You can’t be a leader without the right Essay

You can’t be a leader without the right

personal qualities; nothing else matters.


SHHREY SEHGAL (34890718)


The purpose of this essay is to discuss Grint’s perspective on “ person based” leadership

(Grint K 2005)and how its crucial to learn about personal qualities a leader should have .

But the question arises are the personal qualities are the only thing that leader should

have ? , the answer to this question is no ",according to Grint personal qualities play a

major role in making the person leader but there are other things that matter too, its

important to achieve results , be in that position where the leader has the power to

control situations and even the process or method used by the leader in particular

situation .Leadership is something concerned to directional setting with novelty and

linked to change . Grint’s other 3 perspectives ( process based leadership, result based

leadership and position based ) have a major impact on refining the definition leadership

because all of them are linked to each other. There are also some assumptions that

limits the contingency theory and utility that can be categorized as tame, wicked and

critical problems . it’s important to understand how good leadership can help in solving

and giving solution to these unseen problems with the power and control they have in

their hands.

According to Grint’s “person based leadership” perspective it is who you are that that

determines that you are leader or not , it is basically based on leaders character or

personality best example of this charismatic leaders (Grint K 2005). Charismatic

leadership is basically the method of encouraging particular behaviors in others by way of

eloquent communication, persuasion and force of personality , charismatic leaders are

always successful in making a great impression on their followers and motivating their

followers just like how ‘actors’ try to convince the ‘audience’ with their acting (Sharma

and Grant 2011). Lets take example of Adolf Hitler , he was not a very social person and

thus dint make any intimidate relationships with other people but he had that thing called

charisma in him , he was excellent speakers with great communication skills and he had

vision in his mind to accomplish the mission all these personal qualities made him a

perfect charismatic leader (Inge Romgens 2012). According Conger, J. And Kanungo model

which had 3 stages, environment assessment ",vision formulation and implementation

ability of leader . The results revealed the psychometric properties with adequate

reliability (varies from 0.88 to 0.91) and convergent and discriminant properties of

coefficients. Charisma (Conger, J. And Kanungo).person based leadership says that

humans do lead the task but identity change across the time , today person based relation

is useful because its is more based on emotional relationship whereas non human leaders

always fail because it cannot take the changes and adapt itself with the dynamic

environment (Grint k 2005). All the personal qualities are really important to become a

leader but personal qualities is not the only thing a leader needs.

The person based leadership theory of Grint is really important to understand to

become a leader , but the other perspective are equally important to understand the

definition of a leader .The distinction between Grint’s leadership ‘based on person’ and

leadership ‘based on process’ is the one that has developed in wider leadership

literature . This represents a significant change of leadership as noun leadership as

verb(Hosking 1988",Grint K 2005). While first perspective focusses on individuality

",personality ",skills and achievements the second focuses on how leadership happens as it

can also be defined as social process ",the leadership as verb perspective draws attention

to leadership as practice. that is situated, relational, and embedded in the everyday",

rather than in the extraordinary individual who occupies a rarefied position (Grint K


Another crucial Perspective of Grint is result based leadership theory. It is appropriate to

say that without results there is little support for leadership as results give power to

definition (Grint 2005).It is not always important that people who are responsible are the

ones who achieve results , even people who are irrational ",insane and unreasonable can

be leaders through the results of their action(Grint 2005). It doesn’t matter the way

results are achieved it can ethical or unethical .whereas in Grint’s person based

leadership it does not talk about whether leader with all personal qualities will be able to

achieve the result. It focuses more on attributes a leader should have rather how these

qualities will help him achieve his goal .

The ‘position’ of a person plays a major role in explaining the theory leadership ",

according to Grint’s ‘position based leadership’ theory tells “it is from where leader

operates makes them the leader” ( Grint 2005).In formal organisation position based

leadership matter as mode social organisations into set of pre-determined , relationship

and practices providing the blue print of ( Smircich, L. and Morgan G. 1982).Authority

relationships legitimise the pattern of dependency process and formal organisation has

least distinctive yet 2 complementary aspects , firstly the structure of the organisation

institutionalizes the leadership process into networks of process , secondly meditating or

interpersonal relationship with others (Smircich, L. and Morgan G. 1982). Lets take

example of Jeff Bezoz ( CEO of Amazon) in todays time he is one of the most successful

leader, the thing that makes him a successful leader is all the his personal qualities and

the goals he has achieved, but there is one more thing that made him a leader was

because of his “position” he had all the authority and control to show all his skills ( Laura

Stevens 2004), this example tells that how important position of person can be linked to

his or her personal qualities to become a good .

The person based theory of Grind is interrelated to his other 3 perspectives ( result ",

position and process leadership) because a person cant become successful leader only by

having good personal qualities he needs get good results , there should a good process or

method that he should follow and he should be in a position that will be easy for him to

take control of this situation and all this however only possible when the leader has right

qualities .

Often people make a mistake by assuming ‘ manager” and “leader” same thing, but this

not true .leadership is defined as alleged opposite of management . The difference

between a manger and a leader is that manager takes care of all the seen problems that

have strait jack solution also called “déjà vu” whereas a leader cant take care of all the

unseen problems with his personal qualities and experience also called “ vu jade” (Grint

k 2005). Leaders are required to reduce the anxiety of the followers and their team

members by providing them innovative solutions for example if the prices of the shares

drop how the CEO of the company will react to find a solution the problem would be

called traits of a leader.( Conger, J. And Kanungo 1981) . Mindset of a leader matters a lot

that what makes him different than a manager.

Power a leader has is different than powers of manager or comander . It is assumed that

there are 2 types powers , firstly hard power which means that physical strength ",

dominance asserted, through assyymetric resources than idea for example , political

strength asserted by the parties to win election . Secondly soft power which doesn’t mean

weak or fragile but rather influence derived from legitimacy and positive value for

instance military ",they have to win hearts and have some values to prove(Grint 2005).

Cold war is one example In which both powers soft and hard will be used . commanders

better fit better with hard power whereas leaders are more suited with soft power

because they have that skill to motivate and influence other people . For example lets the

case study of Cuba missile crises where USSR (Union of soviet socialist republics)

threatened USA that they will throw a nuclear bomb if USA tries to invade Cuba , this one

the most important cold war in the history . Two leaders John F Kennedy and Khruchev

showed there managerial as well as their leadership problem which means that both soft

and hard powers were used to end the cold war ( Grint 2005). Kennedy and Khirchev were

great personality they solved all their wicked problems like a leaders solve and their

critical problems like commanders.

This explains that leader is manager but manager is not leader, its because of the all the

personal qualities he has better than a manager defines a leader.

The leadership depends on the situation to a great extent . Hence leadership can take

different forms at different times . personal qualities are not the only thing that matters in

leadership cultural influences such as nation of origin and religion. There is variation in

the concept of leadership across the world therefore consisting of wide range beliefs

about leaders ( Grint 2005) . Leaders don’t make all decision they let their team

participate and a common decision is made in favour of the majority. Lets take example of

how personal qualities are not the only leaders need .We are all acquainted with the

concept of " champion- ship " or of" the champions " in various games and sports.

Commonly a team is judged or agreed to be " the champions'' at regular intervals, e.g.",

annually, in virtue of certain features of its performance against other contesting teams.

Then for a certain period, example., a year, this team is by definition " the champions "

even though, as months go by, it becomes probable or certain that they will not repeat

their success. But now let us imagine a championship of the following kind. In this

championship each team specializes in a unique method, strategy and style of play of its

own, to which all its members subscribe to the best of their ability.Secondly

"Championship " is not adjudged and awarded in terms of the highest number of

markable successes (Gallie 1959). Similarly if the perspective of leadership changes to

result based leadership then personal skills of the person wont matter unless there are

actual results .

The statement is true that “you can’t be a leader without all personal qualities”, a leader

needs all the personal qualities like good communication skills, influencing and motivating

techniques. But that’s not enough a leader should have that capability make his skills and

personal qualities into results. It’s very easy for any leader to operate from a position in a

formal organisation but a real leader knows how to lead others in informal organisations.

leaders know how to engage themselves with culture and changing environment. leaders

have that soft power as assumed to influence their followers with the charismata and

passion they have in themselves (Grants person based leadership) . They can tackle

wicked and critical situation with unique solutions . This sums up that all the 4 pesrpective

of Grint ( position based , person based , result based and process based ) leadership are

interrelated and one things leads to another . But it will not be true if we say personal

skills are only that defines leadership, all other perspectives of Grint gives meaning to

whole new definition of leadership.


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