Free Leadership Concepts tutorial, Leadership is the ability to continuously influence a team of individuals and encompasses many important traits. While management is the overall direction and oversight of the work activities of a team, leadership focuses on the ongoing motivation, engagement and productivity of a team.
Whether you're taking on a leadership role for a complex project or you're advancing in your career, leadership concepts are effective tools to use as a way to develop your strengths in your position. In this article, we'll explore what leadership concepts are, the differences between concepts and theory, types of leadership concepts and some examples of leadership concepts that provide insight into how to apply these traits in the workplace.
What are leadership concepts?
Leadership concepts refer to factors that leaders consider when applying a leadership style and overseeing a team of individuals. These principles focus on ideas and perceptions about the traits leaders should have and how they should perform in a leadership role. Additionally, leadership concepts help professionals understand what kind of skills and character traits to develop in order to advance in leadership roles.
Related: Q&A: What Is Leadership?
Differences between leadership concepts and leadership theories
Concepts of leadership differ from leadership theories in several distinct ways. For instance, leadership concepts generally serve as a guideline for professionals to use when forming a leadership style, communicating with teams and directing processes. Leadership theories typically focus on various research into the idea of applying different methodologies, styles and techniques to leading a team.
Leadership concepts encompass the styles, traits and principles of different approaches to managing a team of employees. Essentially, leadership concepts are based off of various theories of management, and these traits serve as a standard for effective managers, supervisors and other positional leaders. Additionally, leadership concepts drive the creation of theories of standard management styles and behaviors, and are often inclusive of traits such as personality and character, initiative, motivation, influence, decision-making abilities and other principles that form the basis of many integrated leadership styles.
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Leadership theories study the traits of effective leaders, including the qualities, behavioral patterns and actions of leaders who are effective and influential. Theories on leadership focus on explaining what makes good leaders by focusing on the various behaviors and qualities that professionals can develop to become good leaders. While leadership concepts are the traits themselves, leadership theories are the study and explanations of these traits and the effects of them on professionals and their work environments.
There are several main types of leadership theories: trait, behavioral, management, relationship and situational theories. Each of these types of theories is based on specific foundations that are rooted in how a leader takes action, manages a team of people, makes decisions and adapts to different situations.
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Types of leadership concepts
Leadership concepts come from the different forms of leadership theories. For instance, the way a leader adapts to a situation is a core concept in situational theory. Here are several more types of leadership concepts that come from leadership theories:
Honesty and integrity
Honesty and integrity are two key traits that fall under trait leadership theories. Individuals who are honest and trustworthy make effective leaders, as these traits often relate to acting with the best interests of their colleagues, teams and overall organizations.
Ability to resolve conflict
Challenging situations, while not always common, will arise during your career. Strong conflict resolution skills are necessary to perform effectively in a leadership role. This leadership concept is situational in nature, requiring leaders to approach problems directly, collaborate with their teams to create solutions and evaluate the outcomes of their problem-solving.
Managing a team effectively requires more than directing and delegating. Exceptional leaders take the time to listen to their teams' input and perspectives for all work that relates to them. This two-way communication provides leaders with valuable insight from diverse members of their teams while they offer constructive feedback and mentorship to their staff. This relationship-building concept reflects relationship leadership theories, which focus on building strong work teams who achieve goals together.
Capable leaders develop their adaptability, which is necessary to interact with others in different situations. The ability to adapt your management style, approaches and strategies to a given situation reflects situational leadership theory. Additionally, strong leaders who are adaptable to different situations are highly successful at networking, building motivated teams and keeping their teams engaged.
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Self-awareness is a trait that is necessary for any professional role, not just leadership positions. Leaders who understand their limits, know when to seek support and have experience with regulating their emotions and reactions make effective managers and supervisors. For instance, controlling your reactions, managing your emotions and understanding what you are capable of are all traits of strong and effective leaders.
Compassion, understanding others' feelings and listening to others' perspectives is not only a leadership concept that relates to trait leadership theories, but it's part of relational leadership theories, too. Building relationships with coworkers, team members and others in the workplace requires understanding, seeking common interests and actively making the effort to learn about each individual on your team. This creates trust, which will lead to higher job satisfaction since employees are comfortable and confident in their leader.
Leaders with vision reflect trait leadership theories where innovation, creativity and the ability to initiate and influence change are essential concepts of managing a team. Trait theories encompass vision as the ability to motivate, inspire and engage others, and leaders who exhibit these visionary traits are often highly successful.
Interacting with tact, speaking with intent and using communication strategies that demonstrate ethical and professionally moral behavior reflect behavioral leadership theories. These concepts of diplomacy include the skills leaders need to navigate the workplace as both a team or department manager and their boss's employee.