Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

What is Leader-Member Exchange Theory? And Should You Use LMX Theory?

Leader-Member Exchange Theory is deeply problematic. In fact, I don’t like it. But it may be a model you want to adopt. It is certainly a theory you need to understand, so you can avoid its Dark Side.

Watching this video is worth 3 Management Courses CPD Points*.
🔎 See below for details

Introduction to Leadership
Program 3: Managing and Leading Individuals
Course 11: Leadership
Section 1: Introduction to Leadership

Other videos in our Introduction to Leadership:
🎬 What is Leadership? and Why do We Need Leaders?
🎬 The Leadership Skillset: What Every Leader Needs to be Able to Do
🎬 Leadership Attitudes: How to Approach Things Like a Leader
🎬 10-Step Leadership Process: A Simple Model for How to Lead
🎬 Leadership Traits, Roles, and Styles: Three Types of Leadership Model

Simple definition: ‘Favorites, but for the right reason’.

Leader–member exchange (LMX) theory suggests that leaders and followers develop unique relationships based on their social interactions, and the quality of these exchanges can influence outcomes.

How LMX Theory ‘Should’ Work
Stage 1: Role Taking
Stage 2: Role Making
Stage 3: Role Committing

How it Can Work (The Dark Side)
Characterization of follower potential can be riddled with bias. Leaders may favor followers who are:
• Like them
• Compliant
• Visible
• Obsequious
• …or worse

In-group and Out-group
The big problem is that LMX creates in-groups and out-groups.

Using LMX to Fix Problems
1. Identify Out-Group Members
2. Re-establish the Relationship
3. Look for Opportunities to Develop Them

What is your assessment of LMX Theory?
1. Argue for its strengths and benefits (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Now argue for its weaknesses and dangers (2 MC CPD Points)
3. Last, sum up with an overall assessment (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
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There are a vast number of Leadership books – perhaps more than on any other management-related topic. And there is also a huge range represented in different lists of the best. This no-doubt reflects the different contexts for leadership.

So, any recommended reading list of leadership books must be particularly subjective. I have chosen those that made me think, and which are of particular value to managerial leaders: not sportspeople, military leaders, or CEOs. In no particular order:

📖 Leaders Eat Last
📖 Start with Why
📖 Humble Leadership
📖 The Leadership Challenge
📖 The New Leaders
📖 Shackleton’s Way
📖 Why should Anyone be Led by You
📖 The Habit of Excellence

⭕️ Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon and help support our free videos

Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
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Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 3 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 9 MC CPD points

00:00 – Leader-Member Exchange Theory – LMX Theory
00:26 – Favorites for the right reason
00:56 – The basics of LMX Theory
01:16 – How LMX Theory ‘should’ work
03:59 – How LMX Theory can go wrong
05:39 – Using LMX Theory to fix problems
08:34 – Summing-up LMX Theory

#ManagementCourses #Leadership #LMX


Simon Sinek: Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
Kouzes and Posner: The Leadership Challenge
Warren Bennis: Master of Transformative Leadership
Coaching for Leadership Development
Mentoring for Leadership Development
The Principles of Leadership Development
Complexity, Leadership, and the Cynefin Framework
Robert House and Path Goal Theory [Situational Leadership]
Commercial Situational Leadership Models
A Generic Day-to-Day Situational Leadership Model
Tannenbaum & Schmidt: The Leadership Continuum
The Fiedler Contingency Theory of Leadership Effectiveness
What is Servant Leadership?
What is Authentic Leadership?
What is Charismatic Leadership?
What is Visionary Leadership?
The Blake & Mouton Leadership Grid
What is Transformational Leadership?
What is Transactional Leadership?
Goleman’s 6 Leadership Styles – A Styles Models of Leadership
Action Centered Leadership – A Roles-based or Functional Leadership Model
Leadership Behaviors: Task and Relationship Focus
Traits Models of Leadership
Leadership Traits, Roles, and Styles: Three Types of Leadership Model
10-Step Leadership Process: A Simple Model for How to Lead
Leadership Attitudes: How to Approach Things Like a Leader
The Leadership Skill Set: What Every Leader Needs to be Able to Do
What is Leadership? and Why do We Need Leaders?
What are Lean and Lean Thinking?
ERP 101: What is Enterprise Resource Planning?
What is Globalization?
NLP’s Logical Levels of Change: (aka Neurological Levels)
Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
Guy Kawasaki: What is Enchantment?
What is Feedback? And Why Does it Matter?
Peter Senge’s Learning Organization
Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model
Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases for Team Development
How to Use the Kanban Method for Time Management
The Flow State… and How Flow Can Help You Work Effectively

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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