The topic of leadership has always been a broad field of study since the ages began. So many postulations have been made concerning the topic in various circles. There are lots of leadership theories which have been propounded by great minds in their bid to make the subject understandable. Basically, there are more than 8 major leadership theories that have been developed. Out of these 8 theories, 3 of them remain the most invaluable for anyone who really wants to succeed as a leader. Let’s examine them.
1. Behavioral Theory
This is a leadership theory that is based on the belief that leaders are made and not born. This theory is a direct opposite to the belief of the Great Man leadership theory which holds that leaders are born not made. If you want to succeed well as a leader, you have to believe in the behavioral theory since it lets you know that leaders are made and not born. You can become a greater leader if you care to take time to acquire the basic requirements needed. The behavioral theory is rooted in behaviorism. It focuses attention on the leaders’ actions and not on their mental qualities. By observation and adequate teaching process, you can learn to become a great leader. You only need to go into action to acquire the leadership traits needed.
2. Participative Theory
This leadership theory holds that the ideal leadership style is the one that accommodates the input of others around. To succeed well as a leader, you have to allow those under you to contribute. You’re not to lord it over all as dictator. You have to carry your subjects along by listening to their opinions and using some of them especially when it comes to decision making. The theory maintains that, leaders can succeed easily when they allow their subject to make useful contributions. This is very true. You can easily succeed as a leader when you delegate duties to others and also carry them along by allowing them to have a say under your leadership.
3. Contingency Theory
This leadership theory maintains that no leadership style is best in all situations. It states that true success in leadership depends on a number of variables such as the quality of the followers, the given condition, and the leadership style and so on. The environment also plays a vital role in defining the leadership style to be used. To succeed as leader, you have to put these variables into consideration.
Indeed, the above 3 leadership theories are the most invaluable you need to know in order to succeed as a leader. Other theories include the Great Man theory, trait theory, situational theory, management theory, relationship theory and some others. While Great Man and Trait theories focus on the idea that leaders are born not made, the other theories focus on given situation and variables that can influence leadership. Whichever is the case, it’s very important for future leaders to study these theories well in order to discover vital clues that can help them succeed well in their leadership careers.