There are numerous factors that affects the leadership styleadopted by a leader.
Stated below are four major factors.Leader – A leader’sknowledge, personality, skills and experiences can influence the choice ofleadership style. A leader’s previous experiences whether good or bad, personalitytype whether he/she is outgoing or reserved, whether he is an expert in hisfield or not can be used as a basis of choosing a particular leadership styleto use.
A leader that possesses a likeable demeanor who draws people to him islikely to adopt a transformational leadership style while someone who works bythe books will likely adopt a transactional leadership style.The Task: Theparticular task to be accomplished or rather the objectives of a team which isbroken down to smaller tasks can also influence the leadership style to beused. For example a team may be formed in terms of crises (here a coerciveleader is more appropriate) or when a new vision is been developed, (here anauthoritative leader is needed) or where trust needs to be rebuilt (here anaffiliative leader is best suited).
The objectives/task of the team goes a longway in determining the choice of leadership style. The Environment: Thereare different external factors that affect the choice of leadership style whichinclude but not limited to organisational culture/structure, political andeconomic factors, technology etc. Organisational structure and operating methodsmay dictate the leadership style leaders must adopt.
Organisation with highemphasis on idea requires an open leadership style which won’t be suited fororganisations were leaders set the direction. The team: Thecomposition of the team members can affect the leadership style exhibited bythe leader. The groups experience level, level of competence and commitment,motivational level, maturity level and even the size of the group all come toplay in selecting the most appropriate leadership style. For example havingteam members that are experts and with vast knowledge of subject matter or projectthe team is involved in, a delegating style of leadership will most likely beused. However if the team members are not experts in their field and havelittle knowledge about the project, delegating style won’t be appropriate.
Impact of Leadership style on the individual or groupSituational Leadership Situational leadership has to dowith how adaptable a leader can be to the work environment and knowing when toswitch leadership styles to fit for purpose when the need arises. According to Daniel Goleman, the author of”Emotional Intelligence,” defines six styles within situational leadership. Theimpact on these styles on the individual and group is stated below. S/N Leadership style Positive Negative 1 Coaching A lot of guidance is been provided by the leader. The leader is excellent in helping others improve on their skills and development. Individual: It enhances individuals personal development, builds self-confidence, self-motivation and gears the individual towards independence.
In the long run the individual becomes a highly competent person Group: Work is done with mutual trust and commitment as individuals are willing to learn. This enhances the quality of work the team delivers and in the long run the team’s goals are achieved. Individual: If the leader in question is not skillful in teaching, the individual gets demotivated and frustrated especially when he/she is willing to learn. Group: Having a demotivated and/or frustrated individual in a team negatively affects the quality of work and also creates a toxic working environment overtime if not put in check. 2.
Pacesetting It’s a “Do as I do” leadership style. The leader leads by example and sets high standards for his team members. Individual: This serves as a source of motivation to individual members as they won’t be asked to do anything that the leader wouldn’t do. Group: In the short term, higher performance is recorded in terms of quality of work and achieving results. Individuals: Positive feedback are seldom given and due to the demand and speed with which tasks are required to be done, individual burn out quickly. This invariably leads to low morale. Personal development and learning is not promoted. Group: Due to the fast pace in which tasks are done, there is little or no tolerance for mistakes.
Hence team members who don’t rise to the occasion are quickly replaced. This coupled with low moral will negatively affect the team dynamics and work environment and also give little or no room for innovation or creativity. 3. Democratic: The leader actively involves the team in decision making and problem solving Individual: Individuals are involved in decision making hence boost morale and self-confidence. This also helps individuals be more open to change. It brings out the best in individuals. Group: The team is always committed to ensure things work well and goals are achieved.
The best of ideas are harvested and worked on. This leadership style fosters unity and team spirit. Individuals: Personality clashes due to different opinions can cause an individual who doesn’t like confrontation to restrain from bringing forth ideas and just agrees even though he/she has a superior argument.
Group: Decision making process could be slow since team members participation are require. This affects the delivery of work for projects that are time-bound. This in the long run affects the team members” morale. 4 Affiliative: The leader focuses on the team members’ well-being above all. Individual: Positive feedback is often given. The individual feels valued hence there is a self confidence boost. The individual also feels a sense of belonging hence individuals are highly motivated. Group: With a highly motivated team members who are allowed to take ownership/ responsibility, the proper environment is been created to achieve team goals Individuals: Underperforming results are often not dealt with hence individuals then too think poor performance is good enough.
This tramples individuals’ development. Group: since poor/mediocre performance often go unchecked, the overall team performance begins to deteriorate in the long run. 5 Authoritative: A visionary leader that steers the team towards the vision and path to success. Individual: The vision and direction of the team is clear at every point in time.
This gives the individual a sense of purpose. The means of achieving the goal is left to the individual, hence creativity, learning and innovation is promoted. This invariably increases individual morale. Group: The team doesn’t lose sight of the vision and goal of the team.
There is a collaborative effort in ensuring the team is on the right track to achieving the team’s goals and objectives. Individual: the leader can be cut up in the future that clarity is not been provided for the future. This can lead to confusion at the operational level hence leading to frustration and demotivation. Group: When the leader is disconnected from the realities of the present operations of the team and gets caught up in the future, the performance of the team begins to deteriorate because there is no much guidance on the present. This adversely affects the overall performance of the team in the long run. 6 Coercive: The leader tells the team what, when and how to do things. Individual: It helps to improve the skill of underperforming individuals of the team.
Group: Goals/task are achieved in record time and efficiently as the direction the team should go is clear and team members do exactly what they are told. Individual: Individuals get disgruntled as there is little or no room for creativity, innovation or ownership of task. The individual also feels undervalued as leadership style provides little reward. With frustrated individual comes poor performance. Group: It has a negative impact on the overall work climate as there is little or no room for flexibility. In the long run the overall performance deteriorates as this can promote high team turnover which has its associated cost. John Adair Leadership StyleIt’s an actioned centeredleadership style that focuses 3 major elements i.
e. task, team and individual.A team is put together to achieve a common goal which must be clear to all.
This goal can only be achieved if the all team members work together for thecommon good. The team members must see the group as an entity of its own andlastly for individuals to keep being motivated to achieving the common goaltheir need as an individual must be met.The leader has to balance the needsof the 3 elements. However there is likely to be conflicts among the threeelements e.g limited time and resources makes leaders tend towards focusingonly on the task at the detriment of both the team and individual. Also tryingto build team spirit can be to the detriment of the task itself. Having abalance of the 3 elements enables the individuals to thrive while giving theirbest. Having a blend of the three elements invariably improves team dynamics.
Assess own leadership behavioursand potential in the context of a particular leadership model and ownorganisation’s working practices and culture, using feedback from others (28marks)The leadership style used in thiscontext to assess my leadership behaviour is the general situational leadershipstyle. These includes Directing, Coaching, supporting and delegating.In my previous organisation, KPMGprofessional Services, I had the opportunity to be in charge of an audit team. Itwas a team of 4 auditing an internet solution company. The audit was time framedas we were given a deadline to submit all audit findings to the group auditor.Situational leadership style was the prominent leadership style used in theorganisation.The team of 4 included myself, 2experienced persons and one new joiner. Before choosing which leadership styleto use for each, I tried assessing each team member based on competence andcapabilities.
These assessment was also useful for allocating tasks to eachteam member. I reviewed each person’s completed report and was available forconsultation when needed.I used 3 different leadership stylein these scenario as each person was peculiar.
I used the coaching style forthe new joiner as she had little experience prior to joining the firm, howevershe was not conversant with our policies and procedures as at that time.Supporting style was used for one of the experienced hire. Though she had beenin the firm for quite a while, she had no experience in auditing anorganisation in this particular industry sector. Delegating style was used forthe third team member as he was conversant with that job. He was part of theaudit team for this particular job the previous year. Based on the feedback received frommy subordinate and manager the following was noted:- Task wereproperly allocated based on the capabilities of the team member- Initialleadership style used where appropriate at the beginning – Positivefeedback was often given and this boosted the team members’ morale.
– Issues werepromptly escalated.- Coaching ofthe new joiners for some task should have been delegated to the experiencedpersons as this motives and prepares them for a future leadership role.- As the auditprogressed, Switching of leadership styles where necessary wasn’t done. E.gmoving from coaching to supporting the new joiner as she got conversant with thepolicies and audit procedures of the firm.
Also identifying when theexperienced hires needed coaching.- A bit ofmicromanaging was done as the deadline was getting nearer- Little or noroom was given to the new joiner to be innovative or creative. Hence the teammissed out on leveraging from her past experience.
– The team metthe deadline and the team’s overall performance was good.Describeappropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour in the context of theparticular leadership model (24 marks) Constantassessment of the situation to determine if the leadership style been used isthe most appropriate: A periodic assessment of the team members should be donein the course of the project as team members most often move up the commitmentand competence ladder as time goes on. If I had done this, I would have realisedwhen the new joiner needed to be supported and not coached and also the need tomicro-manage might have been eliminated.
Identifying and adjusting leadershipstyle to suit the teams need will go a long way in boosting team members’motivation level and translates to a higher performance level in the long run. Motivateothers to greatness: I need to look beyond the obvious and try to identify personswho has the potential to be much more and help harness such potential. Manygreat leaders rose to that position because another leader recognised andharness that potential. Giving my more experienced hire the opportunity to coachthe new joiner would have gone a long way in harnessing his potential. It’s notjust being a great leader but helping to build another great leader bringshigher fulfilment.Improve communication skills: To be a better leader I needto make hat conscious effort to improve my verbal, non-verbal and listeningskills. Be able to communicate my expectations, goals, intentions etc. to my teammembers.
I need to also make that conscious effort to give room to others tovoice out their opinions and ideas. This helps promote creativity and innovationamong the team members. If I had giving the new joiner more room to voice outher opinion and ideas about some of the task given to her, we probably wouldhave found a more efficient way to accomplish some tasks.Continuous Improvement: One secret to being a great leaderis continuous improvement. I intend to continuously improve myself in everypossible way. Seek for feedback and identify areas of improvement I need towork on. Be willing and ready to learn from both leaders who are way ahead and subordinateswere necessary.
The aim is to keep growing and learning.In summary I intend applying the identified action plans (i.econstantly re-assessing the situation to determine the leadership style that isbest suited, motivate team members to greatness by giving them opportunities tolead were necessary, improve communication skills especially listening toothers opinion and constantly make a conscious effort to grow and learn fromothers.) immediately. I have an informal mentor who I am accountable to and whogives me monthly feedback. My aim is to have recorded a significant improvementby September 2018.