Effective Leadership Styles
Leadership is different when compared to management. The latter is only mandated to control a select group of people, project, or organization towards the achievement of a certain objective, vision, or mission. A leader, on the other hand, is responsible for creating a sense of direction, ideas, and thoughts that guide and influence the group towards acting in a manner envisioned by the leader. The leader taps into the strengths and weaknesses of his subjects to control them towards goals that are in tandem to what each group can manage to accomplish. The leader is responsible for each group members’ task execution since he allocates the duties and responsibilities for each member based on his assessment of their knowledge, skills, abilities, and inabilities (Crain, 2004). In retrospect, it is not necessary that a leader is a member of the management team, but can be one of the employees appointed to act as an overseer for a certain project or task.
According to research, all managers need to promote a culture of dependability on certain people within a group who can accomplish tasks, control the group, and promote teamwork and employee cohesion. This culture of choosing a leader among the staff is ingenious since it alleviates the need for micromanagement of every task, or the need for a manager to become specialized in the execution of a certain task. For instance, hospital administrators rely on the use of nurse leaders and administrators to generate policies and manage the nurses based on their competency standards and skill specialization. This is a classic example of how management employs the use of a leader drawn from among the staff or employees and who understands the scope, scale, and diversity of a certain allocated task or project.
However, this paper does not look at the difference between a manager and a leader and their roles, duties and responsibilities. Rather, it looks at some of the leadership styles that can be applied to an organization to achieve the goals and objectives of the organizations such as profitability, change exertion, employee rights, improved customer service, and improved organizational performance. A leadership is unique to different situations since the situation dictates the group member’s behaviors, actions, and thoughts (Crain, 2004). This means that it is vital that the leader employs a different leadership to counter each unique situation. In some instances, the leader may be required to employ the use of more than one leadership style to deliver a favorable outcome that is in tandem with the needs of the organization and project or task parameters.
Several leadership styles exist, which have been defined using different theories and models. The major leadership style from which most other derives is the Lewin’s leadership model that defined leadership style using three prongs; authoritarian, democratic or laissez-fair leader. Other leadership styles are such as transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and situational leadership styles. The latter is called the Hershey and Blanchard’s Leadership Style and includes the selling style, the participating style, the delegating style, and the telling style. Another analogy for defining the leadership is using the emotional leadership styles model that entails the division of different styles into; coaching, visionary, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting, and Commanding. This analogy is useful to elicit certain emotions in the employees that act as the driver to perform their duties, roles, and responsibilities in an effectual, productive, and professional manner. Finally, other leadership styles are such as servant leadership, beauracrat leadership, and charismatic leadership.
Each of this leadership has to be understood by the leader before their application. This is because some situations may require the use of different leadership styles. For instance, during and after mergers, an authoritarian leadership style is often used to enforce the will, vision, and mission of the new owners. However, in a research and development (R & D) department, a democratic, visionary, and pacesetting leadership styles can be employed since innovation and teamwork are the core principles for efficacy in this department. Decisions within the department are made collectively, rather than by top management to ensure that ideas are shared and transferred between employees to allow for autonomy in the employee’s execution of their duties and responsibilities.
In this analysis, two leadership styles will be used to assess their ability to effect change in an organization that is positive and geared towards the achievement of set out goals and objectives (Cheney & Pierce, 2004). These two leadership are mostly used in contrast to each other due to their varying methodologies employed to achieve certain outcomes. However, the viability of the use of these two leadership styles lies with the needs of the contemporary organizations that need to employ seems systems, policies, and structures that cater to not only organizational performance, but also employee sustainability, customer service, and corporate social responsibility. Therefore, it is vital that the leadership style chosen be conversant with current global trends that are useful in the development of successful and respected organizations.
Transformational Leadership Style
This style was borne out of the theory by leadership expert and presidential biographer James Macgregor Burns. It was further development by Bass who defined it to current parameters being used. According to the leadership style, four basic models are used to define it. These four models are used to instill a sense of inspiration and motivation in the employees to ensure that the organization’s employee development is in tandem with the needs of the organization. However, it is vital that that the leader becomes astute in the execution of his mandate since the leadership style a collective type of decision-making. This means that in spite of the autonomy given to the employees to make decisions and perform their duties autonomously, the leader is still in charge of the overall decision making and thus employees serve at his behest.
The four models for this leadership style are individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, intellectual; stimulation, and the idealized influence (Bass & Riggio, 2008). These models are used to challenge the employees, motivate them, provide them with role models, and help them tap into their strengths and weaknesses when performing their duties. Therefore, the prime factor that defines this style is the need to ensure that employees work effectively, cohesively, and autonomously.
Idealized influence defines the leader based on his actions and mannerism. According to this model, the leader acts as a role model to the employees and instills in them the actions, behaviors and attitudes that he believes would be essential in building their self esteem, self realization, and productivity. Individualized consideration is whereby the leader seeks to identify each employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and attempts to encourage them to become achievers by understanding and going around the abilities and inabilities. In this type of model, the leader acts as a mentor to the employee and challenges them to be innovative and productive in the execution of the duties by first understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and forming workarounds to ensure that weaknesses are countered positively.
Intellectual stimulation is concerned with the tapping into the employee’s creative aspect. The leader tries to encourage the employee to become innovative and idealistic to develop new methodologies and strategies to execute different tasks (Bass & Riggio, 2008). Failure is not condemned but encouraged by focusing on the causalities of the failure and learning from one’s mistakes. Finally, the inspirational motivation is concerned with sharing of the goals, mission, vision, and policies of the organizations between the leader and the employees. In this model, the employees are encouraged to perform their duties and responsibilities in tandem with this idealized thought process. They are motivated to work outside their scope and abilities in the realization of these vision and missions to ensure that the organization becomes successful. The positivity around this model is that it promotes a culture of collective achievement of goals and objectives through mutual agreement and work output.
Transactional Leadership Style
Unlike the transformational leadership style, this style is concerned with maintaining the status quo in the organization. It is used once the organization has already set up policies and systems that are effective and productive, and it is the prerogative of the leader to maintain these systems and structures. Unlike the previous style, transactional leadership doe seek out ideas, but rather is more concerned with management using a system of rewards and punishments. In this regard, the style can be considered as almost autocratic rather than visionary or democratic. This is because the leadership is concerned with processes, rather than maintaining a culture of development and forward thinking.
This leadership style employs a system where the leader acts mainly as a manger that enforces certain predefined actions, attitudes, and behaviors on the employees. Employees who manage to adhere to the idealized behavior are rewarded using a predefined system. However, employees who are not up to standard are punished or penalized due to their poor actions and inability to adhere to certain conditions set forth. This type of leadership style would be ideal for well-developed organizations with a productive and effective organizational culture that has a proven record.
The low-level employees are often the target for this style since each employee is assessed individually and their actions determined as favorable or hostile to the needs of the organization (Cheney & Pierce, 2004). Therefore, in this style, the leader is well toned to the existing organizational culture and lacks innovation or creativity in his execution of his mandate since there is an outline for his management style. The lack of a forward thinking attitude for this style serves as its weakness and threat for development since it breeds a culture of acceptance of a top down decision-making and planning ideology. This means that employees cannot be responsive to new ideas they create, and hence this style limits career development based on skills and knowledge execution and learning.
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Subject: Email on Performance Appraisals
Following reduced organizational performance on the core sectors of the organization, it has become prudent to increase productivity for employees when executing their duties. This has been informed by the analysis of some of the issues that have resulted in this reduced organizational performance, with the prime causality blamed on poor work output and productivity. Therefore, the management has opted to change its policy and strategy for assessing conduct, work output, and competency standards of all employees.
As a counter to the reduced organizational performance based on poor work output, the management will be implementing a system where performance appraisals will be done on all employees on a monthly basis. This assesses one’s tasks and his performance of these tasks. Further, this will be compared to other colleagues, as well as organizational expectations that have been set forth. Comments and recommendations from immediate supervisors will be used in the determination of the final score for each employee. Higher scores will signify a heightened sense of adherence to expected standards by the organization, while a lower score will signify poor work output and neglect of the organizational standards and expectations.
As a means to encourage better results and productivity of the employees, there will be a system of rewards and punishments, or penalizations based on one’s score. Rank, remunerations, positive or negative feedback, and task allocations are some of the parameters that the rewards and punishments or penalties will be used on the employees. A low score could result in negative influence on one or some of the parameters listed, while a high score will serve a positive influence on one or some of the parameters listed.
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Subject: Email on Application of Six-Sigma into Operations
There has been a need for the organization to develop safer and effective standards in the work place to improve productivity. Therefore, the organization will be implementing the six-sigma model in its modus operandi and all employees are encouraged to follow and act on its ideals. This model uses the control, measure, analyze, define, improve, and design (Northouse, 2001). This model will be paramount in improving all employees’ skills and knowledge of the safety standards required within the factory. To achieve this objective, there will several seminars and educational programs that will be set up by the organization to teach all employees on the components of the six sigma and how to apply it.
Since this is a new policy, the management will work closely with all employees to understand and assist in areas where the employee may feel he does not know how to execute a task using the model. All employees are encouraged to take keen interest on this program since it is meant to improve the health and safety for all the staff. At the end of the educational program, each employee will be assessed on their knowledge and skills based on the six sigma model. Recommendations will then be given for each one based on their scores on how they can improve on their execution of them model.
The use of the transformational and transactional leadership styles within an organization serves different purposes based on outcomes and strategies used for their implementation. Additionally, each style is used separately for different tasks and hence allows for diversity in the use of leadership styles. However, it should be noted that one cannot rely on only one style entirely, since there are many subsets to a particular situation. Therefore, it is paramount that the leader employs the use of several strategies to ensure that his goals and objectives are met.
Bass, B. M. & Riggio, R. E. (2008). Transformational Leadership. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Cheney, C. D. & Pierce, W. D. (2004). Behavior Analysis and Learning. 3rd edn, Mawah, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum Associates, INC., Publishers.
Crain, W. (2004). Theories Of Development: Concepts and Applications. Fifth Edition, Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.
Northouse, P. G. (2001). Leadership Theory and Practice. 2 edn, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.