Write a 3-4 page paper focusing on leadership aspects of one of these films incorporating at least 3 leadership theories. Films to choose from (only choose 1): 1. Forrest Gump 2. Secretariat 3. T

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Write a 3-4 page paper focusing on leadership aspects of one of these films incorporating at least 3 leadership theories.

Films to choose from (only choose 1):

1. Forrest Gump

2. Secretariat

3. The Lion King

4. The Hunger Games

5. Black Panther

Leadership Theories to include (at least 3):

1. Trait Approach &  2. Behavioral Approach

Trait approaches focus on innate qualities or characteristics that can be useful for leaders. Behaviors focus on how someone acts in a leadership role or process with regard to the people involved and the task at hand.

3. Skills Approach & 4. Relationship Approach

While trait approach examined innate personality characteristics, the skills approach focuses on those abilities and competencies that can be learned and developed. Includes Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX), an approach to leadership that focuses on leader-follower relationships.

– skills approach:

  • Leadership is rooted in individual skills and abilities
  • Skills and abilities can be learned and developed
  • Leadership can be learned and developed

5. Contingency Approach

In general, contingency approaches assume that leadership can vary across situations and there is not one universally acceptable style of leading. Contingency approaches are concerned with matching the leader or leadership style to the situation, depending on the context in which the leader/follower is working in. It is important to note, contingency theories are useful as a tool for management, which as we have learned is essential to leadership. Contingency theories are focused on leader-follower dynamics and the dyadic relationship within a supervisory context and should not be applied to entire groups or collective leadership processes.

– Includes Path-Goal Theory: how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish designated goals, including adjusting their behaviors to fit what the subordinate and situation needs. Leaders define goals, clarify the path, remove obstacles, provide support

leader behaviors:

  1. directive
  • Leader behaviors include providing necessary instructions about tasks, including how it should be done and a timeline
  • Subordinates understand clear standards of performance
  • Rules are very important

2. supportive

  • Behavior consists of being friendly and approachable

3. participative

  • Behavior includes inviting subordinates to share in the decision making process
  • Their ideas, opinions, and suggestions are integrated

4. achievement-oriented

  • Challenges subordinates to perform work at the highest level possible


6. Situational Approach

The situational approach suggests that leaders should change their style depending on the follower’s needs for various situations.

4 styles:

Directing: leader focuses on goal achievement and gives instructions about what and how goals are to be achieved

Coaching: leader focuses on communication and both achieving goals and meeting followers emotional needs – giving encouragement and asking for input

Supporting; focuses on goals using behaviors that bring out the followers skills to accomplish the task at hand

Delegating: leaders are not involved and followers take on the responsibility to get a task done in the way they see fit

7. Transformational & 8. Transactional

Many leadership theories and models focus on the exchange that occurs between leader and follower. These exchanges are often quid pro quo and are, in effect, transactions between leader and follower. This kind of leadership is known as Transactional Leadership. Comparatively, when we consider the relationship between leader and follower and the effects each has on the other, we must consider a different kind of leadership called Transformational Leadership.

– Transactional leadership can be seen as a type of leading in which there is strict control and guidelines to follow. The tasks being assigned and completed act as the “transaction” that the leader has put into place. This type of leadership is more managerial in a sense, rather than being influential. The leader is also considered to be more of a micro-manager.

– Transformational leadership on the other hand focuses on leading the group by inspiring action and creativity. This includes actively communicating with the group, and inspiring them to act because they want to, not because they have to. In this style, the managing aspect is more relaxed.

9. Servant

‘Serve first, then lead’ is the philosophy of servant leaders. Servant leadership is a leadership approach that prioritizes other people’s needs. Servant leaders focus on their followers’ growth as people and ensure they reach their highest potential. Servant leaders practice empathy and embody ethical leadership. Giving and receiving feedback is especially important for servant leaders.

Note: You are required to choose ONE MOVIE and apply at least 3 leadership theories in your analysis. Please note that describing the delegating and coaching styles of the Situational Leadership theory does not constitute 2 theories. Rather, they are both components of the theory/concept of Situational Leadership.

Rather than spending time summarizing the film, be sure your paper focuses on the application of your selected leadership theories (at least 3). The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your knowledge and application of leadership theories discussed.

While viewing the film, identify leaders and leadership situations, observe and note how different characters interact and react to each other, and analyze those exchanges in the context of the leadership theories we have discussed in order to accurately map theory to practice in your paper.

Consider the following questions as you watch and construct your paper:

  • Can you identify a single leader?
  • Are there multiple leaders and/or leadership situations?
  • What kind of leadership behavior/style/skill does the leader exhibit?
  • What about the followers, how do they behave?
  • How are they treated by the leader?
  • Do you see any of the leadership theories we’ve studied in action?


Your paper should be 3-4 full pages, not including any cover pages or reference lists required by your style guide of choice (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.). Use Times New Roman, size 12 as your font.

Be sure to include both in-text citations and a reference/works cited page appropriately formatted for all material taken directly or paraphrased from another course.


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