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Leadership is an important part of organisation as well as daily lives of people. There are different styles of leaderships that are used in different contexts. The most notable styles of leadership are autocratic, bureaucratic, laissez-faire and democratic (Raelin, ,2011).The major aim of this report is to discuss the different styles of leaderships in different situations. The three major situations that are leadership in context of sports coach, supervisor of construction site and CEO of a multinational firm will be discussed. The report will also draw on major theories of leadership and their utility in these three contexts of leadership behaviour.
Leadership context by a sports coach
The leadership style that is used by a sports coach is democratic leadership style. Under this type of leadership style the leader shares decision-making abilities with the group members so as to promote social equality and interest of group members (Alice, 2014). The reason behind using this style is that under this style of leadership the coach can circumscribe the needs of the team and the instrumentality of the team members that include their attitudes and skills. This leadership style encompasses that every member of the team shall have to play a vital role in the decision making of the group by virtue of their human status.
Besides this the democratic leadership style needs the leader to make important decisions by guiding and controlling the team members. There are several qualities of a leader in democratic style of leadership these qualities are competence, honesty, intelligent, fair-minded, broad-minded, courageous, imaginative, and straight forward and forward-looking (Northhouse, 2013). A sports team is like this only in which all the team members are devoted towards achieving the goals and the coach guides them very closely for that. This type of leadership is considered to be very healthy for a team or an organisation because in this every stakeholders has a say and everyone is given equal opportunity to participate that promotes creativity in the working. Many studies have found out that this is the most effective leadership style and it contributes in higher productivity of the team members. It also helps in increasing the morale of the team members. Democratic leadership style helps in encouraging better ideas form team members and more creative solution to the problems faced by them.
This leadership style is the most efficient style for a sports team because the foundation of a sports team is collective behaviour and creative problem solving. This coach when uses this leadership style can boost collectiveness to a very great extent. While it considered being the best style of leadership it also has some downsides. At the time when sports team has unclear roles then the democratic leadership style of the coach may lead to uncompleted projects and communication failures (Alvesson & Spicer, 2012).But overall this leadership style will be the most suitable leadership style that is followed by a sports coach.
Leadership context by a supervisor on a construction site
A construction site is the place where maximum workers belong to uneducated sector and thus the leadership style that is used by the leaders on a construction site is authoritarian leadership style. Under this type of leadership style the followers are controlled by the leader and they do not have a say in decision making (Dusterhoff, Cunningham, & MacGregor, 2014).The workers or the staffs do not possess high level of expertise and because of that the leaders are responsible for decision making and no one else. In this type of leadership the leaders at construction site emphasise on the distinction between themselves and their followers and they also make sure to create a distinctive professional relationship. They believe that direct supervision is the key to maintain a successful follower ship and environment (Chambers, 2007).This type of leadership often follows the vision of the individuals that are in control. The major focus of construction leaders in this type of leadership is on the efficiency and they make sure that there is no chance the followers can hinder the progress of the project. An authoritarian leadership style requires unique set of characteristics that help the leader in making the followers work in an efficient manner and keep a control over them.
The traits of an authoritarian leader are: setting individual goals, one-way communication that is majorly downward and control over discussions. The construction leader also dominates the interactions. This type of leadership style creates a fear among team members and they are forced to work as per the wish of the leader. In this leadership style there is no room for creativity of group members and thus the decisions that are taken by the leader may not be right always (Barr & Dowding, 2012). On construction sites the staff members that are hired are only expected to perform their task in accordance with their will or creativity and they are not expected to use their willingness or their working styles.
This leadership style creates an environment of fear in the construction site and staffs also know that in case of non-compliance of orders they may have to face consequences. This makes the working environment very strict and everyone needs to follow all the rules and regulations (Austin, 2013). In this way this leadership is more towards the task oriented behaviour rather than people oriented behaviour because the focus of this leadership style is on accomplishment of task and not on the human factors their appreciation that is Perish style of leadership as per managerial grid (see figure 1).
Figure 1: Managerial Grid
Source: (Booth, 2013
Leadership context by a CEO of a multinational firm
The CEO of a multinational firm is observed to have followed laissez-faire style of leadership. In this type of leadership style all the powers and rights of decision making are given to the employees. A CEO generally gives this power to a director of company. This is the leadership style that has been proposed by Lewin, White and Lippitt (Binney, 2005). In this type of leadership style the leader allows followers to make decisions for the firma and they are also free to pursue their course of action as per the need. It generally gives the followers self-rule but also provides guidance from time to time. The CEO provides all the necessary material and guidance to the followers so that they can achieve their goals efficiently. In this
case the CEO will not directly participate in the decision making but in case he is requested by the followers then he provides the guidance and takes an active part in the process of decision making.
This type of leadership is generally used in case when followers are highly knowledgeable, skilled, educated and experienced. It also implies that the followers shall take pride in the work they do and they are driven to work for it in a successful manner. The pre-requisite for this type of leadership is self-motivation of the followers (Chambers, 2007).All these conditions are already fulfilled in case of a multinational company. The followers are also required to be experienced as well as trustworthy. The most significant aspect of this type of leadership is that the leader can’t provide regular feedbacks to the followers. This is because of the reason that the CEO is very busy in making strategies for the future and he does not get time to look into these matters and because of that providing regular feedback is not possible. This type of leadership actually links to the path goal theory of leadership. In this theory the leaders act as a support system to the followers so that they can achieve organisational goals as well as their personal goals (Campbell, 2011). The leader in this type of leadership style does all the possible acts to support the employees so that they do not have to face any hurdle. This leadership style is very helpful in achieving the goals of the organisation and keeping a lively environment in the organisation. The only problem with this leadership style is that sometimes the followers get more freedom and they may misuse it because no one is there to keep a check on them. This will further affect the decision making process as well as the intensity of goals achievement in the organisation. Even after this drawback, this leadership style is the most significant style of leadership because the leader is free of all the responsibilities and followers feel recognised because they have a say in decision making.
The above analysis on leadership styles suggests that every leadership style is good in its own context. It depends upon the level of followers and the level of power that shall be given to the followers. The nature of goals and objectives also has a significant impact on the leadership style of a leader. This makes it very clear how the three types of leaders are different in behaviours and traits and how they need to control their followers.
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