WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

what is leadership?types of leadership or importance of leadership.

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  Definition:                                                                                                                                                                                          The word “leadership” can bring to mind a variety of images. For example:

  • A political leader, pursuing a passionate, personal cause.
  • An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow.
  • An executive, developing her company’s strategy to beat the competition.                                                 What are Different Types of Leadership Styles?We have covered 12 different types of ways people tend to lead organizations or other people. Not all of these styles would fit every situation, but you can read them through to see which one fits your company.

    TYPES OF LEADERSHIP                                                               1. Autocratic Leadership

    Autocratic leadership style is centered on the boss. In this leadership the leader holds all authority and responsibility. In this leadership, leaders make decisions on their own without consulting subordinates.

    They reach decisions, communicate them to subordinates and expect prompt implementation. An autocratic work environment normally has little or no flexibility.

    In this kind of leadership, guidelines, procedures and policies are all natural additions of an autocratic leader. Statistically, there are very few situations that can actually support autocratic leadership.

    Some of the leaders that display this kind of leadership include: Albert J. Dunlap (Sunbeam Corporation) and Donald Trump (Trump Organization), among others.

    Steve Jobs is another leader who was famous for using fear to inspire people to get their work done. This leadership style can obviously stifle the leader’s subordinates, but can also be useful in a crisis when important decisions need to be made without delay. You can read leadership quotes by Steve Jobs and many other visionary leaders.

    2. Democratic Leadership

    In this leadership style, subordinates are involved in making decisions. Unlike the autocratic style, this leadership is centered on subordinates’ contributions. The democratic leader holds final responsibility, but he or she is known to delegate authority to other people, who determine work projects.

    The most unique feature of this leadership is that communication is active upward and downward. With respect to statistics, democratic leadership is one of the most preferred styles of leadership, and it entails the following: fairness, competence, creativity, courage, intelligence and honesty.

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    George Washington was a leader who was famous for his democratic focus. Medical and high-tech industries fit well with a democratic leadership style because they require a high amount of collaboration to function.

    3. Strategic Leadership Style

    Strategic leadership is one that involves a leader who is essentially the head of an organization. The strategic leader is not limited to those at the top of the organization. This style is geared to a wider audience at all levels who want to create a high performance life, team or organization.

    The strategic leader fills the gap between the need for new possibility and the need for practicality by providing a prescriptive set of habits. Effective strategic leadership delivers the goods in terms of what an organization naturally expects from its leadership in times of change. 55% of this leadership normally involves strategic thinking.

    Sports is clearly an area where we can observe many leadership styles, and one in which strategy is crucial. Hockey player and coach Wayne Gretzky is well-known for his skill in strategizing.

    Strategic leaders anticipate future needs and make decisions in the present to meet those needs. Gretzky famously said, “‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

    4. Transformational Leadership

    Unlike other leadership styles, transformational leadership is all about initiating change in organizations, groups, oneself and others.

    Transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. They set more challenging expectations and typically achieve a higher performance.

    Statistically, transformational leadership tends to have more committed and satisfied followers. This is mainly so because transformational leaders empower followers.

    William Edwards Deming, a statistician and engineer, is a leader who saw the best way certain systems could operate and taught those under him how to accomplish these goals.

    5. Team Leadership

    Team leadership involves the creation of a vivid picture of a team’s future, where it is heading and what it will stand for. The vision inspires and provides a strong sense of purpose and direction.

    Team leadership is about working with the hearts and minds of all those involved. It also recognizes that teamwork may not always involve trusting cooperative relationships.

    The most challenging aspect of this leadership is whether or not it will succeed. According to Harvard Business Review, team leadership may fail because of poor leadership qualities, as well as other challenges. For example, an airline flight crew would be much more efficient if the team remained consistent.

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    Studies have shown that teams that have worked together for a long period of time are more effective than those that have not. But because keeping a flight crew together would be expensive, crews change their members all the time. Situations such as this are just one example of the challenges teams face.

    6. Cross-Cultural Leadership

    This form of leadership normally exists where there are various cultures in the society. This leadership has also industrialized as a way to recognize front-runners who work in the contemporary globalized market.

    Organizations, particularly international ones, require leaders who can effectively adjust their leadership to work in different environs. Most of the leadership environments in the United States are cross-cultural because of the different cultures that live and work there.

    One example of a cross-cultural leader in sports is quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Mariota Marcus. His Hawaiian background caused him to be an unpretentious player, in contrast to being a more aggressive one, yet he was still successful.

    7. Facilitative Leadership

    Facilitative leadership is dependent on measurements and outcomes – not a skill, although it takes much skill to master. The effectiveness of a group is directly related to the efficacy of its process. If the group is high functioning, the facilitative leader uses a light hand on the process.

    On the other hand, if the group is low functioning, the facilitative leader will be more directive in helping the group run its process. An effective facilitative leadership involves monitoring group dynamics, as well as offering process suggestions and interventions to help the group stay on track.

    8. Laissez-faire Leadership

    Laissez-faire leadership gives authority to employees. According to azcentral, departments or subordinates are allowed to work as they choose with minimal or no interference. According to research, this kind of leadership has been consistently found to be the least satisfying and least effective management style.

    But to a certain extent, delegating is necessary. Famous historical projects led by laissez-faire leaders include the building of the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam. With both projects, the presidents involved had to delegate many responsibilities in order to succeed.

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    Completion of Panama Canal in 1904 was a complicated feat. This was only made possible when American President of that time Theodore Roosevelt decided to lead this project. The successful completion of Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, because of its geographical location it came across several road blocks and incidents, but all hurdles were overcome as authority was correctly delegated to professionals.

    9. Transactional Leadership

    This is a leadership style that maintains or continues the status quo. It is also the leadership that involves an exchange process, whereby followers get immediate, tangible rewards for carrying out the leader’s orders. Transactional leadership can sound rather basic, with its focus on exchange.

    Being clear, focusing on expectations, giving feedback are all important leadership skills. Transactional leadership behaviors can include: clarifying what is expected of followers’ performance, explaining how to meet such expectations, and allocating rewards that are contingent on meeting objectives.

    10. Coaching Leadership

    Coaching leadership involves teaching and supervising followers. A coaching leader is highly operational in settings where results/performance require improvement.

    Basically, in this kind of leadership, followers are helped to improve their skills. Coaching leadership does the following: motivates followers, inspires followers and encourages followers.

    Some examples of people who have led through coaching are tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and dog behaviorist Cesar Milan.

    11. Charismatic Leadership

    In this type of leadership, the charismatic leader manifests his or her revolutionary power. Charisma does not mean sheer behavioral change. It actually involves a transformation of followers’ values and beliefs.

    Therefore, charismatic leaders are not merely a simply populist leaders who affect attitudes towards specific objects. Rather, these leaders transform the underlying normative orientation that structures specific attitudes.

    Charismatic leaders tend to have powerful personalities and attract huge followings. Examples of such leaders are Barak Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

    12. Visionary Leadership

    This form of leadership involves leaders who recognize that the methods, steps and processes of leadership are all obtained with and through people.

    Most great and successful leaders have some sort of vision for where they are going. However, there are those who are highly visionary in their leadership.

    Examples of leaders who had powerful and inspirational visions include Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Outstanding leaders will always transform their visions into realities.

    Importance of Leadership

    Leadership is an important function of management which helps to maximize efficiency and to achieve organizational goals. The following points justify the importance of leadership in a concern.

    1. Initiates action- Leader is a person who starts the work by communicating the policies and plans to the subordinates from where the work actually starts.
    2. Motivation- A leader proves to be playing an incentive role in the concern’s working. He motivates the employees with economic and non-economic rewards and thereby gets the work from the subordinates.
    3. Providing guidance- A leader has to not only supervise but also play a guiding role for the subordinates. Guidance here means instructing the subordinates the way they have to perform their work effectively and efficiently.
    4. Creating confidence- Confidence is an important factor which can be achieved through expressing the work efforts to the subordinates, explaining them clearly their role and giving them guidelines to achieve the goals effectively. It is also important to hear the employees with regards to their complaints and problems.
    5. Building morale- Morale denotes willing co-operation of the employees towards their work and getting them into confidence and winning their trust. A leader can be a morale booster by achieving full co-operation so that they perform with best of their abilities as they work to achieve goals.
    6. Builds work environment- Management is getting things done from people. An efficient work environment helps in sound and stable growth. Therefore, human relations should be kept into mind by a leader. He should have personal contacts with employees and should listen to their problems and solve them. He should treat employees on humanitarian terms.
    7. Co-ordination- Co-ordination can be achieved through reconciling personal interests with organizational goals. This synchronization can be achieved through proper and effective co-ordination which should be primary motive of a leader.

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