January 16, 2009

Skill Approach

Still continuing to reading the book "Leadership: theory and practice" by Northouse, P. G

Skill Approach, which is suppose to be different with the trait approach says that leadership can be trained.

Skill Approach, based on two studies that have been done by Katz (1955) and Mumford and his colleagues (2000), emphasises that effective leadership can be developed and trained through experience.

Katz (1955) says that effective leadership depends on three personnel skills:

Technical Skill; the knowledge about a specific type of work or activities, not required for top managers, but it is essential for lower and middle management.

Human Skill, also know as people skill, basically means the ability to know about others needs and to create an atmosphere where people are comfortable to work in. Human skills are important for all three level managers.

Conceptual Skill; the capability to work with ideas and concepts. essential for top managers, because they are those who create a vision and strategy for a company, and put down in words, to become a goal or strategic plan for the whole company to work towards.

Mumford et al (2000) developed a Skills Model of leadership. the model has five components: Competencies, individual attributes, leadership outcomes, career experiences and environmental influences. The skills model suggests that competencies include: problem solving kills, social judgement skills and knowledge are the key to effective leadership. Individual attributes, which relate to personal traits, together with career experience and environmental influences all shape an effective leader.

This Skill Approach can be used as a tool for leaders to know what their weaknesses and strengths are. Furthermore, since we know what the essentials are to be an effective leader, some form of training can take place to train those who aspire to become leaders in the future.


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