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Leading is the process of influencing others to act to accomplish specified objectives. It
consists of interpersonal influence, by means of communication process, toward the attainment
of a specified goal.
Who is Leader?
Leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, and
creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire
A leader is not the boss of the team but, instead, the person that is committed to carrying out
the mission of the Venture. A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to
achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen.
A leader impels his followers to action by persuasion, influence, power, threat of force, and
appeal to legitimate right. A leader is one who has followers. He has formal and informal
authority and power. A leader may be born or made by time, education, or training. A leader
has common traits like intelligence, social sensitivity, social participation, and communication
skills. He communicates, persuades, motivates, guides, leads, and informs his subordinates
and followers. A leader has power the bases of which are reward, coercion, legitimacy,
identification with the power figure, and expertise. In an organization usually a manager is
considered as leader who directs his group members to achieve the desired goal.
Vision of Leader
A vision statement is a statement of words describing where and what an organization wants to
be in the future. To be a visionary, a leader need have nothing more than a clear vision of the
future. The difficult task is communicating that vision with clarity and passion in order to
motivate and inspire people to take action. A visionary leader who clearly and passionately
communicates his or her vision can motivate employees to act with passion and purpose,
thereby ensuring that everyone is working toward a common goal. The end result is that
everyone contributes to the organization's forward momentum.
Effective leaders are able to set and achieve challenging goals, to take swift and decisive
action even in difficult situations, to outperform their competition, to take calculated risks and to
persevere in the face of failure. Strong communication skills, self-confidence, the ability to
manage others and a willingness to embrace change also characterize good leaders.
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What is Leadership?
Leadership can be defined as:
According to Oxford dictionary:
“The action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this”
Other experts’ says about Leadership:
“Leadership is the initiation of action to solve a problem”
“The action of leading a group of people or an organization”
“Leadership is directing or controlling the activity of a group”
“Leadership is influencing the activities of group as it moves toward its goals”
“Leadership is power, But power is not necessarily leadership”
“Leadership is power that grows out of personal characteristics such as charisma,
expertise, and interpersonal skills”
What does Leadership involves?
Establishing a clear vision,
Sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly,
Providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and
Coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.
Traits of a good leader
Traits of Leadership
High energy level
Tolerance for stress
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Desire to improve
Understand own strengths and weaknesses
Need to achieve
Able to convert purpose and vision to action
Persuades others to follow
Cooperates and collaborates with others
Ability to influence others
Takes initiative in social situations
Learns from experience and adapts to change
organizes and solves problems
Asks for more responsibility
Knowledge of organization and how it operates
Eager to explore new approaches to work
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Ability to communicate
Have and communicate purpose, direction, and meaning
Have clear goals and are determined to achieve them
Experts at one-to-one communication
Excellent writing skills
Creates and maintains a communications network
Doesn’t depend on only one source for information
Successful managers usually had experience in a variety of different types of situations
May give followers freedom to take responsibility for own ideas, decisions and actions
Committed to collaboration and require everyone to participate in leadership
Motivation- a leader has to be able to motivate everyone to contribute.
Planning- the leader has a plan to achieve the goal.
Caring – genuinely concerned with followers’ lives and well-being
Empathize and care about implications of actions
Constancy – staff believe leader will support them,
Types of leaders
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1. Autocratic leadership
Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where leaders have a lot
of power over their people. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make
suggestions, The manager does not consult employees, nor are they allowed to give any input.
Authoritarian leader usually determine the specific task for each participant because they often believe that group
participant are limited in ability and need strict guidance and control. Therefore, its rigid and inflexible. Such leader
discourage member participation, causing members to resign themselves to the fact that the leader will make all
the decisions no matter what anyone else might have to contribute. Leaders who employ the authoritarian style
may very quickly reach the solution they want, but in terms of group morale the costs are high. In many situations,
leaders want the group to know beyond any doubt that they are in control. Because they so completely dominate
their groups they remain unaware or concerned about the members’ perception of them as leaders.
Authoritarian leaders would be appropriate in some situations, for example , in a crisis or when time is extremely
limited or when the matter under discussion is trivial. For instance, the military often uses an autocratic
leadership style; top commanders are responsible for quickly making complex decisions, which
allows troops to focus their attention and energy on performing their allotted tasks and missions
Authoritarian leadership, however, is overused and counterproductive.
Decisions are made quickly
Work gets done efficiently
High levels of absenteeism
High staff turnover
Situation where this style is appropriate:
Untrained employees who do not know which tasks to perform or which procedures to follow
Effective supervision can be provided only through detailed orders and instructions
Employees do not respond to any other leadership style
There are high-volume production needs on a daily basis
There is limited time in which to make a decision
A leader’s power is challenged by an employee
The area was poorly managed
Work needs to be coordinated with another department or organization
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Situation where this style is not appropriate:
Employees become tense, fearful, or resentful
Employees expect to have their opinions heard
Employees begin depending on their leader to make all their decisions
There is low employee morale, high turnover and absenteeism and work stoppage
2. Democratic leaders
Democratic or participative style gives the participation and freedom of other group members.
Participative or democratic leaders encourage group members to participate actively in a
decisions or discussion. Rather than restrict group members, this style of leadership has a
Participative style can be characterized as follows:
All group members participate freely.
Communication is directed to all members, not just in leaders
Group decisions are perceived as group achievements
Group members are able to satisfy some personal needs in the group environment
Group members are able to identify with the group.
Employing in the participative style is difficult. The leader must balance the need to achieve the
desired task with the aim of encouraging group interaction. This type of leadership is the most
frequently used because it promotes a high degree of group cohesion and at the same time
spurs the group toward accomplishing the task.
Team members tend to have high job satisfaction and are productive
This style also helps develop people's skills
Team members feel in control of their destiny, so they're motivated to work hard by more
than just a financial reward.
It can often hinder situations where speed or efficiency is essential. For instance, during a
crisis, a team can waste valuable time gathering people's input
Another downside is that some team members might not have the knowledge or expertise
to provide high quality input.
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Situations where this style is suitable:
The leader wants to keep employees informed about matters that affect them.
The leader wants employees to share in decision-making and problem-solving duties.
The leader wants to provide opportunities for employees to develop a high sense of personal growth and
There is a large or complex problem that requires lots of input to solve.
Changes must be made or problems solved that affect employees or groups of employees.
You want to encourage team building and participation
when working as a team is essential, and when quality is more important than efficiency or
Situation where this style is not suitable:
There is not enough time to get everyone’s input.
It’s easier and more cost-effective for the manager to make the decision.
The business can’t afford mistakes.
The manager feels threatened by this type of leadership.
Employee safety is a critical concern.
3. Laissez-faire leadership
This French phrase means "leave it be," and it describes leaders who allow their people to
work on their own. This type of leadership can also occur naturally, when managers don't have
sufficient control over their work and their people. Laissez-faire leaders may give their teams
complete freedom to do their work and set their own deadlines. They provide team support with
resources and advice, if needed, but otherwise don't get involved. The laissez-faire leadership
style is also known as the “hands-off style. All authority or power is given to the employees and
they must determine goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own. The leader of a
laissez faire gathering always tries to view the discussion from the frame of reference of the
member who is speaking.
Giving team members so much autonomy can lead to high job satisfaction
Team members don't manage their time well
If they don't have the knowledge, skills, or motivation to do their work effectively.
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Situation where this style is appropriate:
Employees are highly skilled, experienced, and educated.
Employees have pride in their work and the drive to do it successfully on their own.
Outside experts, such as staff specialists or consultants are being used
if the leader monitors performance and gives feedback to team members regularly
Employees are trustworthy and experienced
Situation where this style is inappropriate:
It makes employees feel insecure at the unavailability of a leader.
The leader cannot provide regular feedback to let employees know how well they are doing.
Leaders are unable to thank employees for their good work.
The leader doesn’t understand his or her responsibilities and is hoping the employees can cover for
him or her.
Bureaucratic leadership is where the leader manages “By the book ¨ everything must be done
according to procedure or policy. If it isn’t covered by the book, the leader refers to the next level above
him or her. This leader is really more of a police officer than a leader. He or she enforces the
rules. This is a very appropriate style of work involving serious safety risk or where large money
Situation where this style is appropriate:
Staff performing routine tasks over and over
Staff need to understand certain standards or procedures
Safety or security training conducted
Staff performing tasks that require handling cash
Employees are working with dangerous or delicate equipment that requires a definite set
of procedures to operate.
Situations where this style is inappropriate:
Work habits form that are hard to break, especially if they are no longer useful
Staff lose their interest in their jobs and in their co-workers
Staff do only what is expected of them and no more
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5. Transactional leadership
This leadership style starts with the idea that team members agree to obey their leader when
they accept a job. The "transaction" usually involves the organization paying team members in
return for their effort and compliance. The leader has a right to "punish" team members if their
work doesn't meet an appropriate standard. the focus is on short-term tasks. It has serious
limitations for knowledge-based or creative work. However, it can be effective in other
Managers using the transactional leadership style receive certain tasks to perform and provide
rewards or punishments to team members based on performance results. Managers and team
members set predetermined goals together, and employees agree to follow the direction and
leadership of the manager to accomplish those goals. The manager possesses power to review
results and train or correct employees when team members fail to meet goals. Employees
receive rewards, such as bonuses, when they accomplish goals. Power is given to the leader to
evaluate, correct and train subordinates when productivity is not up to the desired level and
reward effectiveness when expected outcome is reached.
This leadership style clarifies everyone's roles and responsibilities.
Transactional leadership judges team members on performance,
People who are ambitious or who are motivated by external rewards – including
compensation – often thrive.
Team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction.
It can feel stifling, and it can lead to high staff turnover.
6. Transformational leadership
The transformation leader motivates its team to be effective and efficient. Communication is the
base for goal achievement focusing the group in the final desired outcome or goal attainment.
This leader is highly visible and uses chain of command to get the job done. Transformational
leaders focus on the big picture, needing to be surrounded by people who take care of the
details. The leader is always looking for ideas that move the organization to reach the
company’s vision span of control.
The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from
management to meet goals. Leaders motivate employees and enhance productivity and
efficiency through communication and high visibility. This style of leadership requires the
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involvement of management to meet goals. Leaders focus on the big picture within an
organization and delegate smaller tasks to the team to accomplish goals. in many
organizations, both transactional and transformational leadership styles are useful.
Transactional leaders (or managers) ensure that routine work is done reliably, while
transformational leaders look after initiatives that add new value.
They expect the best from everyone on their team as well as themselves.
This leads to high productivity and engagement from everyone in their team.
The leader's enthusiasm is passed onto the team,
He or she can need to be supported by "detail people."
Which Type of Leader would Best Suit an Organization
with Narrow Span of Control?
What is narrow span of control?
Span of control can be defined as.
“Span of Control means the number of subordinates that can be managed efficiently and
effectively by a superior in an organization. It suggests how the relations are designed between
a superior and a subordinate in an organization”
Two types of span of control
Narrow span of control: Narrow Span of control means a single manager or supervisor
oversees few subordinates. This gives rise to a tall organizational structure.
Wide span of control: Wide span of control means a single manager or supervisor
oversees a large number of subordinates. This gives rise to a flat organizational structure.
An ideal span of control according to modern authors is around 15 to 20 subordinates per
manager, while according to the traditional authors the ideal number is around 6 subordinates per
manager. In reality, the ideal span of control depends upon various factors, such as:
Nature of an organization
Nature of job
Skills and competencies of manager
Employees skills and abilities
The kind of interaction that takes happens between superiors and subordinates, etc
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Advantages of narrow span of control
it is easier to manage employees.
It also provides better communication between the employees and the managers.
The managers have better control because the they would only be responsible for a
specific number of employees
It is easier for the managers to delegate responsibilities because all the employees are
usually at the same work level.
The atmosphere surrounding a narrow span of control creates a positive attitude among the
Employees tend to work more productively when they have a positive attitude and under
The managers can also communicate quickly with their employees.
the feedback from the employees will be quicker and more effective.
The managers do not necessarily have to have great management skills because less
management skills are required to manage a small number of employees.
Important factors to determine that which type would best Suit
To determine that the people are ready, motivated and willing to accomplish goals.
Competence and clarity of direction
To determine that people know what to do and how to do it.
Cooperation and cohesiveness
To determine that how can team effectively work together, make decisions and avoid conflicts.
Resources and support
To determine that does team have necessary tools, money, people, etc, do they face serious
barriers and require support.
To determine that does team need to collaborate with Other groups or not.
To determine that does leader have necessary authority, knowledge and experience or not.
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The RIGHT Leadership Style...?
Many experts believe there is no one “right” leadership type or style. While this is partly true, if
there is one default style of leadership that is most effective in today’s organizational environment it
is probably something resembling participative.
"The visionary style, especially when it includes democratic and participative elements, is also
nearly always effective. In the early years of an organization’s development the leader may need to be
somewhat more authoritative and directive, providing a fair and just source of answers
and boundaries. This leadership type at this juncture helps provide stability and lays the foundation
As the organization matures, followers can increasingly participate in setting goals and solving
problems. A laissez-faire style, or delegating style, is more appropriate as the organization matures
and followers learn and grow.
We have learn above in this report that when one leadership style is appropriate and inappropriate
in an organization, so there is no one leadership style is best suit for the organization its depend on
situations that we discussed and some other factors which are discussed below:
There are three other factors that also influence which leadership style to use.
The Leader’s personal background
What personality, knowledge, values, ethics, and experiences does the Leader have? What does he
or she think will work?
The Employees being supervised
Employees are individuals with different personalities and backgrounds. The leadership style
leader use will vary depending upon the individual employee and what he or she will respond best to.
The traditions, values, philosophy, and concerns of the company will influence how a leader acts.
In conclusion, A leadership style does not have to be based merely on personality – you can
choose a style. You can and should further develop your ability to use various leadership styles. Create an
inclusive style, a style that you can vary. Try new behaviors and techniques, depending on what the
situation calls for and what fits with your personality and your values.