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Author - Timerbaeva Viktoriya Radionovna


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Organisation: Pavlodar State University (PSU), Kazakhstan (Third year Bachelor of Psychology Programme)


As a definition, the person who heads up any group or organisation is called the leader: he/she has authority and influence on the surrounding people.  The successful leader usually possesses charisma and internal qualities such as intelligence which attract followers.  The successful leader usually has a strong character and firmness of belief. He/she keeps their word and behaves as gurus to the followers.  If he/she doesn't keep promises made, or doesn't execute them, then this undermines his/her authority.

Psychology offers sets of theories of leadership and points of view about the leader, especially about the core of his/her influence over other people.  Each theory has a description of this or that style of leadership.  The leader by nature can be a leader from birth, or can be created in the course of life in communication with people.  Leadership skills can also be formed during the course of education and formation, and can be either "muffled" or nurtured by the society in which they operate.

"Leadership is an art to induce people to do what is necessary for you, and to do it with desire", D. Eisenhower

Part 1: Leadership theories

There are considerable research publications about leadership as a phenomenon, such as those about:

    a) Theories of personal traits and value
    b) Behavioural approaches
    c) Situational theories of leadership.

Let's consider leadership theories from the point of view of different authors.

According to Uorenn Bennis, the leader has qualities such as:  directional vision; passion; integrity of personality; trust; inquisitiveness; boldness.

From the point of view of Bart Nanusa, the following characteristics are inherent in the leader:  insight; art of implementation of changes; ability to create the organization; high honesty and integrity of character; initiative; perfect understanding of interdependence; ability to benefit from advancing training.

A well-known expert in the field of leadership theory, Stephen Kovi, marked out seven skills or behaviours of the leader:  continuous training; focus on service; radiation of positive energy; belief in other people; the counterbalanced way of life; perception of life as an adventure; aspiration to synergetic occupations by physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual updating.

Leadership as a situational phenomenon, according to A. Bevelas shows the following principles:

a)similarity between organisational structures testifying to a set of qualities of the leader who in these conditions can act in his/her role;
b)the uniqueness of any separately considered organisational structure compels us to consider the situational factors influencing the behavior of the leader;
c)in cases of change of a situation it is impossible to define what qualities of the leader will be optimum.

The most popular today is the situational theory of leadership offered by R. House and G. Mitchel.  This theory considers the ability of the person to distribute rewards among subordinates depending on the results of their activity.  According to this theory, the leader has to show the following behavior:

    a)he/she always has to show how results of the work of subordinates are connected with their official purpose;
    b)they have to dispense material rewards to subordinates for displaying desired features;
    c)it is necessary to set the purposes before subordinates and to point to communication of achievement of these purposes and accurate consequences;
    d)the leader always has to help the subordinate in achievement of the leader’s own purposes;
    e)he/she passes on his/her personal experience to the subordinates.



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