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Leadership Styles - Choosing the Right Approach for the Situation

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_84.htm

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Leadership Styles - Choosing the Right Approach for the Situation
Choosing the Right Approach for the Situation From Winston Churchill and Angela Merkel, to Queen Elizabeth I and Martin Luther King, there can be as many ways to lead people as there are leaders. Fortunately, businesspeople and psychologists have developed useful frameworks that describe the main ways that people lead.

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Kurt Lewin's Leadership Styles

Psychologist Kurt Lewin developed his framework in the 1930s, and it provided the foundation of many of the approaches that followed afterwards

  • Autocratic leaders make decisions without consulting their team members, even if their input would be useful.
  • Democratic leaders make the final decisions, but they include team members in the decision-making process.
  • Laissez-faire leaders give their team members a lot of freedom in how they do their work. They provide support with resources and advice if needed, but otherwise they don't get involved.

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The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid

  • With a people-oriented style, you focus on organizing, supporting, and developing your team members. This participatory style encourages good teamwork and creative collaboration.
  • With task-oriented leadership, you focus on getting the job done. You define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, and plan, organize, and monitor work.

The best style to use is one that has both a high concern for people and a high concern for the task.

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Path-Goal Theory

With this, you can identify the best leadership approach to use, based on your people's needs, the task that they're doing, and the environment that they're working in.

For example, highly-capable people, who are assigned to a complex task, will need a different leadership approach from people with low ability, who are assigned to an ambiguous task. (The former will want a participative approach, while the latter need to be told what to do.)

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Flamholtz and Randle's Leadership Style Matrix

Flamholtz and Randle's Leadership Style Matrix

It shows you the best style to use, based on how capable people are of working autonomously, and how creative or "programmable" the task is.

The matrix is divided into four quadrants – each quadrant identifies two possible styles that will be effective for a given situation, ranging from "autocratic/benevolent autocratic" to "consensus/laissez-faire."

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Transformational Leadership

Often the most effective style to use. 

Transformational leaders have integrity and high emotional intelligence . They motivate people with a shared vision of the future, and they communicate well. They're also typically self-aware , authentic , empathetic , and humble .

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Leadership is not a "one size fits all" thing

You must adapt your approach to fit the situation. 

This is why it's useful to develop a thorough understanding of other leadership frameworks and styles - the more approaches you're familiar with, the more flexible you can be.

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Bureaucratic Leadership

Means following rules rigorously, and ensure that their people follow procedures precisely.

It works for work involving serious safety risks (working with machinery, with toxic substances), or with large sums of money. Bureaucratic leadership is also useful for managing employees who perform routine tasks. Not very effective in teams that rely on creativity, flexibility and innovation.

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Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leaders inspire and motivate their team members. But they often focus on themselves and their own ambitions, and they may not want to change anything.

Charismatic leaders might believe that they can do no wrong, even when others warn them about the path that they're on.

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Servant Leadership

A "servant leader " is someone, regardless of level, who leads simply by meeting the needs of the team. 

These people often lead by example. They have high integrity and lead with generosity. Their approach can create a positive corporate culture, and it can lead to high morale among team members, but it doesn't work in situations where you have to make quick decisions or meet tight deadlines.

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Transactional Leadership

This 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 on a short-term task. The leader has a right to "punish" team members if their work doesn't meet an appropriate standard.

It clarifies everyone's roles and responsibilities, but it can be amoral and can lead to high staff turnover

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Peter Drucker

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."

Peter Drucker

Change Leadership Styles

Sometimes a teammate needs a warm hug. Sometimes the team needs a visionary, a new style of coaching, someone to lead the way or even, on occasion, a kick in the bike shorts. 

For that reason, great leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal and the best tool for the job.

Daniel Goleman’s leadership styles

  1. Pacesetting leader - “Do as I do, now”: expects and models excellence and self-direction. 
  2. Authoritative leader - “Come with me”: mobilizes the team toward a common vision.
  3. Affiliative leader - “People come first”:  works to create emotional bonds that bring a feeling of belonging.
  4. Coaching leader - "Try this": develops people for the future.
  5. Coercive leader - “Do what I tell you”: demands immediate compliance.
  6. Democratic leader - “What do you think?": builds consensus through participation.

The Why of Life

The Why of Life

Great leaders look at the fundamental forces of life, and ask 'Why'. There is a drive they carry, a cause, a purpose, that makes them inspired to achieve something bigger than themselves.

Clarity, Discipline and Consistency

  • Clarity Of Why: Great leaders have a clarity of Why they are doing what they do. 
  • The Discipline of How: The Why is held accountable by how things are done, and it is the most challenging component. 
  • The Consistency of What: Your 'What' is the result of your beliefs and actions. Everything you say or do, your products or services, has to have a certain consistency.

Followers Need Trust

Leaders gain followers due to trust. If customers (or end-users), and employees understand your core beliefs and drive, you start to gain their trust. 

This happens when you demonstrate and communicate that you share the same values and convictions.

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The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.