Leadership in Context
The qualities that make a good leader can depend on the situation or context. They can vary according to:
- The immediate situation (i.e. the leadership qualities required can change over a short time span)
- The leadership culture (i.e. what makes a good leader remains stable over time within an organisation).
War provides some of the clearest illustrations of how leadership qualities can change according to context. For example, Winston Churchill was in the political wilderness in the 1930s, adopted as Britain's leader during World War Two, but then voted out of office at the end of the war. There is also a war film that has often been used in leadership training: Twelve O'Clock High. It shows a WWII squadron initially failing under participative leadership and then being turned around through the introduction of executive leadership. The latter style is not inherently better, but better-suited to that context.
What makes a good leader in a business context can depend on the nature of the market. For example, a PR or marketing agency needs innovative, people-oriented leaders who are able to build relationships and stimulate creativity. However, a construction company needs leaders who can work to detailed specifications and take account of strict design, budget, safety, and legal constraints.
Next page: Your Leadership Profile
©2013 Team Technology. Further articles/resources that may be of interest include: Personality Test, Personality Type Descriptions, Myers Briggs overview, The Basics of Team Building, What Career is Right for Me?, and Career ideas.