Charismatic Leadership

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Types of Leadership

Types of Leadership and Their Characteristics

Michelle Evans-Curtis Nova Southeastern University

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Types of Leadership

INTRODUCTION Leadership is an attribution that people make about other individuals. People tend to characterize leaders as having the following traits: intelligence, outgoing personality, verbal skills, aggressiveness, consistency, determination. They are expected to have the capacity to motivate others to action. The manner in which leaders accomplish this varies as leaders and their styles vary greatly. Successful leadership is correlated to the compliance of followers. In a reflection on leadership, Winblad (1999) states that leaders are decisive. They are forced to make a lot of decisions quickly, and they learn the fine distinction between decisive and authoritarian-a skill in which the relative inexperience of the leader is most obvious. Leaders should create an environment where there is honesty, inspiration and realistic goal setting. Communication and clarification of goals should be continuous. Some leaders develop their team and foster loyalty by making members feel that all the accomplishments realized are a result of a collective effort. Some leaders are adept at allowing followers to come to their own decisions and develop on their own. They may provide very little direction and exercise little authority over the group. There are other types of leaders, who may referred to as democratic, who provide directions, allows the group to arrive at their own decisions, offers suggestions and reinforces team members ideas. More specifically, “the leader encourages members to develop goals and procedures, and stimulates members self-direction and actualization”(Devito, 1999, p 276). There is also the type of leader who sets the pace, makes all the decisions for the group without their input, and seeks little approval from team members. This type of leader

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Types of Leadership

exhibits an authoritative style in which the leader takes full responsibility for the team member’s progress and accepts few suggestions from the team members. The Charismatic Leader Weber (1968), describes charisma as “a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional qualities” (p 329). Charismatic leaders can achieve admirable feats such as turning around ailing corporations, revitalizing aging bureaucracies, or launching new enterprises. (Howell & Avolio, 1995). They can accomplish these feats by powerfully communicating a compelling vision of the future, passionately believing in their vision, promoting their belief with energy, and advocating creative ideas. Charismatics can inspire others by offering expressions of confidence in follower’s abilities to achieve high standards. They have a remarkable ability to convert complex ideas into simple messages ("I have a dream"). As a result, they are easily understood. They relish risk and feel empty without it; they are great optimists, they are rebels who fight convention and they may seem idiosyncratic. Charismatic leaders sense opportunities and formulate visions: they seem to sense their followers needs as well as see the inefficiency of an existing situation. They are adept in unearthing untapped opportunities. These leaders also seem to have a great sense of strategic vision and a capacity to convey the essence of that to a broad group of people. They build trust in themselves through personal risk taking and self-sacrifice. They use personal examples and role modeling.

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Types of Leadership

In summary, charismatic leaders: have a compelling vision or sense of purpose, communicate that vision effectively, demonstrate consistency and focus, know their own strengths and capitalize on them. POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP...
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