In the conditions of contemporary business development, leadership became crucial to the organizational success. Leaders help organizations to move to another stage of evolution by integrating personal and organizational goals into a single system, which meets the needs of the employees and motivates them to perform tasks according to the organization’s expectations. Contemporary management theory offers a myriad of leadership models, which reveal the potential of every leader that depends on his or her personal peculiarities. However, one can distinguish three main leadership models that allow building a flexible organizational environment. Situational, charismatic, and transformational leadership models allow organizations to understand the needs of the employees with leaders helping the subordinates and inspiring them to increase productivity in return for loyalty and support from the leader.
The Importance of Leadership Models
Organizational performance is a complex cycle of processes, which require managers to continuously accommodate to the business environment in order to achieve strategic success. The diversity of leadership models allows every leader to select the most appropriate model to guide their followers towards accomplishment of tasks through motivating and supporting them according to their needs. While some employees require emotional balance and stability, others are ready to perform in a hectic environment that requires one to take immediate decisions. Leadership models focus on the following aspects: motivation, ethical environment, morality, and cooperation. A leader should effectively articulate these aspects to initiate proper activity of the followers and guide actions in appropriate direction (Zhu & Akhtar 2013, p. 380). The goal of leadership is to provide the followers with confidence and willingness to work according to the company’s mission, vision, and goals. It is impossible to influence the behavior of employees without a leadership model. The development of the vision of future among subordinates is crucial to the movement of the organization to another stage of the performance. Since leadership is aimed at a broad audience, it is worth understanding a natural predisposition of a person to specific model of interacting with others. Otherwise, the effect of leadership will be opposite to the organizational expectations.
The model of situational leadership is an important component of the behavioral sciences aiming to influence people with the help flexible techniques, which allow accommodating to the characteristic features of different individuals. Situational leadership emerged in the middle of the 20th century due to the outstanding work and dedication of Dr. Paul Hersey willing to develop an ultimate model that could enable leaders from different fields to enjoy the beneficial influence of leadership (Manepatil 2013, p. 2). The model is a product of a research on organizational behavior, which Paul Hersey initiated in cooperation with Ken Blanchard (Bosse et al. 2017, p. 610). One of the distinctive features of the situational leadership is the ability of managers, teachers, salespeople, and even parents to use the model in any problematic situation. The core of the situational leadership lies in the ability of a leader to analyze every situation basing on three criteria, which are task behavior, relationship behavior, and the readiness level (Manepatil 2013, p. 3). Task behavior includes the support and directions provided by the leader after assigning a task. Relationship behavior means a socio-emotional connection between a leader and an employee. Finally, the readiness level is seen as willingness of the individual to follow directions of the leader to complete the task in an appropriate manner. Situational leaders follow a four-step process of applying leadership techniques; these steps are diagnosis, adaptation, communication, and advancement. Diagnosis means a current situation that may require a comprehensive adaptation in order to set effective communication and work on the advancement of the situation. A successful outcome of a situational leadership model is willingness of the followers to complete the task based on the guidance of the leader and continuous coordination at all steps of the task implementation.
A charismatic leadership model is a remarkable element of management, which focuses on skillful communication allowing leaders to understand the needs of subordinates and target their emotions. Charismatic leadership also has a broad spectrum of application, including business entities, social movements, religious institutions, and political organizations. The first mentioning of charismatic leadership dates back to 1958, when Max Weber impressed the world of management with his book The Three Types of Legitimate Rule (Parry & Kempster 2013, p. 26). Weber presented three classifications of the authority in the organization; these are legal, traditional, and charismatic authorities. Since 1958, charismatic leadership has started its evolution under the influence of management. Charismatic leaders have outstanding communication skills, which enhance their expertise in any field due to the natural predisposition to continuous enhancement of knowledge (Harper 2012, p. 24). Charismatic leaders are capable of sharing their ideas with a large audience, ensuring that everyone understands the topic under discussion. A distinctive feature of a charismatic leadership model is its reliance on the personality of the leader, not the process, which other leadership models focus on. Emotions of the audience are the objective of the charismatic leadership since emotions define the way the audience comprehends information and uses it to complete the task. There are several requirements of a charismatic leadership model, which influence the effectiveness of a charismatic leader. These are an ability to express sensitivity to the surrounding environment with the diversity of the employees’ needs, accept the need to take risky decisions, and articulate personal vision of the organizational mission, vision, and goals in a clear manner.
A model of transformational leadership includes continuous monitoring of the workplace with the diversity of the employees’ needs and creation of a shared vision among employees by inspiring them to accept changes. Transformational leadership is one of the most popular leadership models, which allows leaders to work on the enhancement of the employees’ productivity by inspiring them to take full responsibility of their work, developing the sense of self-identity and collective identity, and motivating them to transform personal weaknesses into strengths (Karakitapo?lu-Ayg?n & Gumusluoglu 2013, p. 114). James MacGregor Burns is the author of transformational leadership, which he considered as a chance for both leaders and followers to work on continuous improvement by means of organizational change and advancement in motivation and morality (Groves 2016). The main aim of transformational leaders is to unite employees by organizing their performance targeting the same goal. Challenging goals, effective articulation, energizing motivation, clear vision, and personal example are the main tools of transformational leaders in guiding followers towards success. Transformational leaders are looking for the opportunity to initiate a beneficial change in the organization by means of utilizing strengths of the subordinates in the achievement of the company’s goals. There are several features of transformational leadership that distinguish it from other leadership models, namely prioritization of tasks, support of shared moral standards, creation of an ethically appropriate environment, mentorship and coaching of every subordinate, and promotion of cooperation. The key to successful application of a transformational leadership model lies in setting the common welfare and prosperity of the organization over personal interests.
The development of leadership is a complex process that depends on the evolution of the human relations under the influence of various environmental factors. The discussed leadership models are popular enough because of the opportunity to apply them in various fields of life according to the characteristics of the organization and personal traits of the leader. The number of leadership models is much bigger than just three models addressed above, which means that every leader should find personal model that will help him or her to achieve success by guiding others. However, the discussed leadership models allow making a variety of recommendations in terms of the organizational performance and guidance of the employees towards success.
First, it is worth recognizing the importance of selecting the most effective leadership model according to personal peculiarities and organizational needs. The key to success lies in creating the natural environment that would foster achievement of goals and continuous improvement. Secondly, an effective leadership model should be the one that allows a leader to unveil personal strengths and recognize weaknesses, which will help to reflect improvement of skills and abilities on the followers (Zhu & Akhtar 2013, p. 378). Finally, a leadership model should allow a leader to develop the potential of the employees by continuously nurturing their inner energy, inspiring to improve personal capabilities, and mobilize all available resources to accomplish a diversity of goals.
After reviewing several leadership models of the new business era, it became clear that an effective leader must be present at all levels of the organizational performance in order to promote progress of the employees in the achievement of success. The concept of success and its achievement can be vague for subordinates without a leader reminding employees of the organizational mission, vision, values, and strategic orienteers. A leader is a representative of the organization, which means he or she is responsible for the performance of employees and their motivation. An interview with an experienced leader from my organization proved that leadership is crucial to the productivity of the employees. He approved my choice of the leadership models, stating that they are the most effective nowadays. He also agreed with the main points of my research. In addition, he mentioned that every leader beneficially influences organizational performance in case of shaping personal attributes in a leadership model, which unveils the potential of both a leader and employees.
Bosse, T, Duell, R, Memon, Z, Treur, J & van der Wal, C 2017, ‘Computational model-based design of leadership support based on situational leadership theory’, Simulation, vol. 93, no. 7, pp. 605-617.
Groves, K 2016, ‘Testing a moderated mediation model of transformational leadership, values, and organization change’, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.
Harper, S 2012, ‘The leader coach: a model of multi-style leadership’, Journal of Practical Consulting, vol. 4, no.1, pp. 22-30.