Man on red bullseyeI’m still at this leadership theories thing and have found so many more theories that it is quite amazing. I guess the thing to do is make up a theory and then you can charge big bucks for consulting.

Transformational Theory

This theory is what I suspect forms the backbone behind all of the employee engagement work done by Gallup and others. It postulates that leadership is a process by which a leader engages and forms a connection with followers to increase motivation. Success in transformational leadership comes in meeting the needs of followers in order to enable them to reach their maximum potential.

Transactional Theory

In contrast with Transformational theory is transactional theory which focuses on exchanges between leaders and followers. This theory makes it a leader’s job to make it clear what is expected and what the consequences are for not meeting expectations.

Then there is also Path-Goal Theory and Servant Leadership Theory and I won’t get into those as I’m beginning to see where we might have gone wrong with all of these leadership theories.

Is leadership engrained as a trait or is it a skill? Is it a behaviour or is it a set of exchanges? In the end, I’m not sure that any of this matters as we seem to suck at it no matter how it is defined. Perhaps any approach will work but there is something else that needs to be present for one of these approaches to work.