Approaches and styles of Leadership essay

It is known that nowadays there are different approaches and methods of studying the concept of leadership, and using two variables or two dimensions (the dynamics of behavior and level of situational), it is possible to identify the main :

1. The first type includes approaches based on an analysis of qualities of effective leadership in any organizational context(the theory of leadership “X” and Theory “Y”  of Douglas McGregor).

2. The second type considers leadership as a set of behavior patterns of a leader in any organizational environment .

3. The third type involves the study of leadership qualities depending on the specific situation (the concept of situational leadership).

4. The fourth type represents a number of new approaches studying  leadership skills, but in response to a specific situation (causal approach or “attributive” theory, the concept of charismatic leader).

In these approaches researchers made an attempt to identify a set of qualities and behaviors needed for  leader in a specific institutional context.

Style of leadership is a peculiar system of certain techniques, methods and principles of management of the group of people by a formal or informal leader. Nowadays, there are three dominant styles that are most commonly used b business leaders to monitor and control employees. These include:

  1. Authoritative leader - a person who motivates subordinates, explaining to them how important  the common work for each of them . The staff is especially loyal to the objectives and strategy of the organization when it is headed by an authoritative leader. Showing each employee a significant contribution he makes to the common goal, he sets the standards. Finally, authoritative style has a positive effect on flexibility: the head proclaims the ultimate goal, and usually leaves his subordinates enough freedom for initiative. The authoritative style is good in almost any situation, as an authoritative leader can pave a new path and lead people, opening them new horizons.
  2. Authoritarian ”“ is a leader, which is characterized by authoritativeness, the desire to make all decisions himself, to impose his opinion to others  with the use of psychological pressure, to insist on strict implementation of his decisions, orders and instructions, lack of attention to employees as individuals, avoidance of personal relationships with dependent people, mainly focused on business relationships in the group.
  3. The Democratic leader is in  socio-psychological terms the opposite of the authoritarian leader. In his actions with followers and subordinates he shows the following typical trends: respect to all people,  recognition of their right to make choices and decisions, take into consideration the opinions of others, communicating with them as with equal, he manages people with  advices and not with orders or instructions.
  4. The liberal leader is characterized by the following features: providing people with complete freedom of action, the absence of any kind of control, reluctance to affect them, transfer to other members of his authority and obedience to the decisions taken by the group.
  5. Bureaucratic is called the leader who prefer to use the formal-bureaucratic methods of leadership, that is a leader whose power and authority in the certain group is supported by bureaucratic methods. Such a leader prefers the formal methods of organization of communication and interaction with people, papers, documents, compliance with regulations, adherence to the established order, etc.
  6. Opinion leader – a person whose opinion the members of the group listen to, they most trust his judgments and estimates that. For example, this may be good, the most intelligent expert or the best informed on an issue person. Such a man, however, is not always the leader of the group in other aspects.
  7. A charismatic leader is called the man who “was born to be a leader”, who is destined to the fate to be a leader. It is believed that such a man by nature has leadership characteristics,  skills and traits. Such a leader always has success among followers and get their recognition, respect and popularity.
  8. Situational leader is a person who for some time can become a leader of the group in certain situation. Situational leader is sometimes seen as an alternative to a charismatic leader.

In addition to the above named styles of leadership, over time in the literature were discussed  many other styles of leadership, among them are such as a combined and flexible.

Combined  is called a leadership style in which the same leaders use in the practice of communicating with members of the group elements of different leadership styles: authoritarian, democratic and liberal. A flexible leadership style is one  in which, as in the combined leadership style, there may be elements of all leadership styles – authoritarian, democratic and liberal, but they are not stable, from time to time vary depending on the prevailing situation in the group.

For many years the scientific study of leadership, academics and practitioners have repeatedly raised the question: what kind of leadership styles is the best ? The general answer is that practically the most successful  is any of styles, but one in which the leader  uses different approaches, authoritarian, democratic, and liberal, and flexible , knows how to behave in different ways when feel the atmosphere prevailing in the group, and depending on it changes its style of leadership. The most successful leaders are able to almost imperceptible go from one style to another depending on the situation. Of course, none of them choose the management style from a certain list, but mechanically feeling the situation.  These leaders for the first few minutes of conversation can understand with whom they deal (for example, if a talented employee does not cope with the work , leader can inspire his labor achievements, just reminding about the importance of his contribution to the common goal, and sometimes the head from the first minute put an ultimatum: either to work better or to be fired).

Proceeding from the above, we can conclude that the most important for  the leader to have the ability to lead, organize and support the work of the team, to be ready for action, and risk. He should be able to define the scope of his official powers, have the ability to act independently, to encourage people to obey, and not press on them. For this the leader must have tolerance for people, and intolerance to anything that prevents the successful work of the team.  We must bear in mind that there is no leader with a universal abilities and equally effective skills. Manager or leader must possess different qualities and be able to move from one leadership style to another depending on the situation.

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