APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP: The 5 Outstanding Forms of Leadership

(a.) Strengths and Weaknesses of the Behavioral Approach

The behavioral approaches to leadership states that human behavior is learned and therefore behavior can be unlearned at any time and replaced with different behavior. Behavioral theorists believe that a deeper understanding of people’s actions, motives and personality can facilitate increased productivity at work.

Approaches to Leadership

          One of the key strengths of the behavioral approach is that it utilizes scientific research methods. Therefore its results are assessable, quantifiable and observable.

The behavioral approach is a scientific method applies operant and classical conditioning and is highly effective in treating phobias.

          One of the weaknesses of the behavioral approach is that it concentrates too much on the nurture angle of the nature versus nurture debate. It proposes that all behavior is learned whereas genes and cognitive elements also play a significant role.

          The behavioral approaches to leadership has been criticized for its use of animals for experimentation purposes. Using animals for experiments is deemed to be cruel because they are not willing participants, cannot adequately express their discomfort and do not have the choice of withdrawing from the test. An example of a behaviorist experiment is the Pavlov conditioning where dogs were used to study where dogs were conditioned to expect food at the sound of a bell.

(b.) Strengths and Weaknesses of Situational Approaches to Leadership

          The situational approach is a leadership theory which states that a leadership approach is determined by a particular situation. There is no single leadership approach that can fit every situation. This argument was advanced by Henry and Blanchard in 1969.

          One of the strengths of the situational approach is that it is practical and can be used in different settings; at work, home or school. Secondly, it reminds leaders that they need to be flexible enough to adjust their leadership style to the needs of the organization and their teams.

          The situational approach is ambiguous; there is insufficient research done on how and where it should be applied and the results of its application. Additionally, it may cause confusion within the organization when the leader does not have a consistent approach to situations; this may even create fear and uncertainty among the subordinates. The situational approach can therefore only be used as a short-term leadership approach.

(c) Briefly explain how the psychodynamic approach differs from other leadership theories.

          The psychodynamic approach states that people gain their first experiences with approaches to leadership from birth and that this early experiences of leadership act as a basis for whether one will be a leader or follower in future. It is different from other approaches to leadership theories because it analyses leadership behavior from the perspective of past experiences, family background, feelings, and self-awareness. Unlike other leadership theories, it encourages leaders to understand the psychological makeup of their followers.

(d.) Briefly explain what Popov means by “fixed vs. growth: The Two Basic Mindsets that Shape our Lives.”

          According to Popoa, one’s mindset determines their attitude towards life and affects how much or little they can achieve. A fixed mindset wrongly believes that character, creativity, and intelligence occur naturally and cannot be changed. It perceives failure as a sign of lack of intelligence. A growth mindset, however, believes that character, creativity, and intelligence can be continuously developed. This mindset is positive towards difficult situations and thrives on challenges. It sees failure as a learning opportunity. Approaches to leadership

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