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Leadership Styles

What is Leadership?

anwarparves asked:

Many definitions of leadership involve an element of Goal management|vision — except in cases of involuntary leadership and often in cases of traditional leadership. A vision provides direction to the influence process. A leader or group of leaders can have one or more visions of the future to aid them to move a group successfully towards this goal. A vision, for effectiveness, should allegedly:

appear as a simple, yet vibrant, image in the mind of the leader

describe a future state, credible and preferable to the present state

act as a bridge between the current state and a future optimum state

appear desirable enough to energize followers

succeed in speaking to followers at an emotional or spiritual level (logical appeals by themselves seldom muster a following)

For leadership to occur, according to this theory, some people “leaders” must communicate the vision to others “followers” in such a way that the followers adopt the vision as their own. Leaders must not just see the vision themselves, they must have the ability to get others to see it also. Numerous techniques aid in this process, including: narratives, metaphors, symbolic actions, leading by example,incentives, and penalty|penalties.

Stacey (1992) has suggested that the emphasis on vision puts an unrealistic burden on the leader. Such emphasis appears to perpetuate the myth that an organization must depend on a single, uncommonly talented individual to decide what to do. Stacey claims that this fosters a culture of dependency and conformity in which followers take no pro-active incentives and do not think independently.Many definitions of leadership involve an element of Goal management|vision — except in cases of involuntary leadership and often in cases of traditional leadership. A vision provides direction to the influence process. A leader or group of leaders can have one or more visions of the future to aid them to move a group successfully towards this goal. A vision, for effectiveness, should allegedly:

appear as a simple, yet vibrant, image in the mind of the leader

describe a future state, credible and preferable to the present state

act as a bridge between the current state and a future optimum state

appear desirable enough to energize followers

succeed in speaking to followers at an emotional or spiritual level (logical appeals by themselves seldom muster a following)

For leadership to occur, according to this theory, some people “leaders” must communicate the vision to others “followers” in such a way that the followers adopt the vision as their own. Leaders must not just see the vision themselves, they must have the ability to get others to see it also. Numerous techniques aid in this process, including: narratives, metaphors, symbolic actions, leading by example,incentives, and penalty|penalties.

Stacey (1992) has suggested that the emphasis on vision puts an unrealistic burden on the leader. Such emphasis appears to perpetuate the myth that an organization must depend on a single, uncommonly talented individual to decide what to do. Stacey claims that this fosters a culture of dependency and conformity in which followers take no pro-active incentives and do not think independently.Kanungo’s charismatic leadership model describes the role of the vision in three stages that are continuously ongoing, overlapping one another. Assessing the status quo, formulation and articulation of the vision, and implementation of the vision.Some commentators link leadership closely with the idea of management. Some regard the two as synonymous, and others consider management a subset of leadership. If one accepts this premise, one can view leadership as:

centralized or decentralized

broad or focused

decision-oriented or morale-centred

intrinsic or derived from some authority

Any of the bipolar labels traditionally ascribed to management style could also apply to leadership style. Hersey and Blanchard use this approach: they claim that management merely consists of leadership applied to business situations; or in other words: management forms a sub-set of the broader process of leadership. They put it this way: “Leadership occurs any time one attempts to influence the behavior of an individual or group, regardless of the reason.Management is a kind of leadership in which the achievement of organizational goals is paramount.”

However, a clear distinction between management and leadership may nevertheless prove useful. This would allow for a reciprocal relationship between leadership and management, implying that an effective manager should possess leadership skills, and an effective leader should demonstrate management skills. One clear distinction could provide the following definition:

Management involves power by position.

Leadership involves power by influence.Abraham Zaleznik (1977),for example, delineated differences between leadership and management. He saw leaders as inspiring visionaries, concerned about substance; while managers he views as planners who have concerns with process.Warren Bennis (1989) further explicated a dichotomy between managers and leaders. He drew twelve distinctions between the two groups:

Managers administer, leaders innovate

Managers ask how and when, leaders ask what and why

Managers focus on systems, leaders focus on people

Managers do things right, leaders do the right things

Managers maintain, leaders develop

Managers rely on control, leaders inspire trust

Managers have a short-term perspective, leaders have a longer-term perspective

Managers accept the status-quo, leaders challenge the status-quo

Managers have an eye on the bottom line, leaders have an eye on the horizon

Managers imitate, leaders originate

Managers emulate the classic good soldier, leaders are their own person

Managers copy, leaders show originality

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