Leader actions and their impact on follower group and organizational outcomes tend to be investigated at the aggregate person level which may result in confusion between perception and performance-based evaluations of effectiveness. We advocate an alternative approach: assessing the link of leader behaviors to outcomes at the lower level of events where adaptive leader responses and their variable influence on subsequent outcomes can be better assessed. To illustrate the potential benefits of an event-level approach we first define events and how they differ by developing a taxonomy consisting of seven event dimensions. Important leadership implications of each event dimension are briefly discussed. We then apply our taxonomy to three existing theories of leadership to highlight its value in understanding performance. Strategies for measuring and researching leadership performance with our taxonomy are then introduced and discussed. Finally event dimensions are used to address questions of critical significance to future leadership theory such as determining what type of leadership is needed and ascertaining the leadership skills that are most likely to result in effective performance.
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