“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry S. Truman
Leadership is defined as the ability to lead and motivate people to achieve a desired goal. Leaders with great people management skills are needed in all organizations. We look at some of the effective leadership styles.
- Participative leadership: In this leadership style, opinions are sought from all team members. The team members get better job satisfaction and get an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. This process takes a longer time as compared to other effective leadership styles but the outcome is relatively better. This kind of leadership style makes every employee feel appreciated, be in control of his/her destiny and highly motivated. However, it is important to remember even in this leadership style, the leader makes the final decision. Participative leadership is suitable when high levels of quality are needed in the product or service. The United States Congress is a good instance of participative leadership.
- Relations oriented leadership: The leader lays special emphasis on organizing, supporting, and enhancing the people in their teams. The most important point being creative collaboration and excellent teamwork. Google is a company which has successfully implemented this very effective leadership style.
- Transformational leadership: This is one of the top notch leadership styles. In this, the leader consistently inspires the team members with a shared vision of the future. The stress is on value enhancing initiatives. Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln are examples of great transformational leaders. Mandel led a revolution against the culture of apartheid in South Africa. Lincoln successfully united the various states of America by leading his men to victory in the American Civil War.
- Charismatic leadership:
- Autocratic leadership: Here the leader wields absolute power and does not listen to his subordinates. This style is suitable for unskilled jobs or fighting wars. The advantage of this leadership style is a greater degree of control as compared to other effective leadership styles. However, this style is resented by employees particularly in the corporate sector. It lowers the self esteem and morale of workers; hence, it can be counterproductive at times. Napoleon Bonaparte is an example of autocratic leadership.
The charisma of the leader is the driving force which inspires all team members to deliver above par performance. The leader is universally respected and admired. Charismatic leaders invoke the trust of their followers. Mahatma Gandhi is a great example of a charismatic leader who inspired an entire nation to successfully fight for independence.
The ideal leader may have to use a combination of the various effective leadership styles to achieve the desired objective.
Which leadership style do you consider effective for your organization?
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