Leadership Styles

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Leadership and Leadership styles

Spreitzer and Quinn (2001) explain that increasing competition, a global economy, and rapid technological change require organizations to innovate continually and be flexible in order to survive. This needs mindset and lived reality throughout the organization. People are most important asset of an organization. One’s technologies, products and structures can be copied by competitors. No one, however, can match highly charged, motivated people who care. People are firm's repository of knowledge and they are central to the company's competitive advantage. Well educated, coached, and highly motivated people are critical to the development and execution of strategies, especially in today's faster-paced, more perplexing world, where top management alone can no longer assure one’s firm's competitiveness.

Leadership styles are crucial to success. We find ourselves taking leadership roles at one point or the other in our lives. We can easily find leadership in the world of business, sports, religion, and politics and even at home. Some are leaders are successful and others are not. Some get respect and others are not. Surprisingly some of the successful leaders do not get respect rather people hate them! This depends on kind of leadership style adopted by a person. From Mahatma Gandhi to Jack Welch and Martin Luther King to Rudolph Giuliani, there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders. Fortunately, business people and psychologists have developed useful, shorthand ways of describing the main leadership styles that can help aspiring leaders to understand and adapt their own styles and leadership impact. Leaders who are successful but abusive do not get respect and subordinates hate them. Also such leaders are harmful for the growth of the organization as an individual they may be successful but they damage the organization as many knowledgeable persons leave the organization as they cannot bear such behavior.

1.0 Leadership

There is at present no consensually agreed-upon definition of leadership among scholars. Definitions vary in terms of emphasis on leader abilities, personality traits, influence relationships, cognitive versus emotional orientation, individual versus group orientation and appeal to self versus collective interests (Bass, 1990, Yukl, 1994).

Barrow (1977), Cartwright & Zander (1968), Hollander (1985) define Leadership is a reciprocal process. Any aspect of the leader, group member or setting can influence and be influenced by every other variable in the system. An interactional view assumes that leadership is a fluid, dynamic process involving continual adjustments among the three elements. Burns (1978), Hollander & Julian (1969) and Pigors (1935) explain that Leadership is a transactional process. The leader/member relationship is a form of social exchange; leaders and group members trade their time and energy in exchange for valued monetary and social rewards. Bass (1985), Bass, Avolio & Goldheim (1987) elaborate that Leadership is often a transformational process. The transformational leader increases group members’ motivation, confidence and satisfaction by uniting members and changing their beliefs, values and needs. Grimes (1978) calls it as a cooperative process of legitimate influence rather than sheer power.

Leadership is all about resolving paradoxes and crises in the absences of clear knowledge on where to draw the line. Great leaders try to anticipate changes; they encourage group members not to use the best practices of others as bench marks but to find innovative solutions so that others will use their practices as bench mark. This is possible only by empowering the group members or followers.

According to Arthur F Carmazzi, leadership does not involve changing the mindset of the group, but the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best (inspires) the individuals in that group. Empowering Leadership refers to the...
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