Leadership Basics

Leadership Basics

By the end of this lesson, you are expected:
– to discover various aspects of leadership
– to be aware of leadership traits
– to explore different leadership styles
– to learn how one can grow into a great leader


There are dozens of definitions about leadership. For this course, we will stick to the following:

Leadership is a set of skills encompassing the ability of an individual or organisation to guide other individuals, teams, or entire organisations in their efforts towards goal-setting and achievements.

Make a list of five or six qualities expected from people-in-charge working in your field.

Leadership Traits

One cannot leave personality and character out of leadership. These are qualities that you need to have. Basically, you should possess, exemplify and perhaps even personify the qualities expected or required of you in your working environment.

These qualities are necessary for you to be a leader, but they are not in themselves sufficient to make you be seen as one.

Some qualities are very much anchored in particular fields. There may well be some commonality, but certainly the degree to which these qualities are required will vary considerably.

There are, however, more generic or transferable leadership qualities that you should recognise in yourself. These are laid out in the next section.
Generic Leadership Traits

You can see that what you are is an important strand in your leadership. You can develop all these qualities, build your self-confidence, discover new wells of enthusiasm and grow in integrity. But it will take time.*


Can you think of a leader who lacks enthusiasm? It’s quite difficult to do so, isn’t it?


This is the quality that makes people trust you. And trust is essential in all human relationships – professional or private. ‘Integrity’ means both personal wholeness and adherence to values outside yourself – especially goodness and truth.


Leaders are often demanding people, uncomfortable to have around because their standards are high. They are resilient and tenacious. Leaders aim to be respected, but not necessarily popular.


Effective leaders treat individuals differently but equally. They do not have favourites. They are impartial in giving rewards and penalties for performance.


Cold fish do not make good leaders. Leadership involves your heart as well as your mind. Loving what you are doing and caring for people are equally essential.


This quality is characteristic of the very best leaders. After all, who wants to work for an arrogant manager? The signs of a good leader are a willingness to listen and the lack of an overweening ego.


Confidence is essential. People will sense whether or not you have it. So developing self-confidence is always the first step to becoming a leader. But don’t let it become overconfidence, the first station on the track leading to arrogance.

Leadership Styles

Leadership style is about choosing the right approach for the situation.

There are as many approaches to leadership as there are leaders, from Lewin’s Leadership Styles framework of the 1930s to the more recent ideas about transformational leadership. There are also many general styles, including servant and transactional leadership. Building awareness of frameworks and styles can help you to develop your approach and to be a more effective leader.

3-min video (you can also find it in the Additional Material section of this lesson).
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BObxTwLQob4

Leadership Grid (1/3)

No one leadership style is best for all situations, but it’s useful to understand what your natural approach is, so you can develop skills that you may be missing. It’s unwise to neglect either tasks or people. But, equally, a compromise between the two approaches will likely result in only average team performance, because you neither meet people’s needs nor inspire excellent performance. We will look at the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid, a popular framework for thinking about a leader’s “task versus person” orientation.

Leadership Grid (2/3)

The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid is based on two behavioural dimensions:

– Concern for People: this is the degree to which a leader considers team members’ needs, interests and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task.
– Concern for Results: this is the degree to which a leader emphasises concrete objectives, organisational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.

Leadership Grid (3/3)

Blake and Mouton originally defined five leadership styles based on the following matrix, as illustrated in the diagram below. They then added two more leadership styles after Mouton’s death in 1987, although neither appears on the grid itself.*

Select the options below to discover more about the different leadership styles or continue the lesson.

For a larger image: https://www.mindtools.com/media/Diagrams/blake-mouton-diagram.jpg

Impoverished Management – Low Results/Low People

The Impoverished or “indifferent” manager is mostly ineffective. With a low regard for creating systems that get the job done, and with little interest in creating a satisfying or motivating team environment, his results are inevitably disorganization, dissatisfaction and disharmony.

Produce-or-Perish Management – High Results/Low People

Also known as “authoritarian” or “authority-compliance” managers, people in this category believe that their team members are simply a means to an end. The team’s needs are always secondary to its productivity.

This type of manager is autocratic, has strict work rules, policies and procedures, and can view punishment as an effective way of motivating team members. This approach can drive impressive production results at first, but low team morale and motivation will ultimately affect people’s performance, and this type of leader will struggle to retain high performers.

Middle-of-the-Road Management – Medium Results/Medium People

A Middle-of-the-Road or “status quo” manager tries to balance results and people, but this strategy is not as effective as it may sound. Through continual compromise, s/he fails to inspire high performance and also fails to meet people’s needs fully. The result is that his/her team will likely deliver only mediocre performance.

Country Club Management – High People/Low Results

The Country Club or “accommodating” style of manager is most concerned about her/his team members’ needs and feelings. S/he assumes that, as long as they are happy and secure, they will work hard.

What tends to be the result is a work environment that is very relaxed and fun, but where productivity suffers because there is a lack of direction and control.

Team Management – High Production/High People

According to the Blake Mouton model, Team management is the most effective leadership style. It reflects a leader who is passionate about her/his work and who does the best s/he can for the people s/he works with.

Team managers prioritise both the organisation’s production needs and their people’s needs. They do this by making sure that their team members understand the organisation’s purpose, and by involving them in determining production needs. Someone led by a Team manager feels respected and empowered, and is committed to achieving her goals.

Paternalistic Management

A Paternalistic manager will jump between the Country Club and Produce-or-Perish styles. This type of leader can be supportive and encouraging, but will also guard his/her own position – s/he won’t appreciate anyone questioning the way he thinks.

Opportunistic Management

This doesn’t appear on the grid because this style can show up anywhere within it. An Opportunistic manager places his/her own needs first, shifting around the grid to adopt whichever style will benefit him/her. S/he will manipulate and take advantage of others to get what s/he wants.

Level 5 Leadership (1/2)

The concept of Level 5 Leadership was created by business consultant, Jim Collins. He wrote about it in a well-respected 2001 Harvard Business Review article, and published his research in his popular book, “From Good to Great.”

The concept came about during a study that began in 1996, when Collins began researching what makes a great company.

He found that these leaders have humility, and they don’t seek success for their own glory; rather, success is necessary so that the team and organization can thrive. They share credit for success, and they’re the first to accept blame for mistakes.

Level 5 Leaders also possess qualities found in four other levels of leadership that Collins identified. Although you don’t have to pass sequentially through each individual level before you become a Level 5 Leader, you must have the skills and capabilities found in each level of the hierarchy.

Level 5 Leadership (2/2)

Level 1: Highly Capable Individual
Level 2: Contributing Team Member
Level 3: Competent Manager
Level 4: Effective Leader
Level 5: Great Leader

At Level 5, you have all of the abilities needed for the other four levels, plus you have the unique blend of humility and will that’s required for true greatness.

4-min video about Level 5 Leadership. You can also find it and more articles in the additional material section.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNffaXdeiPY
Naturally we do differ in terms of our potential for leadership, but potential can – and should – be developed. If you work really hard at leadership, your skills will become more habitual or unconscious. That’s the objective of the next lesson.
Thank You!
Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp