Effective Leadership Styles

Topics: Leadership, Management, Authority Pages: 7 (2212 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Leadership Styles 1

Effective Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles 2

Effective Leadership Styles

There are various leadership styles in today’s business settings. All of them are different and similar in some way. I think it is wise to review some of the different styles and observations get a better understanding about leadership. To start it is important to take a look at leadership traits to understand the decisions and behavior of individual leaders. If we have a better perception of what drives a leader then we can use these traits as a guide for effective leadership.

One definition of leadership defines it as the behavior of an individual, directing the activities of a group towards a shared goal (Hemphill & Coons, 1957, pg 7). Another observation is as true today as when it was written. The concept of leadership eludes us or turns up in another form to taunt us again with it slipperiness and complexity. So we have invented an endless proliferation of terms to deal with it……and still the concept is not sufficiently defined (Bennis, 1959, pg. 259). Overall, leadership is the ability to influence, motivate and enable others.

Leadership Styles 3

The Intra-individual theory covers the personality traits of leaders to provide insight. It states that that an individuals traits, skills, values are what motivates them to seek power and position (Yukl, 2009). These traits help provide insight of the different leadership roles. However, it does not cover what is the most essential process of leadership, which is persuading others.

Persuading your peers, bosses and outsiders is the foundation of an effective leader. There are many different ways. Some styles might be beneficial for a one on one approach and other styles may be directing at group level. Knowing the situation and the options you have will make you a more successful leader. One approach is the Dyadic approach, it focus’s on the relationship between the leader and another individual.

I personally prefer this method when possible. I can focus on one person and put more energy in motivating them. I can be the main source of influence, with no outside distractions. The Dyadic approach evolves over time and takes mutual trust. I do not recommend the Dyadic method when it comes to motivating a team or group. Trying to foster a closer relationship with one individual can create a perception on favoritism to the rest of the group.

Leadership Styles 4

When leading teams or groups there are many different roles a leader can play. These are important factors in determining the role the leader must take. When you are the leader in a team, you have the same goal as the members of the team, but your job usually has different responsibilities. As the leader you have the authority and must manage the operations within the team. You must motivate the team members to reach the set goals, while coordinating the team needs with the other parts of the organization. From experience this can very rewarding, because you get to celebrate the win as a team member and the leader. As a leader you need to have a degree of power as well as influence. Power can be expressed in many ways. It can be as simple as how much influence the leader has over a person than the person has over the leader. Influence and power can increase and decrease based the situation.

Methods to understand power usually involve distinctions among different types of power (French and Raven 1959). Knowing which one to use and how much to apply is crucial. I believe I hold several different types of power. One being legitimate power, my legitimate power stems from my formal authority at work (French & Raven, 1959). My rank in the USAF gives me authority over members in the USAF that have a lower rank. In the USAF we have to comply with strict rules and regulations for the benefits of being in the military (March...
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