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Leadership Style

Autor:   •  April 1, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,179 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,143 Views

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Leadership has been described as a complex phenomenon because it can take on many forms and holds several definitions. At a high level, leadership is “the process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner.” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2012, p 4) The concept of leadership style then, is the way in which leaders go about inducing their subordinates to produce the desired behaviors. Leadership styles are connected to things such as: how one connects with others within their organization, how they handle criticism, how they approach tasks, or their values and beliefs. All of these will depend on the leadership style.

Leadership style is an important attribute within corporations because that style will be reflected throughout the organization and amongst its followers; it helps mold and define the culture of organization. If a leader is fair and encouraging, others in the organization will most likely follow suit. If a leader is critical and self absorbent, others in the organization will pick up on those traits as well.

There is no right or wrong leadership style per say, it is more about understanding how to adapt your style to the situation at hand. Having knowledge of many different styles of leadership can help a leader adjust accordingly and lead more effectively. Three well documented leadership styles are transactional, transformational, and democratic leadership.

Transactional leadership derives its name from the transactional nature that occurs between leader and followers in this style. The transactional leader sees the relationship between himself and his followers as a series of transactions. “The "transaction" usually involves the organization paying team members in return for their effort and compliance.” (Leadership Styles, n.d.) This leader rewards or punishes accordingly, based on the effectiveness of the transaction completed. These leaders are not known for developing strong emotional bonds with followers or motivating them. “Instead transactional leaders were believed to be more successful at driving organizational change by setting goals and promising rewards for promising results.” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2012, p 590) Although transactional leadership can have positive effects on performance, this style lacks leader skills and the ability to create a creative and satisfying work environment. Steve Jobs, Apple Computers Inc. CEO is a notable transactional leader. He was known for his down to earth personality and task oriented leadership. He was also well known for giving employees a tongue lashing if their tasks failed to meet his expectations.

Transformational leadership style on the other hand, “changes the status quo by appealing to followers’ values and their sense of higher purpose.” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2012, p 577) These leaders are charismatic and are able to clearly articulate problems and communicate


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