Leadership is important in influencing behaviour in sport.

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Introduction

Leadership Leadership is important in influencing behaviour in sport. Team captains, managers, coaches, teachers all need leadership qualities. Barrow saw leadership as the behavioural process influencing individuals and groups towards set goals. Leadership involves personal relationships and affects the motivation of individuals and groups. An effective leader has a number of qualities; no single quality will ensure effectiveness on its own. Leaders should have good communication skills, high motivation, enthusiasm, have a clear goal of what needs to be achieved, empathy, have a good knowledge of the sport and charisma. Some of these characteristics may be learned or some may be innate. Early psychologists came up with the "Great Man Theory," suggesting people were born with leadership characteristics, whereas more recent studies refute this claim arguing that social learning theory is more relevant.

Middle

Emergent leaders are ones which come from within the group because they are skilful or because the rest of the team selected them. Prescribed Leaders are appointed from an external source to a team. The Contingency Theory of Leadership proposes that the effectiveness of a leader is dependent on a combination of personality traits and the situation. Fiedler identified two types of leadership styles: The first one is concerned with task demands and is known as task orientated leadership, and the second is concerned with interpersonal behaviour of group members which is social oriented leadership. The task orientated style would be more effective in highly favourable or highly unfavourable conditions, whereas a person orientated style would be better employed in moderately favourable conditions.

Conclusion

Chelladurai's multidimensional model of leadership suggests the characteristics of the situation, leader and the group members must be considered before adopting a particular leadership style. These three characteristics are Situation characteristics, Leader characteristics and Member characteristics. The three types of leader behaviour which affect the outcome are: Required Behaviour (depending on the situation and task); Actual Behaviour (leaders action in a situation); and Preferred Behaviour (what the group wants depending on its skills and goals). The more the elements of the model match each other, the more effective the leadership is likely to be. If the leadership qualities are what the group want and expect, then they are more likely to follow the leader. If the leadership style matches the situation, again leadership is likely to be more effective.

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