Theoretical Models of Leadership: Listing, Comparison and Evaluation
Proper leadership qualities can determine how the enterprise will function and thrive among the competition. However, it is important not only to have the natural talent of being a leader but also to understand how the already obtained qualities can be applied in order to improve the influence on the results without causing harm or losing the motivation of people. The knowledge of theoretical models of leadership can help both to achieve these tasks and show how leaders can further advance by acquiring and polishing new skills depending on the situation and better understand how to foresee the imminent problems and make transitions so as to correctly lead the followers. It also assists in realizing what qualities are already present, thus resulting in better self-analysis which brings the recognition of possible conflicts and obstacles that might arise due to the lack of some personal traits. Despite the fact that all the theoretical information is not able to give a completely comprehensive answer to the question of what a perfect leader might be due to the depth of the human nature, it can still provide valuable information which might make a great impact on the final results without learning these things the hard way.
The Differences between Transformational, Autocratic and Servant Leadership
The given three forms of leadership differentiate mainly by the situation in which a particular type would be more effective than the others. As transformational leadership focuses mostly on the leader who would not only work with people but also inspire them, and by doing this, he/she will use the improved morale and productivity to form a synergy, it cannot be implemented in places where the feedback from the community will not bring any visible results. On the other hand, autocratic leadership concentrates around a single person who takes control of the whole process and, in doing so, disregards the help and abilities of the others. Despite the fact that this method avoids a possible productivity increase reached with the aid of innovative subordinates, it allows the leader to control the whole process and direct the course of action in the desirable way. Lastly, servant leadership takes a completely opposite approach to what a leader should be by putting this position on the second place, thus, making the only purpose of him/her to serve people, to sacrifice oneself in order for the community to thrive and to achieve the goals at all cost, and therefore, prioritizes the needs of an individual above those of a leader.
The Goals of the Analyzed Theoretical Models
Transformational theory has four main goals: a leader should be a role model; he/she should inspire and stimulate the followers; and he/she has to consider every person’s needs and ideas. Therefore, first of all, a proper leader should have such personality and a set of qualities and principles that people would want not only to follow this individual but also to become like one. Secondly, the next aim is for the leader to inspire the subordinates, to show them the vision of the final destination and, in doing so, encourage them to be more committed to the objectives of the community. Lastly, another important function of the leader according to the transformational theory is to stimulate the members of the group by constantly involving them in the process of decision making, and by supporting their skills and efforts, though without the leader with proper communication skills this could potentially bring unfruitful or even harmful results. To sum up, one of the most important tasks for the leader is to be able to recognize the needs and motivations of each individual, thus, creating optimal environment for each person, so that they can produce the best possible result and fully utilize their potential for the good of the whole community (Burns, 2003).
The main goals of autocratic leadership are clarity, consistency, respect and education. The main trait of the mentioned model is that the leader is determining all the tasks and changes that the members are obliged to fulfill which means that it is crucial for the subordinates to receive the directions that are as clear and straight-forward as possible to avoid any potential stuttering in the work process. Another important factor is that in order to keep a firm grip over the community, a leader should be consistent with the amount and frequency of issued orders so that the control over the process stays the same at all times. Despite the fact that the ideas of individuals might not be important to the given kind of leader, it is still necessary to show respect to the subordinates and to listen to their ideas, even if they are not going to be implemented, thus, creating necessary devotion and motivation. Considering the fact that people have no control over the tasks that are going to be issued and, therefore, have no personal influence on the matter, it is imperial for the followers to be educated on the assignments that they are going to do (Murari, 2015).
The main focus of servant leadership is to concentrate on the community first, which leads to the following goals: communication, abolishing the pyramid system, extensive training and support of the personality. The main difference of this theory from the others is that the main priority for the leader is to serve and only then to lead, thus, meaning that for this system to work, there should be a constant exchange of information between the parties in order to better coordinate the actions. The second objective is to forget about the chain of command and to concentrate on the individuals who will receive the final product, thus, increasing the quality of the end result and eliminating the need of working only to impress the leader. As in any other form of leadership, educated personnel can give a better output with less effort, therefore, it is important to educate the followers on the matter and fill them in on all the possible details before assigning the task. Considering the fact that a servant leader works mainly following the the opinions and ideas of the colleagues, it is important to encourage and promote the growth of the personality and to support and apply the personal input from people (Keith, 2016).
The Relationship between the Analyzed Theoretical Models
Despite the fact that the given three theories have different understanding of what a proper leader should be, they still use similar methods in order to reach the designated goals. The first and most obvious thing that could be noticed is that all of them respect the opinions and personalities of the followers, though an autocratic leader is only implementing this to give the feeling of involvement to the subordinates, while transformational and servant leaders will not only consider but also apply these ideas in life. Another distinct relation between them is the recognition of the importance of the educational measures in the community as this might result in better resourcefulness of everyone involved. Furthermore, as the main aim of all the forms of leadership under consideration is to achieve the results at a faster pace and as efficiently as possible, it becomes obvious that the leader should be an inspiration to the whole group by a constant self development and by showing the end path of the objectives. If the leader cannot serve as a role model for people, other stimulation methods might be not effective enough in order to increase the productivity as there would be no proper motivation to apply the skills.
The Difference between the Theoretical Model of Leadership and Leadership Style
The main purpose of the theoretical model of leadership is to determine the most optimal combination of qualities in a person who can become a successful leader, or the optimization of the features of the leader and the followers. They help to understand not only how to find a perfect leader for a particular situation but also how to modify or transform the already acquired skills for a better usage in a specific case. On the other hand, the purpose of the leadership style is to observe and categorize certain behavior models that the leader might use in various circumstances, thus, changing the course of action according to the vision of the current problem and the methods of solving it. Leadership styles help to realize which manner of conduct will bring the best outcomes within the time limit, current tasks, environment and the motivation needed. They can also be applied upon the decision of the main goals and missions that need to be achieved during certain periods of time, therefore, pre-determining the direction of the organization such as orientation towards people or towards the results, or by specific methods used by the leader, they aid in solution of the problems and motivate the followers (Goleman, 2011).
Theoretical models of leadership make a huge influence on how the leader might be perceived among the community and help to see what result might be reached if the knowledge received from the studies is applied correctly. Despite the fact that different models of leadership have various methods of achieving the results and creating the influence, they all have one big common goal that is to inspire the followers in order to get to the desirable place quicker and without losing the community. As a result of this, the initial studies of the leadership theories research not only the required optimal qualities of the leader, but also the environment that would create a better synergy with this person. Leadership styles also help to adapt in equal proportions to different conditions and the needs and peculiarities of people which are also constantly changing and evolving. Considering this, it can be stated that a proper leader understands the importance of the followers who would not only obey the commands but would also be educated and motivated enough to bring their own ideas and knowledge in order to share it with each other and, by doing so, to improve the outcome of the final result.
Burns, J. M. (2003). Transforming leadership: A new pursuit of happiness. New York, NY:
Goleman, D. (2011). Leadership: The power of emotional intelligence. Northhampton, MA: More Than Sound.
Murari, K. (2015). Impact of leadership styles on employee empowerment. Gurgaon, India:
Keith, K. M. (2016). The contemporary servant as leader. Atlanta, GA: Greenleaf Center.