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Leadership Styles Overview

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When developing your leadership skills, one must soon confront an important practical question, “What leadership styles work best for me and my organization? ” To answer this question, it’s best to understand that there are many from which to choose and as part of your leadership development effort, you should consider developing as many leadership styles as possible. Three Classic Leadership Styles One dimension of has to do with control and one’s perception of how much control one should give to people.

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The laissez faire style implies low control, the autocratic style high control and the participative lies somewhere in between. The Laissez Faire Leadership Style The style is largely a “hands off” view that tends to minimize the amount of direction and face time required. Works well if you have highly trained and highly motivated direct reports. The Autocratic Leadership Style The autocratic style has its advocates, but it is falling out of favor in many countries. Some people have argued that the style is popular with today’s CEO’s, who have much in common with feudal lords in Medieval Europe.

The Participative Leadership Style It’s hard to order and demand someone to be creative, perform as a team, solve complex problems, improve quality, and provide outstanding customer service. The participative style presents a happy medium between over controlling (micromanaging) and not being engaged and tends to be seen in organizations that must innovate to prosper. Situational Leadership Situational Leadership. In the 1950s, management theorists from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan published a series of studies to determine whether leaders should be more task or relationship (people) oriented.

The importance of the research cannot be over estimated since leaders tend to have a dominant style; a leadership style they use in a wide variety of situations. Surprisingly, the research discovered that there is no one best style: leaders must adjust their leadership style to the situation as well as to the people being led. Goleman’s Model of Situational Leadership. This is a relatively recent view that based on the application of emotional intelligence to leadership. The six styles one can use are: coaching, pacesetting, democratic, affinitive, authoritative and coercive.

Hershey and Blanchard’s Model of Situational Leadership. Going back to the 1970s, the model primarily focuses on the nature of the task as the major variable in choosing your style. In this model, there are four options: telling, selling, participating and delegating. The Emergent Leadership Style Contrary to the belief of many, groups do not automatically accept a new “boss” as leader. We see a number of ineffective managers who didn’t know the behaviors to use when one taking over a new group.

The Transactional Leadership Style The approach emphasizes getting things done within the umbrella of the status quo; almost in opposition to the goals of the transformational leadership. It’s considered to be a “by the book” approach in which the person works within the rules. As such, it’s commonly seen in large, bureaucratic organizations. The Transformational Leadership Style The primary focus of the transformational leadership style is to make change happen in: * Our Self, * Others, * Groups, and * Organizations

The transformational style requires a number of different skills and is closely associated with two other leadership styles: charismatic and visionary leadership. Charisma is a special leadership style commonly associated with transformational leadership. While extremely powerful, it is extremely hard to teach. Visionary Leadership, The leadership style focuses on how the leader defines the future for followers and moves them toward it. Strategic Leadership This is practiced by the military services such as the US Army, US Air Force, and many large corporations.

It stresses the competitive nature of running an organization and being able to out fox and out wit the competition. Team Leadership A few years ago, a large corporation decided that supervisors were no longer needed and those in charge were suddenly made “team leaders. ” Today, companies have gotten smarter about how to exert effective team leadership, but it still takes leadership to transition a group into a team. Facilitative Leadership This is a special style that anyone who runs a meeting can employ. Rather than being directive, one uses a number of indirect communication patterns to help the group reach consensus.

Leadership Influence Styles Here one looks at the behaviors associated how one exercises influence. For example, does the person mostly punish? Do they know how to reward? Cross-Cultural Leadership Not all individuals can adapt to the leadership styles expected in a different culture whether that culture is organizational or national. In fact, there is some evidence that American and Asian Leadership Styles are very different, primarily due to cultural factors. Coaching A great coach is definitely a leader who also possess a unique gift–the ability to teach and train.

Level 5 Leadership This term was coined by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great: Why Some Company’s Make the Leap and Other Don’t. As Collins says in his book, “We were surprised, shocked really, to discover the types of leadership required for turning a good company into a great one. ” What he seems to have found is what The Economist calls “The Cult of the Faceless Boss. ” Servant Leadership Style Some leaders have put the needs of their followers first. For example, the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department, “To Protect and Serve. ” reflects this philosophy of service.

One suspects these leaders are rare in business. LEADERSHIP VIDEO — The Importance of Leadership Description: Some have said that one only needs good management to run a successful business organization. In what areas do leaders make a difference? This video talks about the importance of leadership using different examples ranging from student organizations to three historical examples: Japan, China and Britain and three leaders who had such an immense impact on those nations: Emperor Meiji, The Dowager Empress Ci Xi and Elisabeth I. Leadership Styles

Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. Kurt Lewin (1939) led a group of researchers to identify different styles of leadership. This early study has been very influential and established three major leadership styles. The three major styles of leadership are (U. S. Army Handbook, 1973): * Authoritarian or autocratic * Participative or democratic * Delegative or Free Reign Although good leaders use all three styles, with one of them normally dominant, bad leaders tend to stick with one style. Authoritarian (autocratic)

I want both of you to. . . This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their followers. Some of the appropriate conditions to use it is when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your employees are well motivated. Some people tend to think of this style as a vehicle for yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abusing their power. This is not the authoritarian style, rather it is an abusive, unprofessional style called “bossing people around. It has no place in a leader’s repertoire. The authoritarian style should normally only be used on rare occasions. If you have the time and want to gain more commitment and motivation from your employees, then you should use the participative style. Participative (democratic) Let’s work together to solve this. . . This style involves the leader including one or more employees in the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.

This is normally used when you have part of the information, and your employees have other parts. Note that a leader is not expected to know everything — this is why you employ knowledgeable and skillful employees. Using this style is of mutual benefit — it allows them to become part of the team and allows you to make better decisions. Delegative (free reign) You two take care of the problem while I go. . . In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decisions. However, the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made.

This is used when employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it. You cannot do everything! You must set priorities and delegate certain tasks. This is not a style to use so that you can blame others when things go wrong, rather this is a style to be used when you fully trust and confidence in the people below you. Do not be afraid to use it, however, use it wisely! NOTE: This is also known as laissez faire (or lais·ser faire), which is the noninterference in the affairs of others. [French : laissez, second person pl. imperative of laisser, to let, allow + faire, to do. Forces A good leader uses all three styles, depending on what forces are involved between the followers, the leader, and the situation. Some examples include: * Using an authoritarian style on a new employee who is just learning the job. The leader is competent and a good coach. The employee is motivated to learn a new skill. The situation is a new environment for the employee. * Using a participative style with a team of workers who know their job.

The leader knows the problem, but does not have all the information. The employees know their jobs and want to become part of the team. Using a delegative style with a worker who knows more about the job than you. You cannot do everything and the employee needs to take ownership of her job! In addition, this allows you to be at other places, doing other things. * Using all three: Telling your employees that a procedure is not working correctly and a new one must be established (authoritarian). Asking for their ideas and input on creating a new procedure (participative). Delegating tasks in order to implement the new procedure (delegative). Forces that influence the style to be used included: * How much time is available. Are relationships based on respect and trust or on disrespect? * Who has the information — you, your employees, or both? * How well your employees are trained and how well you know the task. * Internal conflicts. * Stress levels. * Type of task. Is it structured, unstructured, complicated, or simple? * Laws or established procedures such as OSHA or training plans. Positive and Negative Approaches There is a difference in ways leaders approach their employee. Positive leaders use rewards, such as education, independence, etc. to motivate employees. While negative employers emphasize penalties.

While the negative approach has a place in a leader’s repertoire of tools, it must be used carefully due to its high cost on the human spirit. Negative leaders act domineering and superior with people. They believe the only way to get things done is through penalties, such as loss of job, days off without pay, reprimanding employees in front of others, etc. They believe their authority is increased by frightening everyone into higher levels of productivity. Yet what always happens when this approach is used wrongly is that morale falls; which of course leads to lower productivity.

Also note that most leaders do not strictly use one or another, but are somewhere on a continuum ranging from extremely positive to extremely negative. People who continuously work out of the negative are bosses while those who primarily work out of the positive are considered real leaders. Use of Consideration and Structure Two other approaches that leaders use are: Consideration (employee orientation) — leaders are concerned about the human needs of their employees. They build teamwork, help employees with their problems, and provide psychological support.

Structure (task orientation) — leaders believe that they get results by consistently keeping people busy and urging them to produce. There is evidence that leaders who are considerate in their leadership style are higher performers and are more satisfied with their job (Schriesheim, 1982). Also notice that consideration and structure are independent of each other, thus they should not be viewed on opposite ends of a continuum. For example, a leader who becomes more considerate, does not necessarily mean that she has become less structured. See Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid as it is also based on this concept. Paternalism

Paternalism has at times been equated with leadership styles. Yet most definitions of leadership normally state or imply that one of the actions within leadership is that of influencing. For example, the Army uses the following definition: Leadership is influencing people — by providing purpose, direction, and motivation — while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. The Army further goes on by defining “influence” as: a means of getting people to do what you want them to do. It is the means or method to achieve two ends: operating and improving. But there is more to influencing than simply passing along orders.

The example you set is just as important as the words you speak. And you set an example — good or bad — with every action you take and word you utter, on or off duty. Through your words and example, you must communicate purpose, direction, and motivation. While “paternalism” is defined as (Webster): a system under which an authority undertakes to supply needs or regulate conduct of those under its control in matters affecting them as individuals as well as in their relationships to authority and to each other. Thus paternalism supplies needs for those under its protection or control, while leadership gets things done.

The first is directed inwards, while the latter is directed outwards. Geert Hofstede (1977) studied culture within organizations. Part of his study was on the dependence relationship or Power Difference — the extent to which the less powerful members of an organization expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. Hofstede gave this story to illustrate this Power Difference: The last revolution in Sweden disposed of King Gustav IV, whom they considered incompetent, and surprising invited Jean Baptise Bernadotte, a French general who served under Napoleon, to become their new King. He accepted and became King Charles XIV.

Soon afterward he needed to address the Swedish Parliament. Wanting to be accepted, he tried to do the speech in their language. His broken language amused the Swedes so much that they roared with laughter. The Frenchman was so upset that he never tried to speak Swedish again. Bernadotte was a victim of culture shock — never in his French upbringing and military career had he experienced subordinates who laughed at the mistakes of their superior. This story has a happy ending as he was considered very good and ruled the country as a highly respected constitutional monarch until 1844. (His descendants still occupy the Swedish throne. Sweden differs from France in the way its society handles inequality (those in charge and the followers). To measure inequality or Power Difference, Hofstede studied three survey questions from a larger survey that both factored and carried the same weight: * Frequency of employees being afraid to express disagreement with their managers. * Subordinates’ perception of their boss’s actual decision making style (paternalistic style was one choice). * Subordinates’ preference for their boss’s decision-making style (again, paternalistic style was one choice). He developed a Power Difference Index (PDI) for the 53 countries that took the survey.

Their scores range from 11 to 104. The higher the number a country received, the more autocratic and/or paternalistic the leadership, which of course relates to employees being more afraid or unwilling to disagree with their bosses. While lower numbers mean a more consultative style of leadership is used, which translates to employees who are not as afraid of their bosses. For example, Malaysia has the highest PDI score, being 104, while Austria has the lowest with 11. And of course, as the story above illustrates, Sweden has a relative low score of 31, while France has a PDI of 68. The USA’s is 40.

Note that these scores are relative, not absolute, in that relativism affirms that one culture has no absolute criteria for judging activities of another culture as “low” or “noble”. Keeping the above in mind, it seems that some picture paternalistic behavior as almost a barbaric way of getting things accomplished. Yet, leadership is all about getting things done for the organization. And in some situations, a paternalistic style of decision-making might be required; indeed, in some cultures and individuals, it may also be expected by not only those in charge, but also the followers.

That is what makes leadership styles quite interesting — they basically run along the same continuum as Hofstede’s PDI, ranging from paternalistic to consultative styles of decision making. This allows a wide range of individual behaviors to be dealt with, ranging from beginners to peak performers. In addition, it accounts for the fact that not everyone is the same. However, when paternalistic or autocratic styles are relied upon too much and the employees are ready and/or willing to react to a more consultative type of leadership style, then it normally becomes quite damaging to the performance of the organization.

References

Hofstede, Geert (1977). Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind new York: McGraw-Hill. Lewin, K., LIippit, R. and White, R. K. (1939). Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 271-301 Newstrom, John W. & Davis, Keith (1993). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. New York: McGraw-Hill. Schriesheim, Chester A. The Great High Consideration: High Initiating Structure Leadership Myth: Evidence on its Generalizability. The Journal of Social Psychology, April 1982, 116, pp. 221-228. Return Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W. How to Choose a leadership Pattern. Harvard Business Review, May-June 1973, No. 73311 (originally published in March-April 1958 issue). U.S. Army Handbook (1973). Military Leadership.

Cite this Leadership Styles Overview

Leadership Styles Overview. (2017, Mar 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/leadership-styles-overview/

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