Concept and Practice of Leadership Changing Today


Concept and Practice of Leadership in a Changing Environment and world cannot be over emphasized. Here is all you need to know.

Concept and Practice of Leadership

There is a wide and ever growing variety of theories that explain the concept and practice of leadership. Most theories view leadership as grounded in one or more of the following three perspectives. Leadership as a process or relationship, Leadership as certain behaviors, or as they are more commonly referred to, leadership skills. Leadership is an important aspect of management. The essence of leadership is follower ship, in other words there can be no leadership without follower ship.

In educational institutions, there must be a force to manage both the human and material resources towards achieving educational goal.
A force is needed in schools to guide the activities of teaching, non-teaching staff and students towards achievement of the institutional goals. Leadership provides the needed force. At the primary and secondary levels of education, the force is provided by the headmaster/headmistress and principal while it is provided by provosts, rectors and vice-chancellors in the colleges and schools.


Oxford advanced learner’s (seventh edition) defines.
Leadership as the state or position of being a leader. The ability to be a leader, the ability to be leader or the qualities a good leader should have.

Army (1973) defines leadership as a means of getting people to do what you want them to do.

Edgar f. use (1982) opines that leader is the ability to persuade others to do something.

Ugwu (2003) defined leadership as “The activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objective. Knotz and Donell, also in Ugwu (2003), saw “leadership as influence people to follow in the achievement of a common goal”.

Enanastor et, al defined concept and practice of leadership in the following ways;

a.    Challenge for people to work towards an ever expanding vision of excellence in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.

b.    Creative talents and skills of each person are used to best advantage.
Leadership is a process that involves influence with a group of people toward the realization of goals. Leadership is dynamic and complex process, and much of what is written these days tends to over-simplify this process.

Therefore from the above definitions, the role of a leader is to identify and initiate any ideas, acts and efforts which will facilitate the achievement of the goals and objectives of the organization.


Theories are perspectives with which people make sense of their world experience.
Longman dictionary of contemporary English (2003) defines “Theory as a statement or group of statements facts, intended to explain a particular fact or event; explanation for which certain proof is till needed but which appears to be reasonable.”

Theory may be seen as a representative of reality but should but be confused with reality itself. For instance, Darwin’s theories of evolution stated that man and monkey are descended from the same ancient animal. Darwin arrived at the theory by reasoned argument based on known fact but certain proof is still needed in order to establish whether or not this is a reality.

On the other hand, leadership theory is seen as a search for fundamental relationship, a search for basic techniques, and a search for organization of available knowledge, all based on clear concept. It focuses on the total organization and attempts to develop principles that will direct leaders to more efficient activities.

This theory states that a leader’s effectiveness is contingent on how well the leader’s style matches a specific setting or situation. And how, you may ask, is this different from situational theory?

In situational the focuses is on adapting to the situation, whereas contingency states that effective leadership depends on the degree of fit between a leader’s qualities and style and that of a specific situation or context.

This theory is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish identified objective.
It postulates that effective leaders have the ability to improve the motivation of followers by clarifying the paths and removing obstacles to high performance and desired objectives. The underlying beliefs of path-goal theory (grounded in expectancy theory) are that people will be more focused and motivated if they believe their effort will result in desired out comes, and believe their work is worthwhile.

This theory states that leadership is the process by which a person engages with others and is able to create a connection that results in increased motivation and morality in both followers and leaders. It is often likened to the theory of charismatic leadership that espouses that leaders with certain qualities such as confidence, extroversion and clearly stated values, are best able to motivate followers. The key in trans-attentive to the needs and motives of followers in an attempt to help them reach their maximum potential.

In addition, transformational leadership typically describes how leaders can initiate, develop, and implement important changes in an organization. This theory is often discussed in contrast with transactional leadership.

This is theory that focuses on the exchange that take place between leaders and follower.
It is based in the notion that a leader’s job is to create structures that make it abundantly clear what is expected of his/her followers and also the consequences (i.e rewards and punishments) for meeting or not meeting these expectation.

This theory is often likened to the concept and an extremely common component of many leadership models and organizational structures.

This conceptualization of leadership reflects a philosophy that leaders should be servants first. It suggests that leaders must place the needs of followers, customers, and the community a head of their own interests in order to be effective.

The idea of servant leadership has a significant amount of popularity within leadership circles- but it is difficult to describe it as a theory inasmuch as a set of beliefs and values that leaders are encouraged to embrace.

I have a comment toward trait, skills and transformational theories. I am a minister of the Gospel and there is no doubt in my mind that people are born with certain qualities. But I am equally sure innate traits inevitably become fully interwoven with a person’s acquired knowledge and skills. And I lean toward transformational theory because of how it views the practice of leadership as, more than anything else, relational interaction.

So how can these theories apply to one’s work? Well, in my work, if I am asked to help an organization select a leader through an assessment process, some of the theories become readily apparent. To start, it is important that the first step in the assessment is meeting in which the client clarifies the qualities needed for the specific role and paint a picture for me of the organizational culture. By doing this I am able to be look for those qualities, skills. Knowledge, to assure finding someone that is a good fit for the job and the culture (contingency theory).

The assessment process includes tools to measure personality, cognitive abilities, and drive (trait theory), adaptability (situational theory), and sociability (transformational theory). It also involves through interviews and work simulations, an evaluation of a person’s work-related skills and knowledge of the business (skills theory).