Characteristics of a Successful Leader:

(1) Adaptable to situations

(2) Alert towards the social environment

(3) Cooperative


(4) Decisive

(5) Dependable

(6) Assertive

(7) Persistent and self-confident


(8) Knowledgeable.

Leadership cannot survive without followership. It is willingness of people to follow that makes a person leader. The personality characteristics of the leaders are different than other people.

For better understanding it can be divided into the following categories:

(1) Needs/motives: The leaders like


(i) Power

(ii) Achievements ambitious.

(2) Temperament: The leaders are found to be

(i) Emotionally even and stable.


(ii) Optimistic

(3) Cognitive Orientation:

(i) They are intelligent and analytically strong.

(ii) They have good intuitive power.


(4) Interpersonal Relations:

(i)The leaders are good at developing relationship with people.

(ii)The leaders can relate to people easily.

(iii) The leaders have cooperative relations with people.


Behaviour of leadership can be divided into three categories:

(1) Task Performance Behaviour:

This refers to the things that die leader does to ensure that the group achieves its goal.

(2) Participation in Decision-making:

The successful leader understands that employers want to participate in decision-making. It depends on die leader on where and how to let others take part in decision-making.

(3) Group Maintenance Behaviour:

This leadership is often known as concern for people. The leader here ensures the social stability of the group and maximizes the satisfaction of the members.

Traditional and Modern Styles of Leadership

Traditional Style: Previously the leadership styles are:

(1) Democratic Leadership:

This type of leadership draws strength from the group as a whole. The group follows a democratic philosophy and the dignity of each member is respected. Individual contributions are incorporated. It stresses upon the personality of die individual as the ultimate set of values.

(2) Authoritarian Leadership:

The leader exercises more of less absolute power and determines the policies of the group. The shaping of the goals and aspirations is done by the leader. They say of the leader in matters may be final. It is one-sided and arbitrary at times.

(3) Laissez-faire Leadership:

In this style of leadership the leader is only a stimulator and provides materials and information. It involves everyone in the group task. There is more feeling of unity in the group, but there is no precision in activity and time is last.

Modern Styles: The above leadership styles are as under:

(1) Autocratic Leader:

An autocratic leader commands and expects followership. The leader leads by the ability to withhold or give rewards and punishments. This style of leadership can be well understood with the example of Hitler.

(2) Participative Leader:

The leader consults the group on proposed actions and decisions. The leader also encourages participation from the group.

(3) Free Reign Leadership:

In this style of leadership uses very little power giving the followers independence.

Transformational Leader:

Transformational leadership is defined as leadership that goes beyond normal expectations by inspiring new ways of thinking. They are sometimes called as super leaders. Transformational type of leadership occurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, generate awareness and accept the purpose and mission of the group.

Characteristics of Transformational Leaders:

(1) Provides inspiration and communicated high performance expectations.

(2) Promotes learning and encourages rationality.

(3) Give equal personal treatment to each individual.

(4) Provide the group with a vision and sense of mission.

Charismatic Leader:

Sometimes we are awarded by a leader and blindly follow the person. We are influenced by their personal charm. These types of leaders are known as charismatic leaders.

Charisma is a mysterious human quality which inspires followers to follow the leader without any question. It is an individual characteristic. The charismatic leaders have the ability to carry the masses with them and have a great deal of emotional appeal. These leaders are considered to have some power. Our Indian history is also full of examples of charismatic leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Vivekananda etc.

Some characteristics of charismatic leaders are:

(1) Followers trust the correctness of the leader’s beliefs.

(2) Followers accept the leader unquestioningly.

(3) Followers obey the leader willingly.

(4) Followers beliefs are similar to the leaders.

Various Approaches to Leadership

(1) The Great Man Approach:

This theory state that leaders are born not made. Leadership comprises a set of characteristics and a person having these characteristics would be a leader. A number of research studies were conducted. Some of the traits were identified on the basis of the physical structure, ability traits, social characteristics like cooperativeness, interpersonal skills. But not all leaders’ posses all the traits and many non-leaders may have all of them.

(2) Contingency Approaches to Leadership:

In this approach it is believed that leadership depends a lot upon the situation for example if India had not been ruled by the Britishers-many leaders would not have been identified or accepted. The people follow those whom they see a person leading to the accomplishment of the task.

According to the factor analysis done by die social psychologists two special factors were found as under:

(1) Consideration Factor:

It means that the leader is concerned about the other members of the group and encourages communication among the members.

(2) Initiative Structure:

In this structure the leader finds the communication sources and defines the working style and process. The leader tries to take the group close towards its goal. Generally task-orientation and initiative structure explains the work of leaders in the same way, and the style develops according to this.

(3) Situational Factors and Interactions Approach:

These factors also prove that communication is a very important factor. That is why the more a person can communicate independently, the more he has the chance of becoming a leader. Today near about all the psychologists accept that “Who will be the leader” depends upon the link between the characteristics, style and this situation.

The integrationist approach accepts that the success of leaders’ style depends upon the group structure, availability of resources, and quality of the group members.

The contingency theory is based upon four elements:

(1) Personality of the leaders

(2) Leader-coworker relations

(3) Task structure

(4) Authority.

The clubs, camps, groups and societies should be organized for maintaining the social health of children. There should be provision of small literary and social groups, screening of educational films, drama, clubs, Boy Scout groups, Girl Guide groups, camp fires etc. These things gave wholesome social diet for school children.