Module 2 – Qualities of a Leader


Master four distinct theoretical leadership models, while gaining the insight to recognize and cultivate essential leadership qualities within yourself and others for dynamic personal and professional growth.


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Hello, hopefully you are able have a good think about management and leadership yesterday and to read the material that was presented.

Now today, what we’re going to do is to start to have a little look at leadership theory and to start talking about the different approaches to leadership. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be too heavy duty. ÿWhat I want to do though is to start to prepare you for what you might want to do in how you will change as a leader and become a better leader. Now, I’m just going introduce you to four different approaches, and we’ll to talk a little bit more about one in detail for today.

Now, there’s four basic approaches to leadership theory. There’s the quality or traits approach. In other words, it is who we are and how we are and how we interact with the world. Traits being something which is perhaps more intrinsic to us, the way we’re born.

Qualities, again it’s something innate in us, but qualities again, is something that can be developed and developed over time. Then all the behavioral models of leadership, how we behave, modelling behaviors, good behaviors, the behaviors of effective leaders, and then trying to repeat those ourselves.

Then there’s the functional models, just simply describing a set of behaviors, set of drills, procedures for you to follow and if you do that, then you’ll be a more effective leader. And finally, what’s called contingency theory. In other words, looking at how leaders behave in different jobs and trying to pick the right leader, the right person, the right style for the right job. ÿAnd perhaps that’s something, it’s worth reflecting on or ready about yourself. ÿÿ

But let me talk more today about the traits or qualities. What I want to do is to compare two different approaches. A very traditional one. When you read traditional leadership theory, you often get list of qualities. A lot of old-fashioned leadership theory is based around personal qualities. So let me tell you a very traditional military one. Many of these things come from military background. And you’ll read them there in the text. Absolute fitness, complete integrity, enduring courage, daring initiative, undaunted willpower, knowledge, judgment, and team spirit.

Now, all of those tend to be traits, things which are more intrinsic to you. And you do or you don’t have those. That can be a little bit off-putting. But more recent research suggests that there are qualities, and most leadership qualities which can be developed. I really like the list produced by Dr. Cyril Levicki because this is much more useful for us as business leaders. You see their tenacity, stamina, long-term wisdom, emotional intelligence, judgment, especially around priorities, equanimity, or ability to stay cool and calm, character, the person you are, your capacity to inspire followership, and your love for fellow human beings.

Now, in the text, you will see all of these described in more detail. What I like you to do, and I suggest you do today, is to think about when you’re interacting with people, what qualities can you feel and see in yourself? Maybe you want to ask a colleague to just tell you what they think your top1, 2 or 3 leadership qualities are and take away Dr. Levicki’s list and see if you can identify those in yourself. Are you sticking with it? Do you have stamina? Do you have the wisdom that’s required for your job? The emotional intelligence? Don’t you worry too much about, we’ll be talking about that a little more in the program. Judgment. Are you cool under pressure, and your capacity to inspire followership. And again, that’s something we’re going back to later.

And also, this business of, do you have that intrinsic love for your fellow human being, because that lies at the heart of true leadership. Have a little think about that as you go through your work today, as you interact with people. Think about it. Think about what qualities you have, maybe ask others, and do read the text. I will talk more about an alternative approach to leadership in the next segment.