Why do people choose to do the things that they do? There is a natural order to each choice that is made. It all starts with the feeling. That feeling and create an emotion. That emotion then creates the behavior. What behavioral leadership theory focuses upon is this structure. The belief is that leaders can be made if they can become aware of the structure of choices that are made. In other words, being a successful leader means being able to define and control the decision-making process.
Is There a Natural Talent for Leadership?
Behavioral leadership theory doesn’t look at the natural talents of a person when it comes to leadership. It instead looks at what leaders actually do in any given situation. Because a successful leader is defined by the actions that they are able to take, it becomes possible to learn the process that leads to successful choices. Therefore it is easier to teach leadership then rely on a natural talent that provides leadership. It becomes a skill that can be learned over time and with practice.
The reverse is also true. Just as successful leadership choices can be developed through my natural learning process, choices that would normally lead to leadership failure can be avoided. It all boils down to that initial start of every choice. What are the feelings that are involved with the leader? Once those feelings can be recognized, they can either be used to make a successful choice or ignored so that a successful choice can be made. This adds a second layer of understanding to the leadership process.
There Is a Lot of Potential In This Theory of Leadership
Because the focus of this theory is on the behavior of a person, there is a high level of marketing potential that can be achieved. In this theory, marketing is defined as behavior modification. Think about how a parent encourages their children to make good choices. When a good choices made, of reward is given to reinforce that good behavior. When a bad choices made, a consequence is initiated to remind that child that their choice was bad. The same is true on any team focusing on behavioral theory of leadership.
Most of us see this theory in action every day of the week. When a boss verbally scolds an employee because they are constantly late, this is an approach using the behavioral theory of leadership. The same is true with annual evaluations. Information is given to the employee about their choices, which is based on their behavior, and advice is given on how to change those behaviors so that their choices can be improved.
When given the chance, anyone can benefit from the behavioral theory leadership. Its foundation is all about self-control. When you can stay in control of your feelings, and learn how emotions interact with choices, then you have the ability to be a leader of others no matter what your level of natural leadership talent happens to be.