Leadership Styles
The capacity to establish direction and to influence and align others toward a common goal, motivating and committing them to action and making them responsible for their performance is Leadership. Leadership theory is one of the most discussed areas of management, and many different approaches are taken to the topic. Some notions of leadership are related to types of authority delineated by Max Weber. In Max Weber's leadership theory he wrote about three types of leaders - bureaucratic, charismatic and traditional. Weber was one of the first of the leadership theorists to recognize that leadership itself was situational in nature and that true leaders needed to move dynamically from one type of leadership style to another to remain successful. Weber also believed that there were two basic paradigms within which leaders worked - transactions and transformation. Weber believed that transactional leaders were those that worked within the existing systems or environment to achieve results. For example, he theorized that the bureaucratic leader was a transactional leader that was effective in using their knowledge or legal authority to get things done. Charismatic leaders were transformational leaders in Weber's model. These types of leaders were almost divine in nature and were often compared to heroes. A transformational leader was not afraid to approach things from an entirely different perspective and in Weber's theory of leadership they used personal charm and charisma to help them achieve their goals.
It is often suggested that leaders possess innate personal qualities that distinguish them from others: great man theory and trait theory express this idea. Other theories, such as Behaviorist theories of leadership, suggest that leadership is defined by action and behavior, rather than by personality. A related idea is that leadership style is not fixed but should be adapted to different situations, and this is explored in contingency theory and situational theory. A further branch of research that examines relationships between leaders and followers is found in transactional, transformational, attribution, and power and influence theories of leadership. Perhaps the simplest model of leadership is action-centered leadership, which focuses on what an effective leader actually does. Effective leaders are rare. They are created through the trials and tribulations of managing or working with people in a variety of settings. Most good leaders have had their fair share of hard knocks that awakened them to the greater potential within their scope of influence. Effective leaders are excellent communicators, able to speak the many languages of the individuals within the groups they lead. Oftentimes the individual perspectives may appear different simply from the type of language they use. A good leader pays attention to the facts and then makes decisions based on objective analysis of those facts, which is not to say that humanitarian factors succumb to the bottom line.
Effective leaders naturally motivate people from their actions, which include showing respect, listening, reflecting, and negotiating through conflict. Efficient leaders learn the strengths and weaknesses of their subordinates and cohorts and utilize group dynamics. Leaders encourage and empower people to achieve success rather than place blame. Leaders have solid vision and unshakeable persistence in achieving a goal. Serendipity follows them everywhere as if their environments are alive and vibrant with creative energy just waiting for an opportunity to manifest a synchronicity. Their efforts are empowered by their ability to manage and organize both activities and time in their busy schedules. A good leader is courageous, able to make decisions without hesitation, and maintains integrity of word and deed. Dependability is also a key trait for a leader must always be there for their group. Sound judgment and sensibility are also features of a leader, with loyalty, enthusiasm, endurance, and initiative rounding out the ever expanding list. These characteristics manifest in a variety of presentations and situations, especially for project managers in process. Project managers are leaders of small and large groups destined to complete a strategic project plan. Leadership characteristics described above can make or break a team. In all successful project fulfillments, it is the leadership of the project manager that determines the type of success for the project?s members. The most successful accomplishments are met with a sense of fun and reward when goals and objectives are met, all facilitated by the project manager?s leadership. ?Persistent leadership is required to make partnering work. Project managers must ?walk the talk? and consistently display a collaborative