. The main topic of today's lecture was different theories of leadership. The lecturer had divided the mass of theories into five main ones: traits, skills, style, stituational and transformational. I had two problems with the lecturer's words about the aforementioned theories. The first one was about the criticism on the traits theory and the second one was on the transformational theory (Hersey, Blanchard. 1969) and the part of it known as delegating and how the lecturer explained it. I naturally should've lashed out my questions and comments at the lecture but I doubt I would've got any decent answers because the lecturers linguistical skills are, well, below average and we would've had to converse in English.
So, instead I brought the two questions home inside my head and am going to recite them here.
The problem regarding the criticism on the traits theory was towards this statement: teaching traits in a difficult process. Traits theory's concept is pretty much that some people are born with certain traits that will eventually form them into leaders. This so-called 'great man theory' has been born on the basis of leaders such as Napoleon and Alexander the Great.
Let's assume that some people are born with traits that benefit leadership and some people are born without them. We will always have a certain amount of leadership-trait-born people because of inheritence, same with the people who don't have those traits. Now, the theory has been critisized because teaching those traits is a difficult process. Why would the people with leadership traits want to teach those traits to the one's without them in the first place? Yes, teaching them would be hard, almost impossible, I can give you that. But wouldn't teaching the traits to 'the weaker people' generally hinder the leaders' lives as leaders. More and more people would have the traits that qualify them as leaders and eventually, if the teaching process were easy, we'd have ourselves a huge amount of leaders. And the use in that? None.
The second problem was about delegating and what the lecturer said about. He bluntly said that delagating tasks to other people and sharing responsibility isn't leadership. How is that? If a person knows how to share his tasks and responsibilities to their subordinates and knowing how to trust them, how is that not leadership? In my opinion a leader should be able to give out tasks with responsibility tied to them to their subordinates to reduce the leader's amount of work. He will still have to lead the subordinates and take responsibility for their actions while being able to reduce his/her stress and time spent on various things. I think delegating, to a certain extent, of course, makes a leader effective.
.in the universe-city.