skills include the knowledge related to performing a particular job\u00d0for example

Skills include the knowledge related to performing a

This preview shows page 12 - 14 out of 15 pages.

skills include the knowledge related to performing a particular jobÐfor example, knowledge of a specific subject or of methods, processes or organizational structure. Human skills, which enable the leader to work productively with other people, include an understanding of human behavior and group processes, the ability to communi- cate, empathy, and the ability to create and maintain relationships. Conceptual skills make it possible to develop and formulate ªbig-pictureº ideas. They include, for exam- ple, logical and analytic thinking, the capacity to grasp complex ideas, good judgment, an ability to take the long view, intuition, creativity and the ability to bridge differen- ces (Northouse, 2007; McGovern et al., 2008). Contemporary researchers, such as Mumford, Zaccaro, Connelly and Marks (2000), are recasting skills theory as a comprehensive skill-based model of leadership that em- phasizes a leader's ability to solve large-scale conceptual and organizational problems. They expanded Katz's basic paradigm into a more complex approach, arguing that a leader's basic competencies can be affected by her experiences and environment. This approach outlined five interrelated components of effective leadership per- formance: competencies, individual attributes, leadership outcomes, career expecta- tions and environmental influences. Person-centered Theories of Leadership 17
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There is some disagreement as to whether this should be seen as a separate model (Northouse, 2007) or as an offshoot of an existing one (Yukl, 2010). In any case, skills theory emphasizes the importance of context and places learned skills, rather than inborn traits, at the center of effective leadership. It is similar to trait theory in that both theories focus on leaders' core attributes, but both also face difficulties in assem- bling universal lists of leadership attributes that are applicable across dissimilar situa- tions. Although trait theory and skills-based approaches are still supported by some scholars, most leadership theory has moved away from a focus on the traits and abil- ities of leaders to more nuanced explorations of leadership as a relationship between leaders and followers. 3 Research on Leadership Styles In contrast to the theories described above, which focus on the traits and abilities of the leader, the following models emphasize how leaders actually behave. These ap- proaches assume that the most effective leadership style will be determined by the sit- uation, rejecting the notion that a single catalogue of traits or skills can be successful in dissimilar situations. These researchers also consider the interactions between leaders and followers in determining the styles most effective for working within par- ticular contexts. Style theory Style theorists generally identify two main categories of leadership behavior: task be- haviors and relationship behaviors. Task behaviors provide structure, define roles and help a group achieve its goals. Relationship behaviors facilitate harmonious group
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  • Summer '14
  • Thielmann
  • Center for Public Leadership, Holistic and Adaptive Leadership

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