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
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
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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