leadership theoriesLeadership experts are developing new styles and theories at a break-neck pace. They claim these new insights into human nature can make the difference between successful leadership and failure. These so-called experts are only half right. Effective leadership is the key to success but their new insights are not really that new. Many of these self-pronounced experts are simply rehashing the lessons managers have learned through centuries of commercial interaction. In short, they are putting a new spin on old material.

Leadership is a natural quality that very few people possess. Natural leaders can use this ability more effectively by learning the different leadership theories and how they apply in different circumstances. People that do not naturally possess leadership can become adequate leaders through diligent training. There are two basic categories that all leadership theories fall into. While there may be slight differences between the hundreds of styles self-pronounced experts are promoting, they all fall into one of these two categories.

1. Trait Theory

There are certain characteristics that an effective leader must have. Trait theory attempts to identify and define these characteristics. Leadership characteristics are core values and behaviors that can be observed by other people. They easily translate into action. There is no exhaustive list of leadership characteristics. Some businesses prefer certain traits over others. Here are a few examples of identified traits:

Taking an online course can help you develop your leadership characteristics.

2. Behavior Theory

Effective leaders should be able to change their outward behavior depending on the situation. Understanding the situation is critical when developing solutions or dealing with employees. While this theory does not focus on leadership traits, it does require certain traits in order apply changes to behavior. Taking an online course can help you develop effective leadership habits.

There are four behavioral leadership categories:

Effective leadership is a commodity that is in short supply. Training yourself to become a more effective leader will open up many career opportunities.  You can be begin your leadership journey with Jack Welch’s Leadership in Action course.

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