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Leadership can be defined as the process of promoting the actions of supporters through the communication process and to the accomplishment of certain goals. Leaders are the symbol of ideologies that are followed by other and establishments to obtain marvellous growth and victory by adding charismatic leadership within their environment (Day, Griffin & Louw, 2014). Leadership theories are schools of beliefs carried forward to elucidate how and why some persons become leaders. They focus on the characters and behaviours that personalities can embrace to increase their leadership competencies. Leaders work with individuals to change behaviours, outlooks, and norms (Landis, Hill & Harvey, 2014). It is noteworthy that leadership skills or abilities are intrinsic that individuals are born with. There are numerous styles of leadership theory that have been existed since the past. These are new leadership theory, post-transformational, situational or contingency approach, style approach and post-charismatic & trait approach (Gorchani et al., 2017). This essay is going to critique the notion of good leadership theory as per the saying by Kurt Lewin “there is nothing as practical as a good theory”.
There are varieties of good leadership theories as of now. Trait theory hypothesizes that individuals get some skills or characteristics that make them better suitable for leadership. Furthermore, it pursues to decide ‘what makes an effective leader’ from the leader's traits. These approaches to leadership were famous until the 1940s and assume that leaders are born, not made. The certain features that were responsible for making an effective leader entail sociability, intelligence, self-esteem, will, and other physical factors like health, weight, appearance, and so on (Lord et al., 2017). However, this leadership theory fails to produce crystal clear outcomes. It never considers the entire environment of the leadership, of which trait may be just one factor. Furthermore, the style approach to good leadership theory existed until the late 1960s and focused on the leader’s behaviour by recognizing what they do and how they perform. It stated that one style of leadership behaviour cannot be effective in all situations (Bush & Glover, 2014). In general, there are two forms of behaviours as per this leadership theory named as relationship-oriented, and task-oriented. The relationship-oriented enables goal attainment and assist group associates attain goals. The later form assists group associates to feel happy with them and others in diverse scenarios. Moreover, there is a situational or contingency approach to leadership theory that states that the situational factors lead the leaders to select the finest course of action. It assumes that diverse styles of leadership might be more suitable for diverse types of decisions. This theory focuses on the leadership ability of an individual in a given situation and hence measures his current leadership’s competencies. However, this theory does not focus on the process wherein good leaders can be made in the establishment, and hence it poses a limitation over the leadership development process (Henkel & Bourdeau, 2018). Further, there come new leadership theories that entail highly inspirational transformational and charismatic leadership theories. These were effective since the 1980s and were better able to explain for a leader’s ability to handle essential change and manage the shift of deteriorating businesses. There has been an enormous discussion of transformational leadership that encourages interactions between a manager and their group members who further assist a leader decide what changes need to be made to help the establishment. These leaders are more focuses on the performance of the entire group and help each one to fulfil his or her task. These leaders further have ethical and moral standards (Jones Christensen, Mackey & Whetten, 2014). Post-transformational and post-charismatic leadership theories were born in the late 1990s as a new trend in reaction to new leadership theories. Since the concept of charisma has been associated with destructive leaders, spirituality became an important aspect of leadership. Therefore, the spiritual leadership perspective came into existence that entails love, honesty, altruism, and integrity (Berger & Meng, 2014).
It is true to say that good leadership is established via a never-ending procedure of self-study, learning, training, and the buildup of applicable experience. Furthermore, a good leader is one wherein leaders can build trust between the individuals and him Kremer, Villamor & Aguinis, 2019). Trustworthiness is the chief to the leadership roles as it is essential to all way of ordered human groups in a business setting, education, government, establishment, and more. In the educational context, nearly all the establishments aim to refine the learning and teaching practices using effective leadership theories and styles. A good leadership theory says that an educational leader must develop sustainability on how they adopt the style, pledge to, and guard teaching and education in schools or universities. It is true to say that effective leadership practices are significant for the improvement and effectiveness of universities and schools (Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2014). Therefore, there is no doubt to say that sustainable leadership is a form of good leadership theory for the educational context due to numerous reasons. Sustainable leadership develops and maintains supporting the learning of the students and safeguards success over time. It is further responsible for addressing the issue of social justice and develops ecological diversity and capacity. Moreover, it undertakes activist engagement with the environment and develops human resources as well rather than depleting them (Amanchukwu, Stanley & Ololube, 2015).
It can be said that leadership in the educational context refers to the ability to expect the forthcoming. In educational leadership, definite skills are required for the efficient leadership and management of people. In the education system, leaders motivate the entire system by efficiently impacting the opinions, actions, and outlooks of those working in it via their examples, and words. Effective leaders ensure their vision by creating a strategic orientation across the entire system. They need to be inspirational, transformational, visionary, and invitational to become an effective or good educational leader. However, no matter how effective leaders are, they are faced with numerous difficulties that they must achieve and surround to succeed (Mhatre & Riggio, 2014). A good leadership theory enables a leader to demonstrate certain qualities like creating a trust, compelling vision, meaning, success, an effective environment, and so on. Leadership has to get individuals within the establishment to accept into a communal vision and then interpret that vision into realism. Effective leaders inspire people by assisting them to recognize with the goal and task, rather than satisfying or punishing them. Moreover, they must know to sustain and build trust (Guinote, 2017). To ensure this, they must reward individuals for conflicting, reward novelty, and bear failure. Furthermore, a leader develops meaning by preserving an environment wherein individuals are prompted by the mission of the institution and models the behaviour that will change the institute towards success. Besides that, effective leaders identify and manage failure contrarily meaning that they hold error and promise to learn from it. They also empower the members to produce promise and established the sense that members are knowledgeable, and that they are capable of. Good leaders make individuals feel that they are at the very core of things, not on the edge (Eisenbeiß & Brodbeck, 2014).
Educational leadership comes within the wider field of leadership theories that draws from numerous disciplinary fields entailing sociology, organization studies, social sciences, and more. Certain notions regarding educational leadership were developed named as teacher, instructional, and pedagogic leadership. This particular field is linked with learning and has an ethical objective for the broader good. Further, this objective is related to the issues of social fairness and fairness. It is noteworthy that endorsing the expansion of educational leadership in higher education is vital for strengthening the quality of teaching and learning (Ryan, Odhiambo & Wilson, 2019). An educational leader can be perceived as someone who grips a formal leadership place in a faculty or sector and who impacts academic policies, plans, structures, supervision, resource provision, and decision-making. Furthermore, informally, educational leaders are perceived as information facilitators and are further defined as ones who own the ability to develop novel knowledge, to diffuse it promptly, and to motivate their access to social assets and systems for this purpose. Both the formal and informal roles of educational leaders have a noteworthy influence on the learning and teaching cultures by way of their strategies to sharing information, creating optimistic social support systems, involving in mentoring associations, and enabling change. Therefore, it is domineering for institutes across the world to better comprehend the features and skills of educational leaders that facilitate them to impact and indorse change (Fields, Kenny & Mueller, 2019).
Good leadership is essential to the success of a school or an institute. Numerous studies certify that there is a slight chance of generating and supporting high-quality knowledge environments without an experienced and dedicated leader to help outline teaching and learning. It can be said that as pressure has enhanced to have all teenagers in each school prosper as learners, there is wider recognition that education leaders must be more than constructing managers. For assessment of good leadership theory in the education field, there is widespread acceptance of learning-based leadership standards that are founded in behaviours related to refining student success and that are supposed to inspire principals to do required changes in their schools (Portin, 2009). Good leadership and management are progressively considered as vital if universities and schools are to attain the comprehensive goals set for them by their numerous stakeholders, mainly the government that offers most of the funds for public educational establishments. It can be said that good school leadership starts with a robust commitment to pursuing the insights and aspirations of students, parents, and related families as part of the development of the school's norms, objectives, vision, and goals. Effective leaders expect every teacher to take accountability for involvement with parents and family as this is fundamental to the development and success of students. Furthermore, fruitful schools are intensely aware of the desire to attain equity as well as brilliance. Good educational leaders seek equitable consequences and they develop definite and assessable goals so that advancement towards these aspects can be displayed, observed, and acted on (Bush & Glover, 2014).
From the above essay on the 'practical nature of leadership theory' in the context of the educational context, it can be concluded that superior educational leadership practice provides great prospects to further improve educational leadership and management strategies by adapting and using the usual guidelines and styles. The outcomes of the good educational leadership theory are feasible for numerous reasons that entail refining managerial performance, team-building, and improved people and school novelty in learning and education. Moreover, it can be inferred that effective leaders ensure their vision by creating a strategic orientation across the entire system. They need to be inspirational, transformational, visionary, and invitational to become an effective or good educational leader. Furthermore, good leadership and management are progressively considered as vital if universities and schools are to attain the comprehensive goals set for them by their numerous stakeholders, mainly the government that offers most of the funds for public educational establishments. Notably, endorsing the expansion of educational leadership in higher education is vital for strengthening the quality of teaching and learning. A good leadership theory says that an educational leader must develop sustainability on how they adopt the style, pledge to, and guard teaching and education in schools or universities. It is true to say that effective leadership practices are significant for the improvement and effectiveness of universities and schools.
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