Perspectives on Leadership
Perspectives on Leadership
WHO - WHo you are. As in the qualities that ake you a leader. The person
WHERE - where you sit, ie your position or job title
HOW - How you do it, ie your approach to getting things done via the group
There is a difference between Leadership and Management:
Management - often power is instilled from above and reflects many practical aspects of the role, decisions, budgets, planning etc
Leadership - Often informally elected or recognised from below. Motivates and inspires, develops and plans. May not be a manager
Tyoes of Leadership Influence:
Entrepreneur - Skilled at sensing emerging opportunities
Manager - Skilled at reading and exploiting the current circumstances through disciplined use of resource
Leader - Change focussed, indetifies areas requiring change and building on poterntial
5 Bases of Power:
1, Referent Power - where the subordinates like the leader and identify, similar to the effect of a charismatic leader
Legitimate power - due to the concept of the official role or position of the holder
Expert Power - This is the power to evaluate job relatedness in employment decisions and to assure that such decisions are free from adverse impact and bias (in order to comply with non-discrimination statutes).
Coercive power - the ability to enforce through the fear of consequence, based on superiority of strength and the manager's ability to punish
Reward Power - The control over resources which are valued by the subject. Senior managers may have the resource power to grant promotion or pay increases to subordinates; Trade unions possess the resource power to withdraw their members labour. The amount of power a person has depends on how far he or she controls the resource, how much the resource is valued by others, and how scarce it is.
Trait theory rests on a number of important assumptions:
that the quality of the individual is a more important factor than the situation in which leadership is practiced
that effective leadership can be defined via the characteristics of successful leaders
that leaders might be identified and recruited by using the traits and qualities as selection (you should contemplate the implication for leadership development of this belief).
Although trait theory was superficially attractive and connects with many stereotypes about leadership, it proved inadequate in predicting leadership performance.
This was because:
different research would identify different leadership traits
there was disagreement over which traits were considered most important
there has been a failure to discover consistent trait patterns in relation to leadership success or failure
A strong theme in this leadership literature is the idea that if you strike the right balance between a concern for people and a concern for production, you can be an effective leader.
It has been well established that successful leaders build a balance between production concern and people concern.
WHAT - what you do. Achievements/results
Transformational Leaders - Characteristics
Idealised Influence: perception that the leader instills pride, respect and trust and a sense of purpose
Inspirational Motivation: Communication of inspiring and high performance expectations
Intellectual stimulation: behaviour to stimulate problem solving and creative consideration
Individualised consideration: recognition of the differing needs of followers, coaching and attention
"Leaders are great learners"
We need to be willing to show enthusiasm and to learn/increase competency by learning.
Be wiling to take a stand and express an opinion
Affect people through your enthusiasm
People will not believe the message if they do not believe the messenger
Leadership is both a process AND a relationship
Management of Attention - focus peoples attention on what matters most
management of Communication - able to communicate clearly with everyone
Management of Trust - acting consistently so others feel at ease
Respect - valuing the contributions of others
Risk - taking prudent risk decisions
Challenge the Process - innovative and experimental approach
Enabling others to act - empower people by actively involving them
Shared vision - believe they can make a difference and have an ideal image of the organisation's future
Model the way by setting an example
Encourage hearts by recognition of individuals and teams
followers can be co-creators of either good or bad leadership.
- often charismatic people can be arrogant and self-centred in private. Can be promoted to ill-suited positions with disasterous consequences
Negatives of Transformational Leaders:
Reject limits to their authority and norms
Over encourage the belief that success is down to individuals whilst ignoring other factors
Desire to be seen can undermine organisation
Self-awareness: an understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses through exposure to others and being aware of one's impact on others;
Internalised moral perspective: self-regulation that is based on internalised moral values (as opposed to those imposed by the group, organisation or society);
Balanced processing: objective evaluation of information before making a decision, including encouraging others to question or challenge one's values;
Relational transparency: being true to one's values and expressing this to others; this involves the open sharing of information about thoughts and feelings.
Service to others. Authentic, legitimate leadership arises not from self-interested actions, but from a fundamental desire to help others achieve their goals.
2.Holistic approach to work. Greenleaf (1970: 8) felt that "The work exists for the person as much as the person exists for the work". Individuals should be encouraged to be who they are, in their professional as well as personal lives. This connects with notions of authenticity previously discussed.
3.Promoting a sense of community. Servant leadership questions the ability of formal institutions to adequately meet human needs. It argues that only community (defined as groups of individuals that are jointly liable for each other both individually and as a unit) can perform this function.
4.Sharing of power in decision-making. Servant – leaders create environments of empowerment. In encouraging flexible organisation structures, power should be increasingly distributed rather than centralised.