Leadership is defined as “the ability to influence people towards the attainment of organisational goals” (Samson & Daft, 2008).
However, among all the ideas and writings about leadership, there are three different aspects that influence effective leadership; people, influences and goals. In other words, leadership is ‘self-motivated’ as it involves the use of power to influence people to achieve goals and outcomes (Samson & Daft, 2008). Effective leaders are essentially a fine balance between characteristics/traits, behaviors, sources of power, the use of power and aspects of the situation (Vojya, 2010).However, in saying that, there are many factors that contribute in attaining effective leadership (Ahmad, 2011).
Some of these characteristics include; empathy, communication, respect, accountability, listening, attitude, integrity, and many more. Empathy is the understanding and identification of another’s feelings, situation and goals. An effective leader should be able to empathize with their team members in order to achieve a positive environment.Saunders lacks empathy and in turn respect for his fellow team members, in that he doesn’t appreciate the work that is being done around him, including that of Martin.
When Martin proposes the issue of raises to Saunders, Saunders rejects the idea ranting, “Everybody wants a raise here. It’s about time people started doing more work and stopped whining about money. ” This is also conveys negative communication skills, as Saunders doesn’t even attempt to resolve or explain his decision to Martin.In contrast, Martin often gets his work done through his “participative” leadership style, as well as earning the respect and appraisal from his fellow team members, by listening and implementing the many ideas that they offer, “Josh listens to us and tries to implement some of our ideas to make life simple around here”.
Therefore, as seen from the different characteristics shown by the two leaders (Saunders and Martin) leadership is therefore perceived as a mix of knowledge, values, skills, and behaviours (DeKlein & Penstone, 1994). The leadership styles used by Saunders and Martin are completely opposite rom each other, and in turn contrast from one another resulting in vast opposing views around the work environment.Despite Saunders being in the position of authority, his “autocratic” leadership style tends to create a negative environment, and makes him less well liked and effective than Martin. His employees perceive him as moody and inattentive and feel that “he couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag”.
Saunders centralises his authority, which is characterised by focusing on mistakes only after that have occurred, ie; “Martin doesn’t give a damn about anything… I always have to make sure things get done around here. This style of leadership in turn does not make Saunders an effective leader. In contrast to Saunders, Martin’s democratic leadership style encourages his team members in discussion and ideas. He listens to the team, and expresses their ideas on the best course of action.
By applying this type of leadership style, Martin offers the group to gain a strong sense of place and in turn the team members feels that he listens to them and “tries to implement some of (their) ideas to make simplest around them”.REFERENCESSamson, D. & Daft, L. R.
2008. Management. 3rd Asia Pacific ed Edition. Cengage Learning AustraliaVojya, M.
(2010). Characteristics of the Effective Leader. Available at: http://www.targetyou.
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(2011). 5 Characteristics of Effective Leadership. Available at: http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Characteristics-of-Effective-Leadership&id=295616.
Accessed: 12 May 2011.Horton, H. W. (2009).
Thirteen Traits of Effective Leaders. Available at: http://www.au.af.
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