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Leadership Approaches

Leadership Approaches

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to leadership; however, some tried and approved methodologies work when it comes to leadership approaches. Northouse (2018) covers some leadership approaches, including their strengths and weaknesses. These leadership approaches include transformational leadership, situational leadership, and skill approach leadership.

The Skill Approach

First, the skill approach is more of a descriptive approach, implying that leadership is derived from certain skills. The concept here is that there are specific abilities that can be either learned or developed that play a crucial role in one being a leader. Examples of these skills include technical, conceptual, and human skills. Subsequently, this approach suggests that the aforementioned skills vary depending on the rank of a leader. For instance, at lower ranks, human and technical skills are more applicable; at middle management ranks, this changes to all three skills, while in upper ranks, it is more crucial to have human and conceptual skills (Northouse, 2018). Some of the strengths of the skill approach include making leadership inclusive because it is based on skills that can be developed. Secondly, it provides an extensive perspective on leadership, which then captures several intricacies of leadership that are lacking in the other approaches. Some of the weaknesses of this model include: first, its extensive perspective on leadership expands beyond the boundaries of leadership, making it more general and less specific in defining leadership performance (Northouse, 2018). Secondly, the approach has not yet proven how exactly skills bring about effective leadership.

The Situational Approach

As the name implies, the concept of the situational approach is that every situation is different and demands a specific leadership approach. As such, different situations are handled using different leadership approaches. In a given situation, a leader has to decide whether to be supportive or directional to match the competency and commitment of those they lead. The main idea is adaptability. One strength of the situational approach is that it is very practical; one can easily grasp the idea behind it and easily apply it. Secondly, its prescriptive value is better than the descriptive value applied by other models. One can either apply a supportive approach when there is competence but no confidence or use a directive approach if there is no competency but confidence (Northouse, 2018). Regarding the weaknesses, the situational approach’s validity is questionable due to the lack of a strong body of evidence to support its theory. Secondly, there is no clear explanation of how competence and commitment are conceptualized in the various stages of development.

Transformational Leadership Approach

The transformational leadership approach is based on creating positive change in people through influence. In addition, more emphasis is placed on the relationship between the leader and follower (Northouse, 2018). The basis of this approach is the promotion of certain ethics, values, visions, and missions to the followers. One strength of this approach is that it has a strong body of evidence backing its theory. Secondly, the emphasis on the relationship between leader and follower makes leadership a process, which would not be the case when the sole responsibility is placed on the leader alone (Northouse, 2018). Lastly, it has an intuitive appeal because the leader leads others as they fight for change, which fits perfectly with society’s idea of what leadership should be, hence the appeal. Contrastingly, the weaknesses include the challenge of describing the specific parameters of transformational leadership. Secondly, there is an overlap between these parameters with other conceptualizations of leadership, specifically charismatic leadership (Northouse, 2018). Lastly, there is an argument that transformational leadership is best suited for social and political contexts but not for corporations.

The Influence of Transformational Leadership on a Leader’s Philosophy on Public Service

Much evidence links transformational leadership to higher organizational performance (Moynihan et al., 2013). As such, this approach will most likely influence a leader’s philosophy on public service. For example, transformation leaders usually aim to empower and nurture those they lead so that positive change can occur. One way to do this is by creating an environment where followers feel encouraged and empowered and can freely express their viewpoints even if they are opposing them. This is crucial in public service, and if a leader uses transformational leadership, their philosophy would most likely be based on creating such an environment so that everyone can be heard.

Christian Leadership’s Influence on a Leader’s Philosophy on Public Service

Christian leadership can be described as leadership based on Christ’s interest in accomplishing God’s plan. Some principles in this approach include self-development, love, modesty, motivation, and integrity. These principles could influence a leader’s philosophy on public service through servanthood, whereby the leader promotes the well-being and growth of those they lead; they may even go as far as sacrificing their comfort for those they lead (Kamer, 2018). Subsequently, the philosophy can be based on stewardship whereby the leader uses skillful administration of the resources they are in charge of with proficiency and veracity.


Kamer, J. (2018). Steward leadership and Paul. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, 8(1), 126-131.

Moynihan, D. P., Pandey, S. K., & Wright, B. E. (2013). Transformational leadership in the public sector: Empirical evidence of its effects. In Public administration reformation (pp. 101-118). Routledge.

Northouse, P. G. (2018). CUSTOM: Grand Canyon University ADM 620 Leading Public Organizations Custom Electronic Edition. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.


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In 500-750 words, do the following:
1. Compare the various approaches to leadership as covered in your textbook readings for this topic. Include the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

Leadership Approaches

Leadership Approaches

2. Choose one of the approaches. Describe how that approach might influence a leader’s philosophy on public service.
3. Explain how principles of Christian leadership could influence a leader’s philosophy on public service.
Use two to three scholarly resources to support your explanations.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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