Understanding Behaviors for Effective Leadership


UnderstandingBehaviors for Effective Leadership

Rewardsand punishments are critical, when it comes to leadership. Leadersneed to reward behavior that is desirable and at the same time punishundesirable behavior. This helps in making followers understand andmaintain what is desirable to the leader (Cadwell,2004). It is important to understand leader rewards and punishmentbehavior because it has benefits to followers and organization as awhole. Through understanding leader rewards and punishment behavior,followers are likely to benefit from enhanced performance, roleclarity, supervision satisfaction, and are likely to be committed tothe organization (Howell &ampCostley,2006). On the other hand, understanding leader rewards and punishmentbehavior is likely to benefit an organization with increasedproductivity, cohesiveness, and increased enthusiasm. Alternatively,understanding leader rewards and punishment behavior is importantbecause it would be critical in knowing what rewards and punishmentscan do to an organization (Howell &ampCostley,2006). This understanding would help in leading an organizationbecause it would offer a guide on when punishment and rewards can beapplied to followers in an organization and the likely effects theywould have on the organization and followers.

Fromthe Howell’s text, the three most interesting aspects were the useof rewards and punishments by leaders to influence followerspositively, the characteristics that can make leader rewards andpunishments highly and less effective, and the abilities and skillsthat a leader requires in order to effectively apply rewards andpunishments.

Theuse of leader rewards and punishments to influence followerspositively was interesting because it helped in gaining the insightconcerning how rewards and punishments can be used by leaders toinfluence followers positively, which is a critical aspect that I canapply in the future. Punishments are known to make followers unhappyhowever, their use in the chapter is indicated to bring positiveinfluence on followers. On the other hand, rewards are known to makefollowers happy and proud, which may also influence the performanceof a follower. Gaining this understanding is of immense importanceand interest because it offers knowledge on how I can be in aposition to use them in influencing followers positively.

Besides,the characteristics that can make leader rewards and punishmentshighly and less effective was also interesting because it helped toget an understanding that certain characteristics of a leader aredesirable and undesirable in influencing the effectiveness ofpunishments and rewards. This understanding is of significancebecause it helped in trying to identify with leader characteristicsthat can lead to rewards and punishments being highly effective, whenused on followers as well as the characteristics that I need to dropas a leader when using rewards and punishments on followers forpositive outcomes.

Onthe other hand, the abilities and skills that a leader requires inorder to effectively apply rewards and punishments was alsointeresting because it helped in understanding the skills andabilities that as a leader I need to have in order to effectivelyapply rewards and punishments. This would help in leading since Iwould be in a position to apply rewards and punishments effectively.

Thesethree aspects learnt in the chapter have been used by differentleaders in different settings. I have seen these aspects being usedin school, where the head of the school used to use rewards andpunishments effectively in order to make students succeed. Forexample, the head of the school knew when to punish students and whento offer a warning, and at the same time when to offer a reward. Thishelped in making students perform exceedingly well in school.


Cadwell,C. M. (2004).&nbspLeadershipskills for managers.New York: American Management Association.

Caroselli,M. (2000).&nbspLeadershipskills for managers.New York: McGraw-Hill.

Howell,J. P., &amp Costley, D. L. (2006).&nbspUnderstandingbehaviors for effective leadership.New Jersey: Prentice hall.