What Is Your Leadership Style?

What Is Your Leadership Style?
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If you want to have a good job, then select a good boss. That is one of the famous ideas among general people. Have you ever thought, why is it so important to select a right leadership? Have you ever thought about yourself as a leader? Inside of each and every one there is a hidden leader. Let us recognize your leadership style.

Leadership is not your position power or the designation of your job. Leaders do not need any positions to lead their subordinates. Simply leadership is “The ability to influence people towards the attainment of organizational goals” (Management by Richard L Daft). So, if you are a leader you should be able to influence or make an impact to the people around you.  But you should impact on people on achieving goals and objectives of the business organization.Leadership and management are two different concepts. Leaders are always managers. But always managers are not leaders. Management power comes from the organization structure. But leaders emerge from other people. Leader gets powers from subordinates and manager gets power from the organization.

Leader vs. Manager

Autocratic versus Democratic Leaders

Autocratic leaders who tend to centralize authority and rely on legitimate, reward and coercive power to manage subordinates. But the democratic leaders delegate authority to others and encourage other’s participation.The leadership could be a continuum reflecting different amounts of employee participation. i.e one leader might be boss centered, another leader might be subordinate centered and third is a mixture of both. Yet, we cannot say what is the best way out of these approaches. Because leaders should respond according to the situational changes. Therefore it depends with the situation.
The reason why leaders become more autocratic is may be due to time constraints, experience and decision making problems. Leaders may be afraid to decentralize the authority because subordinates may have less confidence, experience and lack of expertise.  On other hand, centralization of authority may occur if the leader wants to give experience to his subordinates and subordinates with good self-confidence.


(source: Harvard Business Review, an exhibit from Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt,” How to choose an leadership pattern”)

Employee Centered and Job Centered Leadership

University of Michigan introduced a different approach to leadership style by comparing the behavior of effective and ineffective supervisors. The most effective leaders are those who focused on employee needs in order to build effective work groups with high performance goals. They named those type of leaders as employee centered leaders. Then the less effective leaders are job centered leaders and they concern more about low cost, work schedules and production efficiency.The leadership grid clearly shows how we can identify our leadership style. This was introduced by Robert Blake and Mouton of University of Texas. This concept is built based on the work of Ohio state and Michigan Studies.

Concern of People

Contingency Leadership

In here, the Leadership style should be depends with the situation. The effectiveness of leadership depends with the various factors. Some of them are

  • Organization culture
  • Leadership traits
  • Nature of the subordinates
  • Nature of the given work

Transactional Leaders

“Transactional leaders clarify the role and task requirements of subordinates, initiate structure, provide appropriate rewards and try to be considerate to and meet the social needs of subordinates”  (source: Richard L. Daft- Management 5th edition)Transactional leaders are always hardworking, tolerant and fair minded. They have always commitment to the business organization and work according to schedule. They are concerned about increasing productivity.

Charismatic Leaders

They have the ability to inspire and motivate people to do more than they would normally do, despite obstacles and personal sacrifices. The impact of charismatic leaders is normally from

  • Stating a lofty vision of an imagined future that employees identify with
  • Shaping a corporate value system
  • Trusting subordinates and earning their complete trust in return
Imesha Ruwanpahtirana
Imesha was former CMO and a former contributor at Nerdynaut.
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  1. Chathuire Niluka Nupearachchi

    May 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for helping to find the leader in ourselves. Keep it up!

  2. Upeksha Niwardana

    August 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    This is an awesome post because it is well-written, very interesting and quite informative.
    Thank you Imesha, for making us in searching the leader in ourselves 🙂

  3. 97Margarette

    April 10, 2017 at 12:26 am

    I must say you have high quality articles here.

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