Traits, Behavioral, and Other Leadership Theories


The behavioral leadership model, also known as the style theory, is majorly focused on the way leaders behave. Based on this approach, the key features of headship can be copied from other leaders. The model suggests that people are not born perfect leaders; however, through learning different styles, they have the chance to become successful front-runners. In general, the behavioral aspect is tied to a person’s actions that define their ability to be the head (Dugan, 2017). In most cases, the behaviors can be categorized into tasks; this involves organizing, clarifying, and monitoring performance. Relational; having supportive features, employee orientation, and concern for juniors within the workplace. Lastly, it can be grouped as change-oriented, which entails encouraging people, facilitating implementation, setting a vision, addressing challenges, and pursuing opportunities that will benefit the entire organization. These various aspects elaborate on how the leadership correlates with acts of an individual towards the headship.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The behavioral leadership theory has many advantages that make it a suitable approach to comprehending and developing headship abilities. For instance, it allows leaders to learn and implement different behaviors they want to apply in their actions. People have the mandate to develop the traits they feel suit their interests as a front-runner through the process. Furthermore, based on the model, leaders can be flexible since they can learn depending on their situation. The approach provides an opportunity for any person who is able and willing to become a leader by acquiring the skills. Despite the significance of the theory, it faces several shortcomings, such as the failure to suggest how people should behave in different circumstances encountered. Moreover, the learning process may take time for individuals to obtain the necessary knowledge to guide their behavior. In addition, the decision of leaders may be impacted by the level of biasness.

Applications of the Theory

Following the significance of the style leadership approach, the model is suitable in areas that involve high task performance and where employees require motivation and consideration of their concerns to boost their operations. Therefore, the theory is applicable in hospitals where the nurse managers oversee different activities performed by the nurses and encourage them to effectively and efficiently conduct their duties. Since there are various roles, it will be easier for the leader to manage them by applying the behavioral leadership approach. Furthermore, the technique creates leaders with the ability to care about their juniors which is necessary for nurse administrators. In most cases, the care providers face difficult situations and high levels of burnout; hence they require a front-runner who can express their concerns. This will make them motivated to undertake their daily tasks accordingly. Due to the ability to learn based on the condition, the model can enable leaders to adapt to any situation.

Situational Leadership Theory

Situational leadership, which is called the contingency theory, is an approach that focuses on the context of leaders. The model examines the situational effects on the failure or success. Based on the concept, the effectiveness of a given front-runner is determined by the intensity and nature of the circumstance. In this model, the personal traits of the leader have an insignificant effect on the person. Using the approach, the style allows managers to adjust their flairs according to the faced scenario. It is referred to as contingency theory because it analyzes ways of managing the situation at hand. Situational leadership provides the ability for leaders to find a suitable supervisor to handle a specific condition. Therefore, the model suggests that to become a fundamental leader, an individual should have the competency of understanding the situation, thus offering an immediate and appropriate solution. It focuses on both the people-oriented against task-oriented scale.

The situational leadership approach portrays several advantages that make it suitable for application in different contexts. The theory suggests that leaders have the potential to be effective despite the context of their circumstances. Similarly, it is an easily adaptable approach because front-runners can choose the style that fits their situation. Therefore, they find it appropriate to apply the technique they understand best, producing a positive outcome. In addition, it enables leaders to address the specific challenges employees are encountering at the individual level, thus promoting effective leadership (McCleskey, 2014). However, the theory exhibits some challenges that make it less practical in various settings. For example, the need to address the changing needs of workers in an organization may prompt the leader to change the approach frequently, which can confuse the subjects. Moreover, the model relies on the ability of the manager to make a judgment concerning the situation, which can be influenced by personal biasness.

Therefore, the situational leaders explore the correlation between task and behavior; it is suitable for managers working in manufacturing plants. Furthermore, the approach can be used by football coaches to enhance their management. The theory suits the areas since it allows for assessing the growth and development of followers. In most cases, situational leaders have the ability to evaluate the progress of each individual to establish weaknesses that require improvement. It is necessary for the front-runner to identify the appropriate styles that will match the needs of developing the followers. Managers in manufacturing companies are tasked with the mandate to direct employees on what they are supposed to do while providing frequent feedback. Moreover, they offer coaching services and other relevant support to enable them to engage employees actively in the production process. Based on the approach, workers should develop the ability to handle the challenges following the support received from leaders.

Path-Goal Leadership Theory

The path-goal leadership theory is a concept that significantly emphasizes the production and effectiveness of the headship process. Based on the approach, there is no right way leaders can manage to lead and give total attention to various influences that originates from the employees and other factors that shapes leadership outcome. The examination is aimed at determining the role of motivation in the well-being of workers (Dugan, 2017). The philosophy argues that the conduct of front-runners must meet the demands of subordinates in an organization. Path-goal suggests that managers’ abilities should complement the possible deficiencies to enhance the crew members’ level of satisfaction and overall performance. The theory considers employees’ efforts towards attaining the set goals, which the leaders reward to motivate workers. It is applicable in task-oriented environments such as supermarkets, where managers have the duty to ensure staff members meet the objectives through engaging in effective production processes.

The path-goal leadership theory provides significant arguments concerning management. Based on the style, there is no single approach that the supervisor can use and assume is the right criteria. In other words, it indicates that leaders lack the universal technique to manage the employees, thus giving room to explore relevant possibilities that might match the needs and expectations of workers and managers, respectively. Furthermore, the concept considers the impacts front-runners’ behaviors have on the development of followers. On the other hand, the theory exhibits limitations such as failure to address the personal development of leaders. Generally, for supervisors to remain practical and rational, they should have some aspects of growth. In addition, the approach is solely focused on the employees and their motivations ignoring the influence workers have on changing the perspective of their leaders. The model is linked to some possible alterations based on its foundation, which can make it less practical.

The Trait Leadership Theory

The trait leadership approach, which is known as the Great Man Theory, suggests that leaders are born. According to the philosophy, to possess the qualities of a good leader, an individual must inherit them. In other words, the trait model dismisses the idea of learning skills of leadership. Therefore, it implies that individuals, irrespective of the level of learning and training, cannot have the required innate feature to become the right front-runner (Safonov et al., 2018). People who have the bears the trait theory are capable of articulating the visions that can drive them and their followers towards success. The headship approach can be applied in the management of complex organizations whereby the director requires effective control over the various departments. The unique features would allow such individuals to be able to manipulate the employees hence increasing their commitments. Furthermore, it facilitates the ability of the leader to determine and evaluate the position they have within the system.

Strengths and Weakness

The trait theory is significant in a number of ways. For instance, it does not require much effort to become a leader since the skills and qualities are inborn. In other words, an individual does not need to pursue courses to learn different styles to become a supervisor. Similarly, it allows the managers to have the ease of assessing their management skills within the organization. In addition, the approach facilitates the ability to distinguish between the observable behaviors portrayed by the leaders. Despite its strengths, the trait model encounters a number of shortcomings, such as the inability to separate traits depending on the faced condition. In most cases, leaders are required to solve different situations that might force them to use varied skills. When they apply the standard technique, they might fail to provide an effective outcome. Moreover, other factors influence the personality of a leader, not only the traits.

The Skills Theory of Leadership

Generally, effective leadership promotes the overall growth and development of an organization. The skills leadership approach enables easy identification of essential abilities that define a productive leader. The model is important in promoting the development of a suitable supervisor for the company. It does not focus on the personality of the front-runner but instead on the acquired skills (Johnson, 2019). An individual might opt to learn the competencies through different training programs to equip them with the necessary capabilities. The skills concept is useful since it allows leaders to have the required expertise to manage and solve technical, human, and conceptual problems that might arise within the working environment. Based on the effectiveness of the skills theory, the model can be used in school settings whereby the principals are managing different situations calling for the ability to make decisions. Furthermore, it provides administrators with the capability of communicating and listening to the students.


The skills theory of leaders exhibits various strengths that make it effective in managing organizations and people. First, the approach focus on the learnable skills, which makes it inclusive since any person can choose to obtain the competencies. Furthermore, it allows institutions to have the right leaders because it explains the specific skills that can be used to assess the potential of the candidate. Based on the philosophy, an individual has the ability to balance the sets of skills instead of focusing on a limited number. These aspects provide added advantages, especially when dealing with different situations. However, despite the effectiveness of the skills theory of leadership in developing good leaders, it faces several limitations, such as its inability to predict the value of performance. It is extensive hence making it challenging to emphasize developing the front-runner. Lastly, it entails varied skills, thus making it difficult to follow the progress.

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