Leadership in an organization has become a prerequisite for the success of the organization. Therefore leadership is a major determinant for the performance of the organization; either to succeed in the administration or fail in doing so. As a result, several works have emerged to address the issue of leadership in the organization setting.
However, this paper attempts to analyze and evaluate leadership aspects such as the theory, strategies and roles in the article “Development and Application of the Leadership Archetype Questionnaire” by Kets De Vries, Vrignaud, Agrawal and Florent-Treacy (2010).
The article is about a survey instrument known as Leadership Archetype Questionnaire (LAQ) that is designed to help the leader improve on their leadership and also formulate strategies that will lead to the development of the organization. LAQ as an instrument, is designed to mould leaders upon eight principles which are, “strategist, change-catalyst, builder, innovator, processor, coach, communicator and transactor” (Kets De Vries, 2010: 2850).
The article suggests that LAQ as instrument helps the leaders to interact with their followers since the former can not operate in isolation (Gronn, 2002). This is especially true because in designing the LAQ, an interview must be conducted in order to establish the behavior of the leaders (executive).
Leaders have been known to have common roles therefore they can assist each other in the performance of their duties in order to achieve the goal of their organization (Mintzberg, 1973). According to Mintzberg, the ten roles of a leader are, “figurehead, liaison, monitor, disseminator, leader, spokesman, entrepreneur, disturbance handler, negotiator and resource allocator, interpersonal, informational and decisional roles” (p. 34).
The article describes LAQ as a tool which enhances effectiveness in the roles of leaders in an organization. Effectiveness of the leaders is determined by the composition of the team of leaders in terms of individual differences, role and contribution (Belbin, 1996; 2003).
Belbin (2003) observed this fact about the LAQ and he distinguished nine team roles of the leaders which make them to be effective in their functioning. The roles included; shaper, implementer, resource investigator, plant, monitor, evaluator, coordinator, completer and team worker. He further suggested that balanced team of leader were effective in the performance of their function while the reverse is true about unbalanced team leaders (executives).
The article suggests that LAQ can be used to assess the behavior pattern of the leaders. This is particularly important because it helps in identifying the character of the leaders and the areas that they are effective in the given archetypes.
It is absolutely true that leadership positions or people with intentions of becoming leaders belong to a self selected group and hence not all people can become leaders.
For instance, Ket de Vries (2006) notes that there are few people with self-defeating, dependent, depressive or detached personalities. However the article suggests there is possibility of a particular individual to fit in various leadership archetypes due to the many characteristics and behavior that he possess.
The article notes that the LAQ is intended for use in training and coaching. The behavior of the leaders towards the colleagues, subordinates, bosses and other stakeholders’ matters most since it determines the success of the organization (Ket de Vries, 2001).
He notes that some leaders fail in their administration of duties due to their behaviors. This is especially true because the leaders act as an example to rest of the members and his character will greatly influence others.
The author(s) of the article argue that in order for an effective team to be created, each individual needs to reflect his preferred leadership behavior. The article notes that one has to know himself before understanding the behaviors of others and the authors have given a perfect example concerning emergent definition of leadership. The article cites the approach that is used to interpret various permutations of leadership including the behavior other than the essentials and notions of leadership (Bresnen, 1995).
The article is essential for the leaders of organization because it provides the leaders with strategies to overcome challenges in their organization.
For instance, the author cites that no leader can stand in isolation and therefore each member requires the support of one another. An individual who has strengths in certain function may be left to perform the duties while his weaknesses may be compensated by other individuals in the organization.
The article has done well in the provision of reliable statistics about the eight leadership archetypes. This is because the design of LAQ was in 360 degree format and it was multidimensional. As a result, the model of LAQ has breadth and comprehensiveness and allows for a rich representation of individuality rather than compelling people into specific categories.
To add on, the authors of the article have given sufficient statistic about the leadership archetypes and various sources have been cited as evidence. It follows that the information that it is in the article is reliable to be used by the leaders of the organization and for education purposes.
The writers of the article are justified to conclude that leadership behavior is highly complex transformation in which many factors contribute to it. This is because the leadership behavior can not be studied in isolation from other factor such as genetic predisposition and social influences.
For instance, preferential behavior will be created as a character trait through the combination of genetic predisposition and socializing influences. It is also worthy to note that leadership archetypes form an interactive process between the individual and the surrounding and it is never independent.
It is obvious that the LAQ will assist the leaders in assessing the roles of the executive in order to meet the challenges that may be encountered in the organization. This is because it identifies the weaknesses of the leaders and therefore design strategies to overcome the weaknesses.
After reading the article about LAQ, leaders are likely to optimize their interaction with their followers after understanding their behavioral preference and behavior in leadership. This technical know how will help leaders in making of their decision and also will assist them in communication skills.
This article is also important to leaders since it may help them in shaping and designing of effective organizational teams. This is because the article highlights LAQ as an effective tool in understanding character, competence and roles of the leaders in an organization.
By designing functional teams, coordination will be enhanced allowing for a more efficient organization. Teams working together will also help in maximum productivity from employees as they try to develop healthy competition. Finally, coordinating teams will allow the organization to consolidate the different team objectives and goals into a single goal for the organization.
Belbin, R.M., 1996. Team Roles at Work. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Belbin, R.M.,2003. Management Teams: Why they Succeed or Fail. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Bresnen, M., 1995. All Things to All People? Perceptions, Attributions, and Constructions of Leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 6(4), pp. 495–513.
Gronn, P., 2002. Distributed Leadership as a Unit of Analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(4), pp. 423–451.
Kets de Vries, M.F.R., 2001. The Leadership Mystique. London: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Kets de Vries, M.F.R., 2006. The Leader on the Couch. London: Wiley.
Kets De Vries, M.F.R., Vrignaud, P., Agrawal, A. and Florent-Treacy, E., 2010. Development and application of the Leadership Archetype Questionnaire. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(15), 2848 — 2863.
Mintzberg, H., 1973. The Nature of Managerial Work. New York: Harper & Row.