Journal Report: Specific Ideas Gained About Leadership Paper Example

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1774 Words
Date:  2022-11-06


Leadership can be defined as a process that resides within the leaders. It involves influencing the followers to accomplish a given common goal. Thus leadership occurs in groups. After leading the assigned sources, I have gotten an insight to help me understand myself better. More specifically, the book titled Leadership Theory and Practice by Peter Northouse was much useful in acquiring a better understanding of leadership and its application in real-life situations. I was also capable of relating the leadership concepts to practical experience as well as developing my skills to become a successful leader in the future. This journal report will provide a brief analysis of the different sources analyzed in the course of the week. I have come to realize that leadership is a process at not a trait or characteristics. However, a successful leader has distinct characteristics that differentiate themselves from others. My leadership ideas have changed significantly due to the knowledge gained from the readings. These were much essential in the development of my leadership capabilities.

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Specific Ideas Gained About Leadership

The reading from chapter two of the book by Nothouse (2016) discusses leadership trait approach. It was brought out that traits are highly associated with an individual's perception of leadership. The reading reveals that effective leaders can be differentiated from non-effective leaders through the trait approach. The leading elaborated more about the great person theories which are highly applicable in identifying effective leaders in a given group of people. According to Northouse (2016), great leaders are observable from the traits which define their behavior in influencing others. Great man theories focus on identification of the innate qualities processed by the leaders. Most researchers have argued that leadership traits are inborn and they cannot be acquired through formal education. The reading was much helpful as it helped me in understanding the distinction between leadership and managers. It is argued that leaders are born while managers are made. Active managers are identified with their qualifications and managerial skills while the individuals' personalities or behavior merely define effective leaders.

The trait approach differentiates the great people in a social situation. It is one of the systematic attempts of studying leadership. However, the research conducted by Stogdill showed that possession of the leadership traits does not solely make individuals be effective leaders, but the relevance to the situation also matters. Some of the noted qualities that make one a successful leader may include intelligence, Self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability. The intelligence of the leaders is defined by their perceptional, verbal and reasoning capabilities which are essential in influencing others for the accomplishment of a common goal (Northouse, 2016). Effective leaders must also portray a trait of self-confidence which is essential in making them certain of their competencies and skill as leaders. They also ought to have a great desire to get the task done as defined in the determination trait.

Another element addressed is known as integrity and it refers to the extent of honesty and trustworthiness of the person. People with a strong sense of integrity are capable of inspiring confidence in their followers because they are trusted that they cannot mislead others. Such leaders are considered dependable, loyal and leading by example. Lastly, Stogdill described leaders to be associated with the trait of sociability. This involves the potential to interact with others. Effective leaders must be able to build a harmonious social relationship with their followers and other stakeholders. The reading has also described the big five personality factors that are necessary for making successful leaders. The resource was of much help in creating a new perspective on the selection criteria used in an organizational set-up when identifying leaders.

In chapter three of Northouse's book, more insight was created on the vital essential skills that are required for effective leaders. Leaders are also classified by their ability to use their knowledge and competencies in accomplishing a set of goals and objectives. The management ought to align the individual goals with those of the organization. Understanding leadership skills is a field of study that attracts the interest of various researchers (Northouse, 2016). One of the significant studies in this area is the article published by Robert Katz titled "Skills of an effective administrator." The material explores some of the developable skills that make up a successful leader. The chapter was much helpful in helping me have a clear understanding of the application of traits and potentials in developing one's leadership capabilities. As an upcoming leader, I can now afford to relate my characters with the skills acquires for solving a problem in a given situation.

Also, chapter seven is based on the leadership exchange theory, and I found it more relevant in preparing one to become an effective leader. The leader-member exchange (LMX) theory helped me in understanding the benefits of creating centered interactions with the followers. Leaders should have their ways of interrelating with other members in an organization for successful implementation of the roles. The leadership style adopted is much relevant in defining the relationship between the leader and the followers. Rugman & Collinson (2012) connoted that charismatic and democratic leaders are known to have strong positive relationships with their followers, and they are more likely to be heard and accepted.

Just like any other profession, leadership is highly regulated by ethical practices. Chapter thirteen of the assigned reading from Northouse's book explains more about leadership ethics. Good leaders are defined with their code of conduct. Ethics can be described as morally acceptable behavior. It is concerned with morals and values on the leader. Followers are much focused on the ethics of their leaders. From the Western tradition, the ethical theory has been backdated to the philosophical viewpoint of Plato and Aristotle, and the term was coined from a Greek word ethos which means conduct, custom or character (Northouse, 2016). It provides us with criteria of distinguishing between what is right or wrong. In the leadership context, ethics is concerned with what leaders do and who they are. The decision making in the organizational setting involves ethical issues. The reading was much essential in developing my leadership capabilities about professional ethics and code of conduct.

The other topic covered is on gender and leadership. Gender-based discriminations have become much common in today's business environment. This is because of traditional belief which provides that women cannot lead. Men have dominated senior positions in most of the organizational setting (Northouse, 2016). This was a similar observation I have made in the organization where I am currently working. The highest percentage of the top leaders comprise of the male. Labor unions have also established movements to demand gender equality through affirmative actions. The reading has helped me in understanding the theoretical explanation of the reason why women are underrepresented in most of the leadership roles.

The chapter explores the persisting gender gap in the leadership. However, recent statistics have shown that the recent efforts to bridge the gap in gendered leadership have shown positive fruits as more women are now holding senior positions in the labor market. Females have also gotten adequate access to formal education contrary to what was in the tradition where they were denied right to formal education arguing that their major role is to stay at home, look after the children and perform other daily house chores.

Also, another reading by John Kotter was much vital in shaping my ideas and leadership behavior. The article is based on transformation efforts adopted by the leaders for the success of their business. The reading has proved that situational leadership is more superior in addressing the dynamics of the organizational setting. Cultural dynamics are inevitable in today's business environment. Leaders must be capable of adjusting to fit in the current needs of the group that they are leading (Kotter, 2007). Organizational changes are inevitable, and hence, it is essential for adopting strategies to mitigate the challenges imposed by such variations.

The reading creates insight into the various transformation efforts fails. Transformational leadership style has been described as the most effective for organizational success, and it is also more acceptable in today's business setting. Mumford et al. (2017) argue that change implementation is a step-by-step process which requires highly competent leaders for the accomplishment of the set goals and objectives. Therefore, the readings have helped me in understanding the challenges facing leaders while leading change and also learning about the establishment of appropriate measures to address change.

Practical Application of the Leadership Ideas Gained

The weekly readings have played a significant role in shaping my leadership capabilities. More specifically the book by Northouse had a significant impact on me as it explains the concept of leadership from a broad perspective. All the chapters assigned were much essential in developing leadership capabilities as well as understanding the context of leadership. For instance, by understanding the character traits of a good leader, I can now improve on my behavior for better improvement of the required leadership traits. I also developed a positive attitude towards leadership just like Popova (2012) argues that leadership is all about the individual's mindset. He stated that "if you imagine less, it is undoubtedly what you deserve" (p. 1). The same case applies to leadership, if one imagines that they cannot handle a given situation, they automatically fail. Northouse (2016) connoted that self-confidence is a key leadership trait that defines an effective leader. This is in line with the Popova's argument on leaders.

As a leader, I have been faced with several ethical dilemmas which had affected my decision-making process. For instance, it has not always been easy for selecting the most appropriate team members for a particular assignment due bias which is always inevitable in a rational human being. However, with the knowledge gained from the reading in chapter thirteen of the book titled Leadership Theory and Practice, I now believe that my behavior will have to change for better performance as a leader. Applying leadership ethics will also help me in doing what is expected from me for a better relationship with my followers. I would recommend they readings to any upcoming leaders as they are helpful in their career.


Kotter, J. (2007). Leading change: why transformation efforts fail. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 37(3), 96-103. doi: 10.1109/emr.2009.5235501

Moss Kanter, R. (2012). The challenges of leadership. Strategic Direction, 20(6), 1-10. doi: 10.1108/02580540410533190

Mumford, M., Todd, E., Higgs, C., & McIntosh, T. (2017). Cognitive skills and leadership performance: The nine critical skills. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 24-39. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2016.10.012

Northouse, G. (2016). Leadership Theory and Practice. London: Sage Publication Ltd.

Popova, M. (2012). Fixed vs Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. Retrieved from

Rugman, A., & Collinson, S. (2012). International Business. Harlo...

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