Which personal style should managers adopt to ensure success? What is the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates? These questions have been extensively researched and debated over the last century, and while the general consensus has been moved away from ‘command and control’ management and leadership towards more consultative and participative approaches, there is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics (CMI, 2013).
LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT: are two commonly used terms which has traits in common but are unique individually with features that are not overlapping.
Leadership is described as an art which is defined as an ability to influence others whereas Management is described as a science which engages more mundane actions such as supervision of workers and overseeing of budget. A leader can be more flexible when compared to a manager when it comes to decision making. And the leader tends to take more risk in the work by trying out new things and can decide upon the existing situation whereas a manager is deprived of these as has to follow the norms and rules of the organisation throughout. In simple terms a leader appeals to the heart and expects achievements whereas a manager appeals to the head and expects only the final results (Diffen.com, 2015).
In spite of the differences and the similarities, a leader can be a good manager and a manager can be an efficient leader. Every manager should understand the organisation in depth with all details and should critically analyse all the aspects of the organisation in order to be successful. Also, a leader must know the strengths and weakness of each and every team member in order to produce better results.
In literature, we have come across different leadership theories and models and there have been leaders who are still quoted as example for leadership. In context to the different leadership theories, there has been the autocratic theory in the past till the democratic theory and situational theory that is practiced at present (Yourarticlelibrary.com, 2015). The debate of which is the best theory to be followed is not very easy to answer since every theory has its own pros and cons and the theory has proved good in its time. Each theory teaches us different values and nothing can be ruled out. But, in the present day scenario, all the employees are well informed and the organisation environment has changed to a great extent. In the present business world, there is no place for autocratic leadership as all the organisation understands and values the employee’s skills and feelings.
Comparing the past and present according to the CMI, the business world has moved to a more consultative and participative leadership which is actually true. Most of the organisation follows the participative leadership in which the leader discusses the situation with the team members and discusses their opinions and the final decision is made by the group together. This can be said that the leader sells his idea to the team members or give them idea about the situation and then discusses. This way, the efficiency is enhanced because when discussed there are chances of getting new and radical ideas and also, the team members feel more attached and work with high spirits. This leadership model helps in getting better results for the company as well as helps in the improvisation of the individual’s skills (Changingminds.org, 2015). On the other hand the consultative leadership model is where the leader describes the situation to the members and discusses the possibilities but the final decision on the task is taken by the leader which turns out to be slightly autocratic (Leadership with You, 2015). This particular model is less practised at present but is still prevalent. Of the two models discussed, the democratic/ participative model is more efficient but the major drawback of this model is when there is a time crisis and also when the team is set new for the project. In this situation the democratic model fails to be fully efficient and that’s when the situational model of leadership can be useful.
In the situational model, the leader discusses the issued, consider the opinions, give equal chances to the team mates but when there is a time crisis, the leader is flexible to handle the situation in a way in which the members are also happy (Leadership-Central.com, 2015). Thus this model can be cited as a good model for the development.
But according to my personal views, I consider situational leadership model as an attribute rather than a character itself. Also, an efficient leader is one who doesn’t stick to just one model or theory but is able to switch different models according to the time and situation. According to the CMI, there is no single ideal leadership method, because every theory has made its stand very clearly and with time everything changes. Leadership being considered a form of art is well exhibited only when different forms are adapted according to the situations. This is when the leadership skills of a person are commendable. According to me democratic leadership along with the situational leadership model is best suited for today’s world where everyone is equally trained and efficient. These two models comprise almost all the essentials and can lead to the success of the organisation as well as the satisfaction of employees.
As a supporter of democratic leadership and a proud Indian, I admire the leadership quality and the efficiency of the Mahatma Gandhi. He is known for his democratic movement in India. Another person I look up to is John F Kennedy for his democratic principles and his charisma. As an individual, I would like to be led by a leader who understands and values the feeling and skills of every individual. Also gives respect to one’s knowledge. According to my personal views, in present day it is necessary for a leader to understand and treat the employees with due respect and equality.
In conclusion, as mentioned before, leadership is to influence other people. Therefore, there is no standard model present to follow. The art of leadership changes with time and situation and also it widely depends on the people the leader is working with. Thus, it is necessary for the leader to understand the needs and necessities of the organisation as well as the employees and customers and act accordingly.
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