Leadership has been largely practical but the slightest understood phenomenon on earth (Northouse, 2009). Gill (2006), also describes it as a recruitment method by persons with definite, intention, ethics and access to resources in a context of struggle, and clash in the quest of goals. Leadership can be experienced in various sectors such as business, military arts among others. There are various theories describing what leadership is and they include; contingency and situational leadership which claim that ideal style of leadership does not existent. Leaders who persist achieve success through different styles depending on the nature of the situation and the followers (Northouse, 2009). The leadership skill approach looks at the abilities and the knowledge that a person has. It also stipulates that a leader can be created and could learn specific skills and change himself to an incredible leader. We also have the LMX theory Leader- Member Exchange theory. This theory focuses on the relationship between the leader and follower (Lussier and Achua, 2009). Other leadership styles include behavioural leadership and participative leadership theory.
The situational theory was propounded by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1969, 1993) (Lussier and Achua, 2009). This leadership theory stipulates the there are four leadership styles- namely telling, selling, participating and delegating whereby the subordinates – eagerness is referred to as maturity (Gill, 2006). I use this kind of leadership model since I delegate duties to my subordinates and form a relationship with them depending on their inception of the duties given to them. Once they toe the line I reduce my association with them. As a leader I have foresight and hence I have clear set goals that enable me to delegate duties to my subordinates as I know what and the exact way in which it is supposed to be done as well as the time that such activity should be conducted.
I am also competent since my actions are guided and based on reasoning and proper values that have been reviewed through the existing theories and proven theories to be important asset for a leader. Through my intellectual power I have sought to deal with challenges and provide solutions for problems a fact that has helped in building up my leadership skills towards a situation where I can be able to provide direction that develops me and motivates my followers. I am also broadminded and hence I look for variety by delegating different duties to different individuals depending on their ability. My straightforwardness ensures that good decision at the right time depending on the situation.
This leadership theory base is on the sum of path namely task behaviour and amount of socio emotional support (relationship behaviour) the head must give a provision that is dependent on the level of maturity of the followers. The level through which a leader chooses to assign duty and responsibilities to others is referred to as task behaviour and these can be done through facilitating, listening, or supporting employees. Development refers to the enthusiasm and capability of a person to take responsibility for directing his own behaviour. The duties and functions that are assigned to an employee may shape the level of his maturity as he strives to achieve the specified goals and objectives (Gill, 2006).
For a leader to establish the best method of leadership he must decide the maturity levels of his or her supporters in relation to the exact task. Upon the increase of maturity levels, a leader should start to decrease assignment activities and boost the relationship conduct till his or her supporters arrive at a modest maturity levels. The employees contribution into the above- average maturity levels, should compel the leader to reduce not only the task actions but also association deeds.
The manager may decide to use one of the following leadership styles among his/her followers. Telling is one of the styles and shows that with a high task there is low relationship behaviour. In this case the leader gives a clear instructions and exact path. Little adherent willingness intensity is present in this leadership style. The selling leadership style on the other hand task done is high and so are the relationship actions. Their is a two way communication that is encouraged by the leader and this aids in building assurance and enthusiasm on the employees part, the leader however has a duty and controls the decision making process. In the participating leadership style there is high relationship with low task behaviour in which case both the followers and the leaders participate together in the decision making processes with no anticipation for the relationship becoming directive.
This leadership model is in step with a modest adherent willingness plane. In the delegating leadership style on the other hand reflects a low relationship and low task conduct (Rubenstein, 2008). This style is the best for the leaders whose supporters are prepared to achieve certain goal and are both proficient and stimulated toward full accountability. A high supporter inclination intensity best matches this style. As a follower I prefer this leadership style as it focuses on the supporters’ abilities.
In this kind of leadership style the leader adopts an authoritative style when the subordinate fails to have a sense of accountability or an understanding of a task and hence requiring plain guidelines from the head. As one develops in capability and poise, the leader should shift to a more relationship based and finally a style that empowers. This leadership model makes an assumption flexibility of approach in the-leader-conduct skills-plus the capacity to find out the condition and the technique that is required which is a cognitive skill (Gill, 2006).
My situational style of approach is not relationship based with my subordinates since I do a lot of delegating and cut of relations as my followers begin to understand their task. I also do not motivate my followers through the adoption of this leadership style. In order to motivate my subordinates I need to adopt the LMX so that I can motivate them and build a good relationship with them so that they can get inspired.
The LMX (Leader- Member Exchange) Theory
This theory main focus is on the extent of communication linking a leader and individual and stipulates that the result of a headship is built upon how much interaction exists between the leader and its members. Due to the restricted time, caution and positional power a leader has, they are predisposed to centre their concentration on members who would maximize their leadership result. This theory focuses on the relationship between two people as opposed to other models which are either centred on the leader or the subordinate (Lussier and Achua, 2009). This theory views each person as an entity in a team. This theory identifies two types of relationships namely the in-group and the out-group. The in-group is regarded as being of high quality of this theory with optimistic results. Here the members go beyond their expected duties and they are innovative in carrying out the tasks given to them (Rubenstein, 2008). The beneficial characteristics that help the in-group include initiation and negotiation of expanded roles not present in the profession depiction.
The relationship between the subordinates and the leaders is that of respect, mutual trust and liking. Added information plus reciprocity of attention as well as concerns are received from the leader. An affirmative evaluation is given to the members plus a high rate of endorsement and also assigned the work that they needed and also get extra hold. The out- group only work hard to fulfil the obligations agreed upon in a contract. This group does not get any extra consideration or settlement since they interact formally with the leader and are more concerned with the task given. Due to the low degree of LMX poor results are produced by this group. For a leader to utilize this model well he/she must make a conscious attempt to enlarge the in-group so as to increase the output of the organization (Lussier and Achua, 2009).
This model has its advantages in that it is more realistic and it eases the identification of the in-group and out-group in any association. It gives provision of good reasoning on the difference of performance of each individual. This model also gives a provision first-rate form to incorporate the out-group and the in-group. This model also gives a strong foundation on the relevance of dialogue and interactions between leader and members.
Its weak point is that formation of an in-group and out-group is a type of isolation. It is difficult to persuade one that isolation is undeniably meant to uphold membership of the out- group and hence cannot be utilized for any other goal. Another weak point is that its focal point on particular proportions creates a situation of non- comprehension (Lussier and Achua, 2009). Due to these theory weak points of this theory I also want to utilize the path – goal theory of leadership. According to the path- goal theory followers get motivated in this leadership model. It proposes a major objective of leadership which is to inspire the presentation and contentment amid individuals being led (Lussier and Achua, 2009). In this theory an identification of goals by the leader is made who supports the enthusiasm and ensure that they own these goals.
Under this theory the leader is expected to make an identification of any hindrance for it to achieve its objectives. The leader also makes sure that there is good training and availability of wealth for followers to achieve their goals. The leader also monitors activities being carried out so as to foresee whether the need for change of tactic. The leader also identifies the exact time an objective is achieved and what can be done in case of any shortcoming as a result of the attempt. The leader is also expected to reward the followers for the achievement of their objectives and also set new goals as well as repeating he process. (Rubenstein, 2008).
From the study I have discovered that I employ the situational model of leadership whereby I delegate duties according to the varying levels of capability. In this model of leadership I have no personal relationship with my subordinates whom I only give orders to perform given tasks in accordance to their level of skills and understanding of what is required of them(Lussier and Achua, 2009). Due to this lack of personal relationship with my followers I do not influence them in a big way neither do I motivate them. I however prefer this model as a follower since a task is assigned to me according to my abilities. I have decided to adopt the Leader- Member- Exchange theory which focuses more on the relationship between the follower and the leader and hence motivating and influencing the follower.
However, this theory has its harmful side in that it encourages the formation of two groups where out- group feels left out while the in- group feels motivated and is influenced to attain their maximum potential (Lussier and Achua, 2009). To curb this problem I have also enlisted the practice of the path- goal theory which takes note of workers ability without discriminating on whom should have a good relationship with the leader. Also it keeps the followers motivated as this model strives at ensuring that all subordinates achieve their goals. I give myself a timeline of two months so that I can change my leadership style. This kind of change requires discipline and consistency but will be achieved through the adoption of the Leader- member- Exchange theory and the path goal theory which will have a positive impact in changing my leadership skills.
Gill, R. (2006).Theory and Practice of leadership. New York: Sage.
Lussier, R. & Achua, C. (2009). Theory, Application, & Skills Development. New York: Cengage Learning.
Northhouse, P. (2009). Theory and Practice, 5th Edition, New York: Sage
Rubenstein, H. (2008). Leadership for lawyers 2nd Edition, New York: American Bar Association.