Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Types of Leadership

Action Centred Leadership

A model proposed by John Adair (1973) argued that it is not who you are but what you do which establishes you as a leader. A leader needs to balance the needs of the task, the team and the individual, shown clearly in the diagram below in his 3 circle model. The effective leader carries out the functions and demonstrates the behaviours appropriate to the circles, varying the level according to the needs of the situation. The leader whlist balancing the three circles, sits in his/her helicopter above the process, ensuring the best possible overview of what is happening.
Leaders Behaviour under Task

· Providing clear Objectives
· Providing appropriate procedures
· Ensuring there is evidence of progress
· Ensuring avoidance of digression
· Ensuring deadlines are met

Leaders Behaviour under Team

· Commitment
· Trust & Openness
· Sense of purpose
· Stability
· Cohesion
· Success
· Fun

Leaders Behaviour under Individual

· To be included
· To make a contribution
· To be respected
· To receive Feedback
· To feel safe
· To grow
Transformational Leadership

In James MacGregor Burns’ concept of ‘transforming leadership’ he states “leadership is relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents”. “It occurs when one or more person’ engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation or morality”. Transformational leadership is about the ability of the leader to motivate and empower their followers:

“The goal of transformational leadership is to ‘transform’ people and organisations in a literal sense – to change them in mind and heart; enlarge vision, insight, and understanding; clarify purposes; make behaviour congruent with beliefs, principles, or values; and bring about changes that are permanent, self-perpetuating, and momentum building” (Bass and Avolio, 1994)

Transformational leadership is frequently contrasted with ‘transactional’ leadership where the leader gains commitment from followers on the basis of a straightforward exchange of pay and security etc. in return for reliable work. Transactional leadership conjures a managerial image, while transformational leadership evokes images of extraordinary individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr., or Ghandi.

Charismatic Leadership is one of the more recent theories on leadership. Although not many studies have been done so far to test them, these theories suggest certain different and interesting ways of looking at leadership.

Charisma is a special characteristic of some leaders. People usually feel personally attracted to a charismatic leader. And the attraction can lead to a powerful leadership.
Servant Leadership

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. He or she is sharply different from the person who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. For such it will be a later choice to serve – after leadership is established. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
Distributed Leadership

Distributed leadership is not a new idea nor a difficult one. It is essentially about sharing out leadership across the organisation. Referred to as ‘informal’, ‘emergent’, ‘dispersed’ or ‘distributed’ leadership, this approach argues a less formalised model of leadership (where leadership responsibility is dissociated from the organisational hierarchy). It is proposed that individuals at all levels in the organisation and in all roles (not simply those with an overt management dimension) can exert leadership influence over their colleagues and thus influence the overall direction of the organisation.

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