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Leadership Essay - PE

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Introduction

What factors contribute to make a good leader and how might your style of leadership vary to be successful when involved in individual, racket and team activities? The role of a leader can be essential. Barrow (1977) defines leadership as "the behavioral process of influencing individuals and groups towards set goals". This definition is important because it places emphasis on the vision of a leader (i.e. goals, objectives) while also highlighting the necessary interaction between the leader and group members. A team without good leadership can cause it to fail; this is the consequence of a team without organisation and a sense of direction. The approach of the leader is very important but this depends on the situation, and the group size or members. Research has been carried out which focuses on weather leaders are born with leadership qualities or if they develop through time. There is no evidence to say that leadership qualities are skills that people are born with, overall it is suggested that leadership qualities are a mixture of the both. There are no certain characteristics which need to be present in a leader, but it appears that some important factors need to be present. Some of the main factors are; sport specific skills/knowledge, interpersonal skills, peer respect, good communication skills, empathy, consistency and fairness. Leaders are most obvious if they have specific leader titles, such as a coach or a captain of a team. ...read more.

Middle

The two styles are task-orientated leadership and person (or relationship) - orientated leadership. Task-orientated leaders are those which have good knowledge on the sport. They focus on group goals rather than the needs of individual group members. Also they lead the group through with knowledge, understanding and experience of the task. Person-orientated leaders are those with strong interpersonal skills. Instead of focusing on the goals, they focus on the individual needs and relationships. They are able to achieve the best out of the individual as they are motivators. Fielder's contingency model relates effective leadership style to what he called 'situational favorableness'. Task-orientated leaders are most effective in situations that are at the extremes, most favorable or least favorable. Whereas, person-orientated leaders are most effective in situations, that are moderately favorable. Therefore being an effective leader involves adapting one's style to the situation. Chelladurai (1978) identified three factors that affect leadership. He indicates that 'the athletes performance and satisfaction are the required outcomes of the coaching process and that the extent to which these occur depends on the way in which three aspects of leader behavior interact. Chelladurai identified that the three factors affecting leadership where; the characteristics of the situation, the characteristics of the leader, and the characteristics of the group members. A leader will be more effective if their qualities match the expectations of the group and the demands of the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

A less experienced athlete will also prefer a similar leader to an experienced leader, but a more autocratic leader may broaden their knowledge and help them set goals on a certain task. In a racket activity, such as tennis, a less experienced tennis player will prefer an autocratic leader, with more task-orientated leadership skills. They will need to learn the basic skills of the sport; therefore an autocratic leader will provide total control. A task-orientated leader will have good knowledge of tennis, and be able to provide demonstration and also carry out a one on one demonstration with the individual. Compared to an experience tennis player, they will need little guidance; therefore a democratic leader will best suit them. They may also prefer a person-orientated leader which will provide support and motivation during an event. In conclusion the type of activity and situation influences the style of leadership chosen. In summary a good leader provides the context in which a group or individual can be successful and has the style to thrive and commit them to the sport. Poor leadership can result in a lack of commitment, frustration and motivation. Therefore it is essential that the style of leadership is correctly chosen, otherwise it could have negative consequences on the individual or group, and also the leader. When choosing the style of leadership, it is also important to consider, age and gender. This generally affects the style of leader chosen by the individual or group. ...read more.

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