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July 28, 2013

Essay on Leadership Styles

Leadership styles

Leaders are those personalities with whom so many expectations are associated. Leadership is an activity in which a person influences others by his traits so that the people follow him. This is a movement that has a direct relationship with its followers.  People always follow those who have outstanding abilities to influence them by their deeds. The word “lead” itself describes the traits of a leader. It suggests that a leader is someone who has a powerful impact on the public and by this power he can guide and direct people in a certain dimension. A person can provide guidance only when a goal has been set thus his aim is already defined. He follows the path that is already determined. By definition a leader is a person who directs and leads other towards a predetermined goal. [Richard L. Daft, 2008, 2005].

      The leadership is an activity that moves people from one state to another. The definition of leadership is little controversial because it depends on the determined goal. A leader is defined according to its context means that the circumstances and activities determine the definition of a leader. A person who monitors people in public places has an influence, he directs them but he is not a leader. Similarly a conductor of the bus is not a leader regardless of it he conducts and directs people in the bus. Leader is a person who helps others or guides other towards the certain goal which depends on the circumstances and activities to achieve this predetermined objective. Even his characteristics and the qualities of leadership are not necessary to find out the definition of leadership. The leadership activity can be myriad or a single activity. When a person who helps others to come out of a worse situation than it is a “one shot act” of leadership. The situations are not always sudden for the action of leadership they might be driven from a set of activities. Most of the time, it is observed that the leadership is an activity that follows a process or it is a set of continues activities. The definition of leadership can be determined by finding out whether the circumstances that require leadership, the quality and activity of the person that makes an event to have a leadership. The person’s attitude is qualified enough to be known as leader and by finding out the type of event. The goal that is to be achieved has to be determined as the ethical one or not. [Annabel Beerel, 2009]
Leadership style:
The leadership is an activity that is achieved by influencing people by the leader’s style. The style of leaders is the attribute of leader’s behavior while directing people to attain a certain goal. A leader can adopt one of two styles like directive behavior or supportive behavior. A directive behavior is that behavior in which the leader directs his followers to achieve a task whereas in supportive style he leads to support public for their aim. When a leader is using the directing behavior, he establishes goal and evaluate methods to achieve them. He directs people to follow these methods. He schedules the task and set the ranks of his supporters to get help from them in the great achievement. The directive behavior of the leader is the style in which only one way communication take place. The leader sets the goals, decides how to achieve it. Supportive behavior is the style in which two-way communication take place. In this style the leader acts to support and comfort his group members for their work. A supportive leader helps his group members in their struggle by his emotional and social support. He solves their problem they face in the struggle of change by sharing and listening to them. This is not the end of leadership style; leadership can also be accomplished by four more distinct categories of these two styles. One of these categories is high directive-low supportive style. This is a style of leadership that is tilted more towards directing as compare to supportive. The leader focused merely on how to direct the public for an ethical change. Adopt the supportive behavior for a very short period of time. In this approach the leader has his attention towards the path for the accomplishment of the goal. He also gives moral support to his people. Unlike the directing style, coaching style is both high directive and high supportive. He has his attentions towards the struggle along with the emotional support to the group members. He acts as a leader by his encouraging attitude. The supporting approach in the leader style is the third category. The leader is now highly supportive and low directive. He support and encourage his followers emotionally and socially, He also directs them. He controls day to day activity and makes decisions and solves their problems. Low supportive and low directive is the category of delegating style of leader. The leaders who adopt this style are less involved in the decision making and less suppot public for their struggle.
The leadership can be further classified according to its characteristics like trait leadership, process leadership, assigned leadership or emergent leadership. We have observed several leaders who were commonly called as he is born to be leaders. These kinds of remarks are generated when people have extra ordinary traits of leadership that is inborn. These qualities are God gifted. These innate qualities distinguish them from other non leaders. These qualities include both physical and personality qualities. Those who have physical qualities of leadership has good height and gestures and postures, in personal qualities they have intelligence, speaking power and fluency. The trait or inborn leaders are very selective they have qualities of leaders that are God gifted, and a talent that is not easily found. The process leadership is a phenomenon in which a person gets expertise from other leaders and gets knowledge about how to influence people. The process leaders normally get leadership after passing through several learning steps by spending time in followers and leaders. The process leader is one who is being educated to be a leader.
     Some people are leaders because they are the part of some standing position in the organization. These leaders belong to the category of assigned leadership. But there is another category of leaders that exists because of their powerful impact on their colleagues. They are the people who have the quality to influence others. This category is called the emergent leadership. The assigned leaders are not necessarily a successful leader unlike the emergent leaders. Emergent leaders are leaders because of their influential personality. They did not learn the traits of leadership but they have got it inborn. The people are themselves attracted towards them and follow them because of their control on their mind; this is the reason of their success. They get the position of leadership because of their followers where as assigned leaders pressurize their followers to follow them by giving them attractive hopes. [Peter G. (Guy) Northouse, Peter G. Northouse, 2010]
Leadership and power:
Power has a strong relation with the leadership since it is something by which a leader influences his followers. It is the capability of a person that has a strong impact on person and thus it can be use to motivate people towards a predefined goal that has to be ethical. When a person can change the attitude, beliefs and life style of people, then he is assumed to be an influential person who has a power to affect his follower’s life. The leaders are those personalities that work on the bases of their power to bring a change in the society followed by a course of actions. Leadership depends on the relationship between the leaders and his followers. There are five characteristics of power that are identified by French and raven. These are characteristics that boost the ability of a leader to influence public for change. These bases of power include referent, expert, legitimate, reward, and coercive power. The peter G North house identified two powers by which a leader leads his followers; they are the power of position and a personal power. The person has a position power if he has a position in the office that is influential. Using this position power a person can bring change in the people under his influence. The bases of position power are reward, coercive or legitimate. The capacity of individual to let people follow him because of his traits and personality is called personal power. These people who have personal power to lead are more likely to be accepted easily as a leader as compare to the leaders who have the power of their position. I believe that the actual leader is the person who has the ability to influence people on the basis of his personality traits. The power bases that these people exhibit are referent and expert power. [Peter G. (Guy) Northouse, Peter G. Northouse, 2010].
In the book leadership: theory and practice, Peter. G Northouse made a very depth analysis of leadership and leaders qualities. Throughout the book he defined the approaches that a good leader has. These approaches are; trait approach in which the leader possesses intelligence with self confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability. Other approaches are skill approach, style approach, psychodynamic approach and situational approach. Other then these approaches he has defined three theories that defines the traits of the leader. These theories are contingency theory, path goal theory and leader member exchange theory. The author has provided strong and vast information about the theories of leadership. He has also elaborated the role of a female leader in which he includes different theories and approaches. He is very clear about his analysis and described them with a much focused approach this is the reason of effectiveness of the book [Rainhart Lang, 1999].

Annabel Beerel, 2009. Leadership and Change Management. SAGE publications.
Peter G. (Guy) Northouse, Peter G. Northouse, 2010. Leadership: Theory and Practice. SAGE publications.
Richard L. Daft, 2008, 2005. The leadership experience. Thomson south western


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