Leadership Styles

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.
– Peter Drucker

The following article is based on understanding on various leadership model, also some of them based on experience . Also some leadership models variation of other leader ship model.

Some times it is difficult to differentiate the leadership models.   In my opnion leaders should change the style and see what benefits your making. Best model I read situational leadership style.

This is most touching article, I have written (i feel), if you would help me out what kind of leaders you have worked with. As usually this needs your constant support help and motivating me with your suggestions.

Fig1: Dilbert’s cartoon

The main leadership styles include:

Fig 2 various leaderships

Transactional leadership

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there is a reaction

  • This leadership style starts with the idea that team members agree to obey their leader when they accept a job. 
  • The “transaction” usually involves the organization paying team members in return for their effort and compliance. 
  • The leader has a right to “punish” team members if their work doesn’t meet an appropriate standard.
  • Although this might sound controlling and paternalistic, transactional leadership offers some benefits.
  • For one, this leadership style clarifies everyone’s roles and responsibilities. 
  • Another benefit is that, because transactional leadership judges team members on performance, people who are ambitious or who are motivated by external rewards – including compensation – often thrive.
  • Fig 3. Transactional and Transformation Leadership styles
  • The downside of this leadership style is that team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction. It can feel stifling, and it can lead to high staff turnover.
  • Transactional leadership is really a type of management, not a true leadership style, because the focus is on short-term tasks. It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work. However, it can be effective in other situations.

Transformational leadership

Leaders continuously expose potential of followers and organization to next level f the success. Transformational leaders are known for their innovation and influence
  • They create enthusiasm and revitalize the organizations
  • Serves as a role-model 
  • Charismatic leader
  • Has great vision and sets the direction to followers
  • They change the organization itself to new direction

Fig4.  Microsoft Bill-gates
Fig 5. Walt Disney – Disney founder

2390_Describe Autocratic leadership.JPG
Fig 6: Autocratic, Free Rein, democratic/participative leader

Autocratic leadership (Authoritative or Dictatorship )

The Autocratic Leader
Fig 7: Authoritative Leader

Autocratic leadership extreme form of “Transaction leadership”

  • Staff and team members little opportunity to make suggestions (even if benefit of the organization)
  • Most of the staff don’t like to work this style 
  • Absentisam and staff turn-over
  • Something like routine and unskilled jobs, we can use this effectively
  • This style can be used, at time of crisis and if the people are highly skilled.
  • This is not good for long duration, who can stand Hitler for many days
  • Good fit are for military, construction, industries

Fig 8: Power style

Bureaucratic leadership

“The nail that stands out from the board, will get pounded by the hammer.”— Japanese Proverb

  • Leadership based on fixed official duties under hierarchy of authority, applying rules for management and decision making
  • This can be used, where innovation and creativity is not required.
  • This is for high regulated firms
  • It is rigid structure, where bunch process and rules and delays whole proces
  • Fig 9: Bureaucratic Leader

Charismatic leadership

  • A charismatic leadership style can resemble transformational leadership because these leaders inspire enthusiasm in their teams and are energetic in motivating others to move forward. This excitement and commitment from teams is an enormous benefit.
  • The difference between charismatic leaders and transformational leaders lies in their intention. Transformational leaders want to transform their teams and organizations. Charismatic leaders are often focused on themselves, and may not want to change anything.
  • The downside to charismatic leaders is that they can believe more in themselves than in their teams. This can create the risk that a project or even an entire organization might collapse if the leader leaves. 
  • A charismatic leader might believe that she can do no wrong, even when others are warning her about the path she’s on; this feeling of invincibility can ruin a team or an organization.
  • Also, in the followers’ eyes, success is directly connected to the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and it needs a long-term commitment from the leader
Fig 10: Charismatic or Transformation leadership
Bill Clinton
Fig 11: Charismatic or Transformation leadership
Fig 12:  Charismatic or Transformation leadership
Leadership StylePower Difference Index - s
Fig 13: Charismatic or Transformation leadership

Democratic/participative leadership

People-Oriented Leadership or Relations-Oriented Leadership - 10 types of leaders - 10 types of leaders
Fig 14: Democratic/participative  leadership
  •  This style involves the leader including one or more employees in the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it).
  •  However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.
  • This is normally used when you have part of the information, and your employees have other parts. A leader is not expected to know everything—this is why you employ knowledgeable and skillful employees. 
  • Using this style is of mutual benefit as it allows them to become part of the team and allows you to make better decisions
  • Democratic Leadership Style
    Fig 15: Democratic/participative  leadership

Situational leadership

  • A situational leader varies the amount of support and control they use depending on the situation, the needs of their group and the group’s individual members.
Situational Leadership - Many Faces and Emotions
Fig 16:  Situational  leadership
  • This model of leadership was developed in the late 1960s by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Rather than using the term ‘control’, they used the word ‘direction’ to mean the amount of instruction you give to the group or person you are working with. 
  • They came up with four styles a leader can use to meet the different needs of their group (Fig 16, 17, 18)
  • Fig 17:  Situational  leadership
    situational leadership diagram
    Fig 18:  Situational  leadership

Laissez-faire/ Deligative /Free Rein/Hands-off leadership

Autonomy definition
Fig 19:  Hands-off leadership
Laissez-Faire Leadership - 10 types of leaders - 10 types of leaders
Fig 20:  Hands-off leadership
  • This French phrase means “leave it be,” and it describes leaders who allow their people to work on their own. This type of leadership can also occur naturally, when managers don’t have sufficient control over their work and their people.
  • Laissez-faire leaders may give their teams complete freedom to do their work and set their own deadlines. They provide team support with resources and advice, if needed, but otherwise don’t get involved.
  • This leadership style can be effective if the leader monitors performance and gives feedback to team members regularly. It is most likely to be effective when individual team members are experienced, skilled, self-starters.
  • The main benefit of laissez-faire leadership is that giving team members so much autonomy can lead to high job satisfaction and increased productivity.
  • The downside is that it can be damaging if team members don’t manage their time well or if they don’t have the knowledge, skills, or motivation to do their work effectively.

Task-oriented leadership

  • Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done and can be autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, and plan, organize, and monitor work. These leaders also perform other key tasks, such as creating and maintaining standards for performance.
  • The benefit of task-oriented leadership is that it ensures that deadlines are met, and it’s especially useful for team members who don’t manage their time well.
  • However, because task-oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about their team’s well-being, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, including causing motivation and retention problem.

People/relations-oriented leadership

  • The style of leadership is the opposite of task-oriented leadership: the leader is totally focused on organizing, supporting and developing the people in the leader’s team. 
  • A participative style, it tends to lead to good teamwork and creative collaboration. 

Servant leadership

Fig 8: Tallest Indian leader
Fig 8: Tallest Indian leader
  • If you have a boss, who takes  blame on your behalf, you got a servant leader. 
  • According the Green-leaf, anybody who can lead must be servant .To be true leader one must ensure people’s highest priority needs are being served.
  • They don’t lead by “power”, coercion or control. They will take higher moral responsibility.
  • These people will be left behind by other  leadership model people
  • Servant leaders values following:
      • Values diverse opinions
        • Cultivates a culture of trust
          • Develops other leaders
            • Helps people with life issues
              • Encourages
                • Sells instead of tells
                  • Thinks you, not me
                    • Thinks long-term
                  • Acts with humility
                        Fig 8: Dr Martin Luther King Junior


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