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CHAPTER_NINE - I.WhatisLeadership ,in

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CHAPTER NINE - Leadership I. What is Leadership? Leadership  is the influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of  others in an organizational context.  Effective leadership exerts influence in a way that achieves organizational goals by  enhancing the productivity, innovation, satisfaction, and commitment of the workforce  Although any organizational member can influence other members, individuals with titles  such as manager, executive supervisor, and department head are in assigned leadership  roles and are expected to exert formal leadership and influence others. Leadership goes beyond the formal level and individuals can emerge as informal leaders  II. Are Leaders Born? The Search for Leadership Traits (Trait Theory) Throughout history (example WW1), social observers have been fascinated by obvious  examples of successful interpersonal influence.  The implicit assumption is that those who become leaders and do a good job of it  possess a special set of traits that distinguish them from the masses of followers. Trait  theories of leadership, however, did not receive serious scientific attention until the  1900s. A. Research on Leadership Traits During World War I, the US military began to search for those traits, which would help in  identifying future officers.  Traits  are individual characteristics such as physical characteristics, intellectual ability,  and personality.  While many traits are not related to leadership, research shows some traits are  associated with leadership although the connections are not very strong. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the study of leadership traits, and a  number of studies have shown that certain traits are closely linked to leadership including  emotional intelligence and several of the “ Big Five ” personality dimensions  (agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience). However, the usefulness of  these findings and the trait approach is questionable Intelligence is related to leadership, but not as strongly as previously thought Effective leaders tend to be high on emotional intelligence B. Limitations of the Trait Approach There are several reasons why the trait approach is not the best means of understanding  and improving leadership: 1. First, it is difficult to determine if traits make the leader or if opportunity for leadership  produces the traits.  2. Second, we have few clues about what leaders actually do to influence others  successfully.  3. Third, the most crucial problem of the trait approach to leadership is its failure to take into 
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account the situation in which leadership occurs. 
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