Leadership Approaches: An Essay
Broad Approaches to Leadership
As the man is evolving so is the world and so are the leadership approaches. If we search the history of mankind for finding examples of strong and renowned leadership we will land on Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King, Jawahar Lal Nehru and the likes of them. These examples are from the history of mankind, the most recent example is that of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. He is considered as the shaper of modern keynote speaking, his keynote while he introduced the Apple iPhone is the best example of leadership skills and qualities (Gold et al, 2010).
Leaders have certain traits different from non-leaders like:
4. Verbal Skills and
Source: Chopyak, 2013
There are many theories that describe leadership potential of a person and from where it originates or develops. There is a theory named “Great Man Theory” that says that leaders are born, they can’t be forged in some laboratory. They have certain in born traits that classify them as leaders. The criticism on this theory is that it doesn’t consider the number of followers and is just based on that leaders are born. As Day (2013) says that “Leaders aren’t born, they chose to be one.”
Certain other theories are also there that are based on the behavior:
1. Autocratic that deals with controlling relationships
2. Democratic that ensures collaboration
3. Laissez Faire that bears full responsibility on the leader and
4. Other that is production oriented or employee relation oriented (Magness, 2011).
The last one has the two extremes either the concern for product/task or the concern of your people. So, the question that arises is who is an effective leader. For that we need to have a blend of the Great Man Theory and the behavioral theories. Leaders are no doubt born but for one to become an effective one we need to shape the behaviors and the traits of the person. He needs to find a way between care for product and the care for people (Mullins, 2007).
Leadership Issues or Themes Debated or Espoused in Current Popular Management Press
The expectations from a modern leader include:
• passion to make the World superior
• solid standards while being versatile and logical
• integrity and impartiality
• collaboration and cooperation
• go out on a limb and give the benefits to individuals (Muller, 2011).
A leader must be aware of the following significant points:
? A leader must stay true to his/her words and actions
? He/she must be able to find and incorporate new and excellent ideas
? He/she must encourage teamwork
? He/she must be trustworthy
? He/she must create shared objective (Normann, 2001).
The traits of a modern leader include:
? A leader must be able to trust himself as it’ll allow him to make right decisions while facing risks and uncertain conditions
? He/she must be able to welcome change
? He/she must be able to understand modern technology
? He/she must be willing to learn and make sense of new things
? He/she must be an example for his fellow co-workers
? He/she must be compatible and consistent
? He/she must follow his organization from the front and makes sure it succeeds (Bennis & Nanus, 2007).
Specific Leadership Behaviors Suggested by Multiple Leadership Approaches
Autocratic leadership is described as the control of a single individual over all situations and little to no contribution from group individuals. Autocratic leaders, also known as dictatorial leaders, generally bring an end on possibilities and choices in view of their perceptions and reasons and seldom appreciate enlightenment from group members (Magness, 2011).
Characteristics of Autocratic Leadership
The characteristics of autocratic leadership incorporate:
? Little or no contribution from co-workers or group individuals
? Leaders make most of the choices and decisions
? Leaders manage all the work procedures and strategies
? Group individuals are not counted on with critical choices or judgments
? Work is exceptionally organized and extremely rigorous
? Innovation is down-heartened
? Rules are crucial and have likelihood to be unquestionably handed over and conveyed (Muller, 2011).
Benefits of Autocratic Leadership
Autocratic leadership can be reliable and justified in a few set of circumstances, for instance, when resolutions should be made rapidly without counseling with a huge group of individuals. A few undertakings necessitate powerful management to get things finished briskly and effectively. At the point when the leader is the most competent and experienced individual in the group, autocratic leadership can prompt quick and solid decisions. It can be successful in little gatherings where leadership qualities are deficient. A few sorts of group undertakings tend to work better when one individual is assigned the role of leader. In circumstances that are exceptionally troubling, for instance, in the thick of military confrontations, individuals in a group may incline toward autocratic or democratic leadership (Bennis & Nanus, 2007). This lets group individuals to focus on finishing certain undertakings without stressing over multiple and complex tasks. Tasks related to development and manufacturing can profit by the autocratic leadership style. In these state of affairs, it is significant that each and every individual have a distinctly assigned job, a date, and set of instructions to take after. Autocratic leaders do well in these circumstances since they make sure that each and every task is done on time and that workforce take after security tenets to forestall mishaps (Owen, 2009).
Participative or Democratic Leadership
Democratic leadership in a business organization incorporates the distribution of power amongst managers and workforce to give them contribution in decision making process (Mullins, 2007).
Characteristics of democratic leadership
The characteristics of democratic leadership include:
? Distribution of power and duty – A democratic leader will distribute power, responsibility and energy among his workforce to encourage interest in basic leadership.
? Empowering individuals – A democratic leader must empower his workforce with the objective that they can attain their obligations and responsibilities.
? Aiding decision-making process – A democratic leader ensures democratic deliberation in making group decisions (Leigh and Maynard, 2002).
Benefits of democratic leadership
Democratic leadership is the best style of leadership. Democratic leaders come up with directions for workforce. They take an interest in group activities and permit advice and contribution from other employees. Democratic leaders urge workforce to take an interest in the leadership process. In this way, individuals feel occupied and satisfied. Democratic leaders tend to influence workforce so that the feel like they are a significant part of the organization (Magness, 2011).
Delegative leaders practically provide zero counsel to workforce and surrender basic leadership over to them (Day, 2013).
Transformational leaders are emotionally stable, clever, active and passionate. They help an organization and its workforce to fulfill common and individual objectives (Chopyak, 2013).
Transactional leadership sees the relationship of leader and employee as a transaction. The employee has consented to comply with the leader by accepting a position in the group (Leigh and Maynard, 2002).
Situational leadership stresses upon the impact of the environmental conditions on administration (Day, 2013).
Task-oriented leadership behaviors
Task-oriented leadership behaviors incorporate sorting out the roles and responsibilities of subordinates, handing them rules and regulations, and keeping on in schemes and strategies that will enhance the performance of the group workers. Task-oriented behaviors are orders and instructions given to workforce to finish things and to guarantee that organizational objectives are fulfilled (Hrebiniak, 2013).
People-oriented leadership behaviors
People-oriented leadership behaviors incorporate indicating fret for the emotions of employees and approaching them with kindness and politeness. People-oriented leaders ponder about the welfare of their workforce, and display their concern in their choices and ventures. Thus, an effective managerial leader is the one that has the best interest of both its company and its employees in its mind. He should at the end of the day both consider and care for the product/task and the people working for him to achieve that specified goal (Greenberg and Maymin, 2013).
Personal opinion on leadership and influence
Leadership means guidance and the ability of listening and takes in count what other people may suggest. A leader leads by example, and it all comes with the responsibility of developing respect in the process of becoming one. You earn and give it, so you can have influence in people; you use democracy, which is an important part of being a leader. Without it, the relation with the subordinates becomes an autocratic one.
The word autocratic shouldn’t be next to leadership since they are two very different things. An autocrat usually imposes. The influence both have in their subordinates are different because one is earned and the other is imposed, but it doesn’t mean the goals can’t be achieved, as a matter of fact, they may be reached in a shorter time than applying other model of leadership; however, it may create a tense atmosphere in the process of attaining the objectives (Cameron, 2012).
Delegating tasks to your subordinates is highly recommended if you aspire to be a leader, but not all of it as the Laissez -Faire model proposes. In this type of leadership, the responsibility falls in the subordinates to achieve a goal. The delegation of tasks is important in an organization because it helps to decongest the leader tasks and it demonstrates the trust that a head of a group have with its subordinates, but it also can be a counterproductive model since you must have the best of the best when it comes to subservient.
Yes, the leader have more time to focus in other projects, but the figure of it is not implied or may be seen as a lost one because of the lack of participation. Also, the problem that may present in the process of achieving a goal, may be harder to resolve if there’s not enough communication with the leader.
Laissez-faire, however, shouldn’t be confused with the task-oriented model. A task-oriented leader focus on what needs to be done, step-by-step, in order to meet goals within a certain time. Sometimes in this scenario, the leader doesn’t always listen the opinions of what the subordinates may have since the main objective is to achieve a task in a deadline.
Last but not least, there’s the relationship oriented leadership, which guarantees appreciation for the job/work done in a group, since it’s mostly about having a good relationship with the group of work. The communication is essential in this model and the plus side is that you develop a nice environment to work in, but the tasks may get more time to be done.
Leadership behavior and cultural dimensions
Leaders may vary their behavior depending on their culture. In Europe, Latin America and in some companies in North America, for example, leaders should be talkative and polite with everyone, despite their gender or their position where they work; but in Muslim countries, a male boss can look bad if he talks for too long with a female co-worker/subordinate, even if it is just about a project for the company.
In the recent times, a lot of businesses from various parts of the world have spread into Chinese market. While leading a company in the US is very different from leading a business in China, a leader has to ensure that he or she understands leadership dynamics in a better way. For example if a business is operating in the US, the legal requirements, government applied regulations, financial strategy and various local policies will be different from what the unit of the same company operating in China has to face. Most complex difference between business environment in the US and China is the business wide social behavior. The way in which a leader can prove to be impressive in the US might not work in China because of the difference in attitudes of employees. There’s an important thing that’s inherent to any leader, and its respect. There are other examples too. Let’s say that a male European leader is going to a Muslim country. He must adapt to the rules of the culture of that country, same happens if it’s the other way around. Based in this example, there are six important cultural dimensions that may apply to leadership.
The first is individualism versus collectivism. The first one focus in one person and sees itself as an independent person who makes its own choices; and the collectivism, where people look for each other in order to gain loyalty and care. In a non-Muslim country, it may be harder to work in collectivism, especially if that group includes women, but they can still have collectivism based on the gender. It’s not limitative. In Chinese culture however, stress will be more on collectivism. When it comes to achieve a goal in large projects, working in groups can be the best way to reach it on time. When it comes to work individually, the goal can be achieved but it may take more time than stipulated (Krzyzewski & Philips, 2001).
The clash of cultures can generate uncertainty in some individuals, which can cause uncertainty avoidance. People try to avoid new places because the lack of understanding of a country. Open minded people, and the one that reads, are the least prone to the avoidance. Being curious but cautious is the key to overcome it.
Power distance may be one of the most difficult matters to overcome in any country or cultures. Sometimes, people in the lower echelon have to obey blindly to what the people in the top of the chain commands, whom sometimes can be wrong. Decentralized structures tend to work better because of the delegation of tasks. American business culture is more decentralized in comparison to Chinese culture for example.
With this matter comes the unending the social values of masculinity and femininity. It all should be about equality. Same leverage and responsibilities is given to male and females, although it depends on the limitations of a culture. In American culture, women get better chances to grow though there are unseen glass ceilings for them in American culture too. In Chinese culture, women face more problems as the business culture supports males more.
This will also influence in the short or long-term orientation of the people of the company. The ones that have future orientation are more motivated, like in Japan, which creates a complex sense of loyalty towards the company. On the short term orientation employees may value more the materialistic success and the gratification. The long term is more holistic than the short-term orientation (Leigh and Maynard, 2002).
My own leadership style
I’m an autocratic leader by nature. I like things to get done my way, and they certainly get done, but mostly, I don’t take in count what my subordinates advise me, which could represent a loss time when it comes to accomplish a task in a shorter period.
I’m mostly influenced by Donald Trump when it comes to his business styles because he managed to set a new standard when it comes to excellence, but it all has happened because he is always making the right decisions and he has the whole power in his organization. He always get things done.
Trump, before being the president of the United Stated of America, involved in the tiniest detail of his company and, although he accepted the help when he requested it, there was a small circle of people who advised him.
Mr. Trump, nowadays, has delegated the leadership of his enterprise to his children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Erick, because managing them could be problematic because it may represent a conflict of interests between the government and the private sector. The upside of his “autocratic” reign, when it comes to businesses, is that he respects his employees although he can actually be tough with his words and acts.
This autocratic issue, as demonstrated by one of the most powerful men in the planet, is one of the most effective ways to be successful. Control is basic when you want things to get done. But there’s also a downside of being an autocrat.
People respect me because they have to, not because I have earned it, and it can be stressful for me and the people working around me since I can be too bossy and demanding.
To overcome those lack-of-trust issues with my coworkers or subordinates, I can take online courses, consult a psychologist in order to help me get to the root of why I’m autocratic, and even watch YouTube videos to help me improve my skills.
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