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Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

This theory can best be used to describe my approach to leadership. When working with a team, a leader who has adopted this theory provides support to the members so that they can follow the prescribed direction towards achieving the set targets. This theory was developed in1971 by Robert House. The theory has an assumption that the leader supports the followers and reinforces their deficiencies as they work towards fulfilling the organizational objectives. The rationale behind this theory is that the leader has a clue on the path the followers are supposed to follow to arrive at the desired ends. The leader, therefore, gets involved in different behaviors that are necessary to assist the followers in achieving the goals of the organization. (House et al, 1974)

This theory of leadership is of advantages first because it promotes good working relationships between the leader and the members. Secondly the opinions of the members are included in decision making. There is also guidance and advice being given to all members as they undertake their roles. The supportive behavior demonstrated by the leader is significant in satisfying members especially during challenging situations.

However this theory has disadvantages of setting challenging goals which might end up not being achieved by the members especially when they lack enough motivation. This theory also carries the risk of a delayed decision-making process because the leader has to do a lot of consultation before coming up with a major decision.

Most of my behaviors as a leader are closely associated with the path-goal theory. The people I have worked with confessed on many occasions to have improved on their performance as a result of my guidance and advice. I have lead teams towards achieving specific goals in the organization. There was a time we set very high sales targets and as a leader I was supposed to support my members in many ways for instance financially, I assisted my members during times of need. This helped to keep them moving and reaching out to more customers. In the end we celebrated the sales achievement and we were rewarded greatly for our good job. In my position as the leader I could not just watch my followers go astray when we all anticipated good results in the organization we worked for. Helping my followers to see the sense of direction in work was my responsibility and I treated everyone with a lot of respect knowing that everyone has the potential to deliver. (Evans, 1970)

In working with teams I was able to identify weaknesses in individuals. From this point I was able to work together with the individual’s weaknesses in overcoming them and helping the individuals to perform and have their contribution in the achievement of the objectives. However there were challenges with my approach to leadership. This is because in some instances the views of individuals were differing and were many. It was difficult on some occasions to arrive at a consensus during consultations.

Whenever my leadership style is described by other people the adjective caring should be used. This is because in my leadership I minded about the welfare of my members. It was my concern that they be in a good working state physically and psychologically.

Passionate is another adjective the describes my lead character. This is because I loved my job and I wanted the best out of it. This is what drove me into supporting my members so that we could achieve the desired results together. I was not just interested in a good salary or promotion but I desired to see individuals develop professionally and financially as the organization benefited.

People should also describe me with the adjective, charismatic.

Throughout the course I have undergone an evolution towards more information, knowledge and better leadership approaches. The teaching plus group interactions have influenced my approach towards leadership. Ethics of leadership in the organization have also been acquired in the course of my study. The value of other people and their unique ways of contributing towards an organization’s success has been acquired.

My main weakness in leadership was the lack of confidence during challenging situations and being too generous at times. This has made me lose out especially when it comes to offering myself as a sacrifice during times when mistakes have been made. The course has helped me especially in learning how to share risks and blames over errors committed by some of my followers.

As a good leader my statement is that I would always offer my service through both challenging and easy situations so as see people grow professionally and the organization makes profits.

In the years to come I would like to be described as courageous by my followers. This is because as I acquire enough experience with working as a leader I would develop adequate confidence to confront more challenging tasks and situations. I would also be described as influential by the products of my leadership styles. Through my leadership behavior and character I would be able to influence people into having the same viewpoints about leadership. Through my caring attitude, many people would have achieved a lot at the individual level as a result of leadership. They would therefore attribute their success to my leadership techniques. I would wish to remain charismatic in the future as I exercise my leadership roles. This is because I would like to have a great impact on most people’s lives through my leadership. My style of leadership should inspire many people and make me a mentor and a role model for upcoming future leaders. My leadership would have changed and improved to a great extent.

At my retirement party my friends would describe me as follows.

He was a selfless and hardworking leader who would deny himself only to see his followers succeed in their roles towards the organization. He was prudent and made informed decisions after consulting the majority of members of his team. He was liked by many employees because of his supportive nature and commitment to the success of the organization and individuals. This attitude made him approachable to most of the people he worked with.

He, therefore, leaves behind a legacy that the current crop of leadership must strive to maintain for continued success in the organization. Leaders who are challenged in their roles have a lot to learn from the character and behavior of this successful leader. The organization shall endeavor to recognize and appreciate such good leadership with greater rewards in the future. Therefore congratulations on being the best leader in the organization.


House, Robert J.; Mitchell, T.R. (1974). “Path-goal theory of leadership”. Journal of Contemporary Business Vol.3: l-97.

Evans, M.G. (1970). The effect of supervisory behavior on the path-goal relationship. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 5, 277-298.


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