Leadership is often defined as the process of influencing people to drive them towards achieving a common goal. The definition of leadership clearly highlights the relationship between a leader and the followers, where the responsibility of the leader is to motivate the employees and maximize their effort to drive organizational success. It is the responsibility of the leader to make sure that the human resources of the organization are properly utilized to foster long term growth and sustainability in the firm.
Even though this leadership definition is universally accepted by scholars and leaders alike, but over the years different leadership approaches have been developed. Each of these approaches or leadership styles has its own way of influencing people and driving them to achieve certain tasks. Having a thorough idea about different leadership styles and their implications, are extremely important for your leadership essay. It can help you to identify the current leadership style in a given case study organization and also to propose the right leadership style for any existing firm based on their business model. The following leadership styles are some of the most popular ones that you must learn about:
Before we begin discussing the various leadership styles, keep in mind that each of them is used in different contexts. A leadership style which is suitable for one firm, may not work at all in another. After going through each one of them you will be able to identify which leadership style works best in which environment. This will help you greatly in your college essay.
Democratic Leadership: The democratic leadership (or participative leadership)involve close collaboration and mutual respect between the leader and the followers. In this leadership style, the employees are allowed to participate in the decision-making process. Most of the decisions taken by the organization is based on the feedback of the employees. Thus, democratic leadership is largely focused on meeting the interests of the workforce. It allows the firm to design the policies and regulations which brings the employees much closer to the organization. The key advantage of democratic leadership is that it motivates the employees to participate more into their job roles, and it also builds a good relationship with the higher management. However, in democratic leadership, including the employees in every decision-making process can be time consuming and resource intensive.
Autocratic Leadership: In autocratic leadership the organizational decisions rely solely on the higher management and the employees do not play any active role in the decision-making process. The key decisions are made by the leaders and higher-ranking managers and the employees are expected to abide by them. In this leadership style, the workforce is kept under strict control, where there are almost no room for creativity or personal freedom. The employees are rewarded or penalized based on their contribution and dedication to their job roles. Autocratic leadership can be advantageous in organizations that wants to establish well-defined hierarchy and a clear chain of command. Moreover, it can be also beneficial for firms which follows strictly standardized operational processes. However, it can also lead to poor employee motivation and lack of creativity in the organization.
Laissez-Faire Leadership: In Laissez-Faire leadership, the leader has very less interaction or contribution towards team performance. The leader is only present to provide the necessary resources and authorize certain actions, but most of the operations level decisions are taken by the employees only. Moreover, in this leadership style the leader does not participate to provide any guidance or support to the employees. Laissez-Faire leadership is only suitable for organizations where all the employees are well experienced and well trained to take the right decisions and do not require any supervision. Laissez-Faire leadership gives the employees full freedom for creative thinking and implementation. However, it also brings risk of failure and internal conflict among the employees. The lack of supervision allows the employees to do whatever they want, which can be detrimental to organizational performance.
Situational Leadership: Situational leadership is based on the assumption that there is no thumb rule for the right leadership approach. Organizations operate in different environments, with different objectives. Therefore, any one type of leadership cannot be applied in every scenario. In situational leadership, the leader analyzes the current situation and choose the right course of action based on his/her judgement. Situational leadership is more effective in problem solving and allows the company to adopt the right strategies in the right time. However, it should be noted that the in order to adopt situational leadership, the leaders needs to be highly experienced and skillful in taking the right decision in the given situation.
Transformational Leadership: The transformational leadership is focused on brining long term changes within the organization. As the name suggests, this leadership approach is suitable for firms which wants to transform itself to achieve greater heights. The objective of a transformational leader is to foster growth in every aspect of the organization, including professional development of the employees and improvement in overall business performance. The leader encourages, motivates and inspires the employees to be more creative. He/she also guides them with their job roles and shows them how they can perform even better. Transformational leadership can bring significant changes into an organization. However, implementing this leadership style can be quite resource intensive and time consuming. The leader has to invest more time and effort for the subordinates, in order to foster improvement in their performance.
Transactional Leadership: The transactional leadership is quite opposite to the transformational leadership. While transformational leadership is focused on brining long term changes to the firm, the transactional leadership is more concerned with maintaining the status quo of the business venture. A transactional leader does not look for long term growth and development, but rather on the existing business performance. In this type of leadership, the organization rely on extrinsic rewards to motivate employees to work harder and meet their individual goals. The leader does not motivate for creativity or innovation, as the firm do not seek to make any changes in its business model or revenue structure. Transactional leadership is quite poor in employee retention, and fostering job satisfaction, when compared to transformational leadership. But it is important to understand that the transactional leadership may be suitable in certain organization, which has a highly rigid and mechanical structure. It is commonly found in the middle management of very large organizations.
By this time, you should have had a clear understanding of all the leadership styles and their implications. This will help you in nailing your essay on leadership without any assignment help. We have found that every leadership has its own pros and cons, so before choosing the right leadership style for your assignment, you need to carefully assess the given scenario in your test.
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