LEADERSHIP STYLES: How are our attitudes about the nature of work formed?

Skill development is an integral portion of leadership development. It is important to recognize your personal style of leadership. This style affects how others respond to you, how they respond to their work, and, in the end, how effective you are as a leader. As such, Chapter 3 explores theories of motivation, and leadership styles. Chapter 4 examines task and relationship-oriented behaviors determining leaders’ success and explores personal styles of leadership (Northouse, 2021).


  • Analyze theories of motivation (CLO 2).
  • Differentiate leadership styles (CLO 2).
  • Assess your leadership style in various contexts (CLO 1).


Review the unit resources and assigned chapters. Answer the discussion questions and submit for review. Primary post is due by Wednesday (11:59 pm, CST). Respond to at least two peer postings. Peer postings are due by Friday (11:59 pm, CST). Your peer responses should:

  • State if you share their perspective.
  • Explain your perspective on the issue.
  • Support your perspective with reasoning or justification.

Please be sure to use supporting material from the chapter to strengthen your discussion and justify your answers. There is no length limit; however, you should answer each question thoroughly.


  • You should consider the discussion threads as being analogous to the kind of discussions typical of a face-to-face class: strive to be yourself, have a voice, and to say things that are interesting, provocative, and respectful.
  • Since this is an educational setting, you are encouraged to proofread, and to avoid the more slang- and emoticon-fueled discourse that appear on social media.
  • One of the goals here is professional preparation; if you would not say or do something in the workplace, then you should not post similar material in a discussion thread.

Due Date

  • First post due 11:59 p.m., Wednesday CT
  • Respond to two or more classmates by 11:59 p.m., Friday, CT.


For Unit 2, you will address the following tasks in one discussion post (Primary Post):

  • Chapter 3 – three opening questions and one additional question of your choice.
  • Chapter 4 – two opening questions and one additional question of your choice.
  • Critical Thinking – Complete activity and share your findings.


  1. What is your personal philosophy of leadership? Why?
  2. What are your beliefs about human behavior?
  3. Can basic assumptions about people change? How?

Choose one of the following additional questions to answer:

  • How are our attitudes about the nature of work formed? How can they be changed?
  • What are the potential downsides of authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire styles of leadership?
  • What sort of leadership (authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire) do you prefer as a follower and why?
  • What is the line between authoritarian leadership and abusive leadership?
  • How can a follower resist the coercion of an abusive leader?
  • How easy is it to change one’s preferred style of leadership?
  • Is it reasonable to expect that individuals might exhibit “Theory X behavior” in one setting and “Theory Y behavior” in another? If so, how might that affect your style of leadership?


  1. When working with others, do you focus more on the task or relationships with those you’re working with? Why?
  2. Which is more important to you, task leadership or relationship leadership?

Choose one of the following additional questions to answer:

  • Do you agree that task- and relationship-oriented leadership behaviors lie along a continuum? Why or why not? Where would change behaviors fit along this continuum?
  • Do you believe that one orientation (task or relationship) is more effective than another? Why?
  • How can you tell what leadership style would be most effective with a given group?
  • To what extent do your traits contribute to your preferred leadership style? How easy is it, then, to change your leadership style when needed?
  • Do followers have preferences regarding how they are led? If so, what does that mean for leaders? How might they take that into account in determining leadership behaviors?
  • Is it more important to be comfortable with your leadership style or to adapt to the circumstances? Explain.



Find and read an online article on abusive managers, such as this one from Forbes magazine: 6 Effective Tactics for Handling a Toxic Boss (Links to an external site.)

Conduct your own web search for an example of an abusive authoritarian leader, such as a coach, business executive, influential celebrity, teacher, politician, etc. From the research you found, answer the following questions:

  1. How did this person cross the line into using influence for selfish reasons or to coerce followers to engage in unethical activities?
  2. For part of the peer responses determine if there are any similarities in the leaders’ stories?
  3. How can followers effectively resist destructive leadership like this?



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