By Murray Johannsen
When developing your leadership skills, one must soon confront an important practical question, "What leadership styles work best for me and my organization?" To answer this question, it's best to understand that there are many from which to choose and as part of your leadership development effort, you should consider developing as many leadership styles as possible. Three Classic Leadership Styles
One dimension of has to do with control and one's perception of how much control one should give to people. The laissez faire style implies low control, the autocratic style high control and the participative lies somewhere in between. The Laissez Faire Leadership Style
The style is largely a "hands off" view that tends to minimize the amount of direction and face time required. Works well if you have highly trained and highly motivated direct reports. The Autocratic Leadership Style
The autocratic style has its advocates, but it is falling out of favor in many countries. Some people have argued that the style is popular with today's CEO's, who have much in common with feudal lords in Medieval Europe. The Participative Leadership Style
It's hard to order and demand someone to be creative, perform as a team, solve complex problems, improve quality, and provide outstanding customer service. The participative style presents a happy medium between over controlling (micromanaging) and not being engaged and tends to be seen in organizations that must innovate to prosper. Situational Leadership
Situational Leadership. In the 1950s, management theorists from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan published a series of studies to determine whether leaders should be more task or relationship (people) oriented. The importance of the research cannot be over estimated since leaders tend to have a dominant style; a leadership style they use in a wide variety of situations. Surprisingly, the research discovered that there is no one best style: leaders must adjust their leadership style to the situation as well as to the people being led. Goleman's Model of Situational Leadership. This is a relatively recent view that based on the application of emotional intelligence to leadership. The six styles one can use are: coaching, pacesetting, democratic, affinitive, authoritative and coercive. Hershey and Blanchard's Model of Situational Leadership. Going back to the 1970s, the model primarily focuses on the nature of the task as the major variable in choosing your style. In this model, there are four options: telling, selling, participating and delegating. The Emergent Leadership Style
Contrary to the belief of many, groups do not automatically accept a new "boss" as leader. We see a number of ineffective managers who didn't know the behaviors to use when one taking over a new group.
The Transactional Leadership Style
The approach emphasizes getting things done within the umbrella of the status quo; almost in opposition to the goals of the transformational leadership. It's considered to be a "by the book" approach in which the person works within the rules. As such, it's commonly seen in large, bureaucratic organizations. The Transformational Leadership Style
The primary focus of the transformational leadership style is to make change happen in: * Our Self,
* Groups, and
The transformational style requires a number of different skills and is closely associated with two other leadership styles: charismatic and visionary leadership. Charisma is a special leadership style commonly associated with transformational leadership. While extremely powerful, it is extremely hard to teach. Visionary Leadership, The leadership style focuses on how the leader defines the future for followers and moves them toward it. Strategic Leadership
This is practiced by the military services such as the US Army, US Air Force, and many large...