Chapter 7 Leadership Theory



The primary traits that are the best predictors of managerial performance and advancement are energy level and stress tolerance, self-confidence,internal locus of control, emotional stability and maturity, personal integrity, power motivation, achievement orientation and need for affiliation. Energy level and stress tolerance are needed for managers to better handle the high pace and extensive hours of most managerial positions. This way they can better cope with problems that arise, either with a subordinate, peer, or client. The ability to handle stress will keep them calmer and allow them to make the right decisions and remain confident. In this stress handling, self-confidence plays a key role for managers, as they need this trait to be able to achieve higher levels of management, because they set higher bars for themselves to meet by taking on the difficult jobs and challenging themselves to succeed. With many people in a managerial position, their self-confidence tends to lend itself to their internal locus of control. People that have this internal locus of control are more driven, as they believe that they are the primary influence in their own destiny, not chance or fate. They tend to be more confident, flexible and have more ingenuity than others. They take responsibility for their own actions and the actions of their team. Managers that have emotional stability and maturity in general do not suffer from psychological problems. They are less self-centered, and show a higher reception to criticism, are more caring about others and are less impulsive. A good manager also has personal integrity. They are more honest, ethical and receive more trust from others. They fulfill their responsibilities, maintain their loyalty to their subordinates and keep their promises. Managers with high personal integrity also take responsibility for themselves and their actions, good or bad and keep words exchanged in confidence. An individual that is motivated by power have the drive necessary to fill the requirements of a managerial role better than individuals that do not. they seek out these positions, and tend to be higher tuned in to politics of the organization that they are working in. they have more assertiveness, higher ability to negotiate and enforce disciplinary actions. They have the related attitudes within achievement orientation, which include the drive to succeed, desire to achieve goals, assume responsible roles and have concern for objectives within a given task. Finally, people in a managerial role have a strong need for affiliation. This gives the individual great pleasure in being liked and accepted by others, which is motivating for them. 2. It is possible to have too much self-confidence, emotional stability, power motivation and achievement orientation. If someone has too much self-confidence in a managerial position, they may become too optimistic, losing touch with reality by making rash decisions. They may become arrogant, intolerant, unresponsive to others and tyrannical in their leadership. If their emotional stability is in disarray, they can develop narcissistic behaviors that are highly detrimental. This coincides with power motivation, as their need for power and lack of self-control cause indifference, self-deception and sees themselves as indispensable. They tend to fantasize about their success, have an over-exaggerated sense of self, manipulate and exploit others and refuse to take responsibility. They also exercise their power on impulse and demonstrate their notion of superiority over their subordinates to make them feel inadequate. 3. Considering trait patterns advances understanding because although there are traits in people that are of high regard in managerial roles, there is too much of a good thing in certain cases. It is not a prerequisite for someone to be a great manager that they must have every singular managerial trait for them to succeed. It involves their personal selves more so than it does others. Although these traits are an asset, they can be learned. 4. Managerial motivation is related to their effectiveness and advancement through their skill sets. Managers that have high levels of technical, conceptual and interpersonal skills generally advance further than those that do not. A manager that has technical skills is an asset to the company because they have specialized knowledge of the processes, methods and equipment used within their unit or team. They have extensive knowledge of the rules, management system, structure of the company, the corporation’s technical specifications, strengths and weaknesses and know the other employees’ characteristics. Those that have high conceptual skill have foresight, are creative, have good judgment, are intuitive and have higher levels of analytical ability. Within these abilities are interpersonal relations. These managers understand human behavior better than others, and understand what moves others within their team, what they feel and think and can communicate with their team members effectively. They can be charming, persuasive, and empathetic and can communicate with people on their level. They are also more likely to have high power motivation, and use it to build esteem in their subordinate’s and organization. 5. The major reasons that managers could derail in their careers are lack of emotional stability, defensiveness, lack of integrity, lack of interpersonal skills and their technical and cognitive skill level. These derailed managers likely were unable to handle the high level of pressure, thus becoming moody, angry and undermining their relationships. They became defensive about their failure, instead of taking their lumps they blamed others or tried to cover it up. They lost their integrity by being too motivated to advance by betrayal rather than honesty. In general, these derailed managers also had weak interpersonal skills, commonly insensitivity, as well as inconsideration, selfishness and manipulation. Although their technical and cognitive skills may have helped them to achieve a high level of management, they often derailed because this caused them to become overconfident and arrogant. They would reject advice, act superior to others and micromanage others. In some cases, this type of derailment was caused by the manager rising in the ranks too quickly to learn the new skills they needed to function at this higher level.