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Leadership Effectiveness and Elements of a Good Leader

What is the importance of understanding the elements or factors that make a good leader? How do the approaches that you have covered seek to explain what comprises effective leadership? Give some examples.

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A) What is the importance of understanding the elements or factors that make a good leader?

This is a difficult question as it is greatly subjective. Everyone has his/her own idea on what comprises an effective leader and each offer a different proposal on effective leadership. So, there is no one theory the gives the definitive example of what elements make a leader effective, successful, or simply a "good" leader and why recognizing the leadership factor is important. Let me provide you with a little information on different leadership theories as a background and then I will give you my opinion on what a good leader looks like and why I believe it is important to understand factors that make good leaders. Below is an excerpt on leadership theory from a graduate paper I did. It provides a good synopsis of the basics of leadership theory. This will help cover question 'B' as well. It explains different approaches and how the approaches attempted to explain the leadership phenomenon.

Paper Excerpt Beginning

"Research in the field of leadership has followed a variety of approaches. According to Yukl (2006) leadership theories and research has covered areas including the trait approach, the behavior approach, the power-influence approach, the situational approach, and the integrative approach. The trait approach was one of the earliest theories proposed to explain leadership. Effective leaders were supposed to have specific traits, although the research failed to provide evidence of precise characteristics that predicted leadership success. This approach suggested that some individuals are naturally inclined to lead (Yukl, 2006).

The behavior approach to leadership study was another more traditional method of attempting to explain the mystery of leadership. This era of leadership research was punctuated by studies of how managers spent their time, how they interacted with followers, and how they dealt with various job inconsistencies (Avolio et al., 2009; Yukl, 2006). The behavioral approach attempted to determine how effective leaders behave as they maneuver their way through the work environment. Still, this approach did not adequately answer all the complexities of the leadership question.
Since leadership can be best explained, at least within the organizational setting, as an attempt to influence others' ...

Solution Summary

This solution offers a discussion on elements that make a leader effective.