Contemporary Views of Leadership
Leadership exists in almost every institution. Leadership can also be found in a family, a school, and even in a business enterprise. Leaders play a vital role in ensuring that followers perform their duties as required. They ensure that everything runs smoothly and are responsible for any mistake committed in an organization. Leadership starts its existence since the early days. Today, there are various contemporary views of leadership such as the transformational, transactional, and situational as well as their distinct categories. These styles have been applied by modern leaders to enable them to succeed in their tasks.
It is a model that was developed by a scholar known as Burns. He argued that transformational leadership occurs when people in an organization or any setting interact with each other in their activities. This interaction, which consists of leaders and followers, boosts morality and motivation hence the raising of each other to higher ranks. Those at managerial levels are responsible for shaping their relationships with other members (Goertzen, n.d.). Transformational leadership model has four categories.
Place New Order
Idealized influence is based on trust. People must demonstrate a high standard of moral values and ethics that have been set within an organization. As such, leaders are always on the front line to express these values (Kendrick, 2011). Those at lower levels who also exhibit these values easily connect with their leaders.
In inspirational motivation, leaders have the role of enabling followers in order to see what they ought to do to achieve future goals. They can offer encouragement to followers as well as challenge their deeds so as to set high expectations for the future.
In this category, leaders question and challenge followers so that they can come up with new ways of solving out problems within an organization. Leaders discourage followers from using the old ways of doing things. Consequently, juniors can join various dots and come up with more concrete ideas.
This category tends to treat each follower differently and uniquely. As such, mentoring and growth opportunities are offered to each depending on an individuals performance and contribution to a team (Kendrick, 2011). Furthermore, leaders listen to each followers needs and help them in various aspects hence boosting individual development.
This model is based on supervision and group performance roles. Leaders have the responsibility of supervising their followers and offering punishments or rewards based on the members performance. Punishments and rewards may play a key role in improving a followers performance and complying with their leaders (Wren, 1995). Transactional leadership is divided into three categories.
In this category, leaders offer a reward to followers who show desired efforts. There are followers who may give ideas of what they wish to accomplish in the team. There may also be an exchange of promises and raising the expectations of leaders. As a result, leaders may become impressed hence giving rewards to these followers.
Management by Exception Active
In this category, leaders become very observant, particularly on the followers behavior. Once they observe that followers are deviating from the expected standards, they take immediate action to correct the mistakes. These corrective measures may be punishments, demonstration, or conversations with followers.
Management by Exception Passive
In this case, leaders choose to ignore when followers misbehave or when things are not moving as expected. Leaders may do this out of choice or failure to carry out their duties as expected. However, they act when the situation becomes very severe or almost unbearable (Wren, 1995). Additionally, they may also choose to act when the matter is reported to them by team members.
Situational Leadership Model
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This approach argues that no specific level of leadership tackles a particular problem. Any level can come in depending on the situation at hand. All in all, leaders ought to clearly understand their tasks and roles in the team. They need to prioritize their duties so as to handle the most important ones to the less important ones. Besides, leaders must be in a position to understand their followers abilities as well as their willingness to handle a particular situation. A group of followers may not be capable of handling an individual situation. Furthermore, there are those followers who may have the ability to handle the situation but may be unwilling to do it because of certain reasons (Van Wart, 2015). As such, leaders should be vigilant to suit the appropriate followers to handle a certain situation. This model has four categories.
This approach is mostly applicable in case followers are unwilling to attend to a situation at hand. In some instances, the members may be too afraid to encounter a certain situation. On the other hand, some may not be willing to carry out a certain task because they dislike it. In such cases, leaders take their directive role and order followers to face the situation. Leaders can divide functions and supervise members closely so as to accomplish the assigned tasks (Van Wart, 2015). In this category, communication has to be one way in that, leaders order followers without listening to their opinions. It is hard to maintain relationships in this category because nothing is optional. This approach is most suitable when things have become tough or when the situation seems to have adverse consequences.
This style can be most appropriate when followers are willing to carry out a certain task but lack the required ability for the task. Here, a leader divides the roles among followers but listens to their opinions. This act means that communication is two-way. Furthermore, a leader has to supervise the members because of their low ability and incompetence in carrying out assigned tasks. A manager must involve followers in the decision making process and praise them once in a while to boost their self-esteem and ensure commitment (Van Wart, 2015). Giving advice as well as offering a helping hand is essential to help followers to improve on their weaknesses.
Supporting is necessary when members are capable of performing certain tasks but lack the motivation. A follower may have a high ability to carry out a certain task but refuses to do it or lacks interest. In such a situation, a leader finds out why a follower may be unwilling to do the work. After discovering the problem, he or she ought to solve the problem and urge a follower to be committed to the task. Hence, supportive approach entails encouraging and praising members (Van Wart, 2015). Doing this plays a vital role in boosting supporters self-esteem hence increasing their commitment to the task.
Delegating applies when followers have a high ability to tackle the job as well as commitment towards the work. Delegating is easy because a leader only needs to assign duties with the assurance that followers will accomplish them as required. As such, the level of trust between a leader and a follower is high and little supervision is required. A follower often updates a leader on everything taking place.
Leaders ought to apply the three models in their activities: situational, transformational, and transactional. All of them are essential, and each of them can be used on various occasions. For instance, leaders can point out their followers abilities and willingness towards certain tasks and implement the particular necessary approach to solving the problem. They can also reward their supporters to motivate them or influence them to behave in a certain way. A current leader ought to be well versed in such tactics to be competent in his job. As a matter of fact, a leader should be smart and display a high level of expertise in handling followers. Incorporating these approaches will play a fundamental role in equipping leaders in their challenging field.