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Ilm Understanding Leadership Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

Understanding Leadership

There are a variety of factors which influence the style of leadership employed at any given time within the work place, these include personal preference, the interplay between manage vs lead, the culture, the specific task, timeframe, trust, size and type of organisation or the individual in question. Most effective leaders will, to some extent, have the ability to flow between styles as the situation requires.

Each of us has a style of leadership that we prefer, falling somewhere on the spectrum between controlling, to empowering. The challenge we all face is to develop and maintain a range of leadership styles from those available to ensure that we can ...view middle of the document...

), ideally I would expect the task to be completed in the same manner as if I had completed it myself.
• Directing allows people to work in a well-structured, managed environment where tasks are allocated with detailed instruction but again does not foster development and would be counterproductive when managing staff who are highly independent. I have utilised this style when giving work to individuals that whilst they are competent and confident may not have completed the task before or may require directing to make changes reflecting my personal requirements.
• Facilitating empowers individuals to pursue their own agenda in open, unstructured forum. Individuals are able to freely discuss issues and concerns without judgement. However where knowledge or independence is lacking may be frustrating by the lack of framework
• Coaching is useful when developing new team members or expanding skill sets however it may be seen as condescending to those with a high level of independence and unfocussed to those with low independence. In a team with high turnover this tends to be the default leadership style.

In addition to the four main leadership styles there are numerous over-arching leadership methodologies which can include:
• Situational Leadership – works on the interplay between the individual/group dynamics, task/situation and leadership style morphing as each variable is changed. This is the most flexible model and will pick and take from other models as the task in hand requires.
• Transformational Leadership – requires an inspirational leader to ensure buy in to the vision. The very drive and energy that makes this a successful model can have the reverse effect and some may find the constant drive wearing
• Transactional Leadership – This model leans heavily on the management aspect of leadership. The primary limitation of this model is the basic assumption that the primary motivation for work is money and or other benefits rather than a desire to engender change or more altruistic rationales
• Servant Leadership – The leader is there to serve the team or greater good, this tends focus on ensuring that others primary needs are being met.

There is a high degree of interdependency on style vs individual independence, for example a leader who defaults to a coaching style and who has a highly independent team member will find that they will need to moderate their style or risk alienating and de-motivating an otherwise effective asset to the team, conversely an individual with low independence will flounder when tasks are delegated without support or guidance and will benefit from directing.

Experience within the team will also play a considerable part in leadership style, a team member that is usually highly independent but given a new task will require more coaching than previously; however this would be for the shortest amount of time possible before returning to the previous status quo.

Where team experience is limited,...

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