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Leadership is the ability to make strong, timely decisions and keep the team together inspiring them to perform better. It is about how you guide people to achieve a certain goal in the shortest time, giving out the best results.
Leadership plays a very important part when it comes to the performance of the team. Good leadership boosts up the morale of the team members, keeps them motivated and helps them respond to change it the best possible way. It also awakens the sense of responsibility in the workers and keeps them engaged in the task. Also, when the team members know that they are accountable to someone for their tasks, they take their work seriously and give their best.
As per a famous saying, a leader is not born, but made. In order to be called a “good” leader, one must have some qualities in him/her. These qualities include both physical and mental abilities. A leader should be physically active and available to all his workers. He should be active and have a personality that looks pleasant at first sight. He/ She should always be physically available for their fellow workers and should be able and capable of performing the assigned tasks themselves first so that they can set example for the team members to follow.
A leader should be mentally strong and capable of taking sound and quick decisions. He should be clear in his mind about what he needs from his team and how the final product/task should be. He should be able to come up with new and creative ideas. Most importantly, he should be confident and enthusiastic about his job and his decisions. Lastly, for a leader, it is important to have social circle with links and terms that can prove beneficial to the firm and the team. He should have the convincing power that can attract the investors and convince them to invest in the business, for example.
Not everyone leading the team leads in the same way. Leadership styles vary from department to department, task to task, age to age and even mind to mind. The organization, goal and environment affect the style of leadership immensely. Some tasks need a leader who can just verbally guide a little about how the work is to be done and it is good enough. However, some tasks need the leader to step up, practically perform a task and set an example for the team members to follow.
Following are the five styles of leadership commonly used in the corporate world:
Laissez-Faire: A laissez-faire leader is the one who is not directly supervising the team, not providing them direct guidance and updates about the task. Under such a leader, people with high qualifications skill, experience and intelligence fall. These people need little to no supervision to perform the assigned tasks.
However, if, under such kind of leadership, any employee with little experience or qualifications fall, it will affect his work and performance because he will be needing guidance which would be unavailable under this type of leadership.
No leadership or supervision from managers can lead to poor performance and inefficiency in tasks, poor production, increasing costs and lack of control.
Autocratic: Under this style of leadership, the manager has all the powers to make decision. He has all the authority and whatever he decides is imposed on the workers. No one has the right to interfere in or oppose the decision taken by the manager.
This style suits the type of workers who need direct guidance and plan to work on so that they can work according to the set plan. However, workers who have creative minds and can come up with better plans are at loss under this type of leadership.
Transformational: These types of leaders have the ability to change how worker returns to the firm. In other words, they change how the firm can benefit from the human capital available to the firm. These leaders do this by encouraging the work force, making work environment healthy, making inter communication easier and conducting management training courses.
This is said to be the best kind of leadership because the environment is participative and the workers can speak and take part in the management and talks. They can share their knowledge, experience and ideas openly. It keeps them motivated and boosts up their efficiency.
Transactional: A transactional leader focuses on the physical and security requirements and returns of the workers. In other words, the two main components are rewards and punishments. If the worker performs well, he will get a reward which mostly is in monetary form. In case of poor performance, the employee may face some deductions from his pay in form of punishment.
Participative: This is the democratic style leadership. In this type, the workers are free to input their ideas, thoughts and opinion. Even though the leader has the complete right to take the final decision, the peers feel involved and valued in their firm because they feel that they make contributions to the decision-making process of the business.
A Canadian lawyer, Robin S. Sharma, in his writings, talks about leadership in the following words: Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.
No matter which style a leader adopts, the target remains the same of all the leaders; more efficiency and higher profits. The better the leadership attributes, the better the outcomes of the team work. There are many examples where a good leader helped business come out of the crisis and bad phase. For example, Asad Umar, the future Finance Minister of Pakistan, joined Engro ltd. when the company was at its worse. He proved to be such an amazing leader for the firm that the company raised to heights in only a few years and thus, today, till date he remains the highest paid CEO of Pakistan.