Table of Contents
Determining Your Perfect Position Paper
Without any doubt, in the 21st century society was transferred into the new era in which business, and professional collaboration plays a significant role. The breakthrough in the modern technologies and organization of the society has considerably influenced the vitality of the leader, his/her work, and manner of management. According to the definition, leadership is determined as an ability of the person to provide effective guidance and decision making within the colleagues and organization. American scholar Bennis determined (1998), genuine leaders are not made, since they are born. “They know what they want, how to achieve their goals, and what kind of communicative tools to use in order to provide good cooperation”, he continues (Bennis 1998). Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, and Mao Zedong are identified as the biggest and the most successful leaders in the world. The question is what kind of features made these political figures the true leaders?
There are several peculiarities that distinguish a true leader among other people. A teacher from the Royal Military Academy John Adair (1998) pointed out three types of needs that the leader must meet: he/she needs to perform the task, direct team to carry out the instructions, and to perceive the uniqueness of each individual between other team members. Furthermore, Adair investigated the concept of “Four paths up the mountain”. Personal identity, knowledge, employment, and beliefs determine this concept and help the individual in performing his/her tasks and achieving his/her goals (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).
Undoubtedly, in the establishing the personal style of leadership it is recommended to evaluate the most widespread theories of leadership. The terminology will differentiate in one leadership training course to the next. However, there are three main theories of leadership: contingency, transformational, and trait models. The first theory of leadership is the contingency theory that was developed by Fred Fielder in 1967. This scientist is famous for his breakthrough in the field of leadership, while he investigated the concept of situation that significantly influences the leader. This concept is amplified by the fact that there is no ideal behaviour in the real leadership. According to Fielder, there are three main peculiarities that determine the leader among other people. They are leader member relationship, task structure, and leader position power. First of all, the leader member relationship demonstrates the trust, respect, and faith to the leader who organizes the work. Secondly, the task structure helps to make a detailed instruction of the work, and guides the employees in the right direction of accomplishing the work. Thirdly, the leader position power shows what kind of manipulative tools are used by the leader with the aim to control the workers and organize their performance of the tasks (Robbins, 2003).
The second theory of leadership is the transformational theory that was developed by James McGregor Burns in 1978. He investigated the concept of transformational leadership, while investigating the leaders in the political sphere. According to this scholar, the leader and his/ her employees should work together, and test each other that will advance their level of knowledge, lead to motivation, and satisfy their needs (Burns, 1978). The follower of Burns, Bass, extended the work of Burns by including a psychological mechanism. This mechanism helps to measure the impact of motivation on the employees. The followers of this theory will feel an absolute trust, admiration, and loyalty to their leader. However, both scholars concluded that the transformational leadership should include individualized attention, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence. According to this approach, the leader has certain admirable features of character that promote better mutual understanding between him/her and the colleagues. Moreover, the leaders may show their emotions in order to demonstrate their indifference to the situation (Bunnis, 1998).
In accordance with the trait theory, humans have personal traits that introduce them as the leaders. Leadership motivation is the most vital trait that shows an intense desire to govern the others in order to reach their goals. Secondly, honesty and integrity are vital traits, while the true leader should be open, reliable, and soul of the team. Thirdly, knowledge of business is very important, while the leader should be aware of what techniques to use in the modern business and what devices to apply in order to conduct successful business. Additionally, cognitive ability, emotional maturity, charisma, flexibility, and self-confidence are vital traits of the true leader. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Gardner made list of the traits of the successful leader. According to his leadership attributes, the real leader should have the following traits: stamina, task competence, action-oriented judgment, personal skills, need to achievement, decisiveness, courage, assertiveness, ability to conduct working process and communicate with people, and eagerness to accept responsibilities (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991).
In the framework of leadership, it is necessary to point out styles of the leader. Leadership style is the manner that helps to implement plans, to motivate people, and to provide direction in order to achieve a common goal. A group of scientists represented by Lewin, Lipitt, and White (1939) investigated three leadership styles: laissez-faire, authoritarian (autocratic), and democratic (participative), based on the power of impact exercised by the leader. The laissez-faire leader (“let it be”) allows his/her workers to work individually. In this case, the leader is absolutely confident that the employees will perform the task well, and meet the deadline. The benefit of this style of leader is that the workers feel freedom to do their work, and this will positively influence on the job satisfaction, and its productivity. The drawback of the laissez-faire leader is that there is a possibility that the team members do not have appropriate knowledge, responsibility, and experience to do the work. Thus, this inability can be dangerous for the company (Heifetz, 1994). The authoritarian (autocratic) leader has an absolute power of control. The employees and team members have little possibility to make any suggestions; despite the fact that it can be more beneficial for the company. The advantages of this style of leadership consist in the quick decision making, and accomplishment of the work. The disadvantage is that employees can feel the high level of absenteeism, and inability to show personal point of view. The autocratic leadership is widely used in the military service, economic or political spheres, where there is a demand to make decisions quickly and without a dissent. Personally, the most suitable, and developed style of leadership for me is democratic. The democratic (participative) leader makes the final decisions by paying attention to the employees’ opinions, and their suggestions. The creativity, freedom, and interesting ideas are fully encouraged. This style of the leader has many benefits, while it demonstrates an absolute job satisfaction due to the fact that everybody is included in the process of decision making. There is no punishment or salary-cut that can be applied in the demonstration of own opinions. Furthermore, teamwork is highly valuated, since the workers and employees estimate the vitality of the accomplished job that was made by combined efforts. In this case, the pecuniary reward occupies the second place. However, the democratic leadership has the accidental drawback that can be shown in the example of lengthy decision making, while it is necessary to listen every opinions. Consequently, this can cause boredom between the employees (Bass, 1985).
All in all, while conducting a business, there should be a true democratic leader who can force employees to do certain tasks and make them feel self-realization and confidence of their job performance by including their opinions to the final decision. Moreover, the democratic leader will encourage creative thinking, make positive work environment, and reduce employee turnover.