With this definition, the importance of leadership in business can be fully understood if it is applied to the leadership qualities exhibited and promoted by Jack Welch during his tenure at GE. His leadership has been credited as one of the primary reasons which took GE from a company that was in financial trouble and losing investor confidence to the position of the most admired and respected company in the world (Colvin, 2005).
Welch (2005) outlined his own theory of leadership which agrees to a large extent with the trait theory and he comes across quite clearly in terms of his leadership ideal when he gives the eight rules of leadership in his book titled Winning. These rules cover a lot of areas in terms of how leadership should be maintained by an individual but the basic tenants of leadership come with a connection towards doing what is right and having the courage to make changes when a change seems impossible.
These rules can be studied in the light of leadership theories and a final analysis can be made as to which are the exact ideals of leadership which one can believe in and apply in real life. The eight primary rules as suggested by Welch (2005) are:
With these rules in mind, two theories of leadership can be applied to the style used by Welch and these are the trait theories set and the situational theories of leadership. Gardner (1995) presents us with several ideas which leaders can use to change their leadership styles or how they can balance the styles depending on the situation. The idea of leadership traits can come with several stereotypes or ideas that some people are born leaders, but leadership skills can also be taught to people although the right personality always helps (Welch, 2005).
For example, when we consider the third rule given by Welch which states that leaders must give out and infect others with positive energy and optimistic views about situations. That is a key pointer towards the fact that Jack Welch .considers the majority of leadership skills to come from the trait theory than any other applicable theory. .