Due to the deeply ingrained cultural assumptions, the different approaches to the study of leadership are concerned with the idea that leaders are unquestionably crucial for the proper functioning of a specific organisation. Despite the varied assumptions with respect to the ideas and scope of leadership, there is a constant faith in the idea and importance of leadership in an organisation. By the analysis of the leadership styles, behaviours and characteristics, the leaders need to be selected or trained in order to help in the overall organisational effectiveness (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2003).
It often happens that people are chosen for certain positions of leadership and on the basis of these selection processes, the range of behaviours or characteristics which are exhibited by the leaders are reduced comparatively. There are certain behavioural styles of leadership, due to the leadership position and this is due to the discretion and behaviour of the leader. Leaders can affect certain category of the variables which might impact the performance of the organisation. There have been several analyses of styles of leadership which can be accurate or inaccurate on the basis of the way in which they are interpreted. There are numerous approaches of leadership which are applicable in different situations and therefore there are bound to be drawbacks as well.
The trait approach to leadership is one of the earliest notions of leadership. Based on this theory there are specific personal qualities and traits which are crucial for a successful leader. The advocates of such a particular theory believe that the leaders are much better adjusted to the different social duties and best judgement which they are allowed to perform. There are certain factors which if present in leaders make them extremely effective. Those leaders who possess the characteristics like intelligence, physiological factors, emotional stability, intense amount of motivation and also the attitude for human relations emerge successful (Pfeffer 1977).
Intelligence implies the ability to think in a scientific manner, analyse information accurately, proper interpretation and precise level of problem solving. It is a natural quality which can however be thought to be improved by means of proper training.
Factors like emotional stability, immense inner motivational drive and human relations attitude help in the overall understanding and capability which is best relevant in case of a leader. A great leader shows the characteristic of empathy which helps others in understanding the point of view of the others. This is essential in majority of situations as leaders have to work with people from different social cultures and backgrounds. This is therefore an essential characteristic of a leader (Ford and Harding 2011).
A leader needs to have a certain level of fairness and objectivity. It is very important for the leaders to be unbiased because the members of the teams look up to their leader for any sort of work related query or development. The leader also needs to possess certain technical skills specifically which are applicable in his or her field specifically.
The leader needs to be a proper communicator between the leaders and the members of the team in order to help in the organizational success. A leader in order to be successful needs to be an extrovert and mix freely with people. This helps in the overall success of the organisation. The social skills of the people are crucial in the development of successful leadership as the leader needs to be approachable by his subordinates and they also need to be aware of the capabilities and level of understanding of their leader.
All these qualities make leaders dependable and approachable, on whom the subordinates can rely. However it happens that the leaders often do not possess the necessary qualities which make them dependable and successful. This causes a negative impact on an organisation. In this connection it can be said that the trait theory has been criticised in several circumstances. It has been stated that various theories prove that the trait theory cannot hold under all sorts of circumstances. The list of all the traits is also not uniform in all cases. It has been seen that the trait theory fails to take into account the influence of different factors on the topic of leadership the theory does not help in the indication of the comparative importance of several traits. There have been numerous people who have been excellent leaders but by nature they have been humourless, narrow minded, unjust and authoritarian. On the other hand there also have been situations where people have not been successful leaders despite possessing all the positive traits required in leaders. Therefore possession of a specific trait or characteristic is not an indication of the fact that the person will prove to be the best leader in the relevant field (Wray?Bliss 2012).
Another noteworthy aspect which has been stated in negation to the trait theory of leadership is actually the fact that it does not take different situations into consideration. This is due to the fact that the traits of the leaders are often blindly followed by their team members or subordinates. Therefore this often falls short in situations which demand more understanding. It is also stated that the leadership traits which are usually followed do not relate to the concepts of connecting the traits with the respective outcomes. This is a major drawback of this particular theory (Boje and Rhodes 2005).
Behavioural theories of leadership focus on the study of particular behaviours of leaders. The behaviour of a leader is a suitable predictor of the leadership influences and based on this the determinant of the leadership success is obtained. The behaviour of a leader is the ideal predictor of the leadership influences of a person. This approach has a lot of potential because the behaviour of the individuals can be controlled in a manner which helps having specific responses to definite stimuli. There are two types of behavioural theories of leadership. there are task oriented leaders as well as people oriented leaders. The leaders favour behaviours which helps in the initiation, organising, clarification and also in gathering of information. The task oriented leaders are not mainly concerned with the motivation of staff. The leaders who are people oriented focus on their behaviours and ensure that the main needs of the people are satisfied. These leaders also help in motivating their staff by the emphasis of human relations. The leaders who are people oriented also focus on the task at hand and they are at line with the ideas of encouraging, observing, listening and coaching and mentoring (Ford and Harding 2011).
This theory of leadership is criticized because, the learning of new practices and behaviours by people does not guarantee the fact that they are capable enough of implementing changes in the future. This is because proper and fast learning of procedures does not imply that they will be applied in due course. The second weakness of this theory is that of adaptability. There is not much of knowledge regarding the ways in which the theory can be applied on a variety of situations (Gemmill and Oakley 1992).
In order to be effective leaders there needs to be the capability of people to put themselves out completely in order to be criticized as well as understood. In case leaders do not go all out, the chance of either criticism or following both will not arise. It needs to be understood that criticism is a crucial part of leadership. Leadership is in the best interest of the specific organisation which an individual is serving. Leadership requires a certain level of mental toughness. It is desirable that leaders need to strong and be open to any sort of criticism which people might make. It is necessary for the leaders to understand that there are bound to be several challenges in their theory of leadership. this is because of the reason that with great and important positions come great responsibilities. Along with the positives there are several negatives which are concerned with the way in which people react to different leaders.
Leaders need to understand their mistakes well and move on in a positive manner. The leaders need to be focussed on their path as a whole and understand that criticism is a part of their journey as there are bound to be things that go wrong which need to be rectified and accepted sportingly. The leaders need to take criticism in a positive manner and they need to understand the situations when there are personal changes to be made. At the time when leaders identify themselves indulging in negative conversations or thoughts they need to stop. The leaders need to consider difficult situations as stepping stones instead of brick walls.
Leaders at present have been dealing with a change rate which is exponential change rate and also with the information and communication channels which are properly accessible, there need to be faster and much more widespread in comparison to other situations. Leading change needs leaders to cope with a certain level of complexity. It is also supposed to mean that the leaders are capable of understanding such a situation and therefore there is a fundamental and positive impact to change. It is usually seen that there are normal approaches to leadership. there needs to be impacts on the change which are achievable and understandable. It is usually seen that great leaders are capable of dealing with criticism constructively. There is a consideration of the fact that impacts of change are to be majorly fundamental and positive. There is an effective dealing with the different types of criticism which the employees receive (Jackall 1988).
Transformational leadership is also a suitable approach to leadership where there are different capabilities and approaches to leadership. As a result there is the establishment of integrity and the leader is capable of proper communication to the followers. Transformational leadership style requires the best of leadership goals, and also requires exceptional amount of skills which are required to be shown by the leader. It is seen from research reports that transformational leadership style has the power to retain customers and employees alike. Lesser turnover is bound to imply lesser hiring and less training which is a major savings on part of the business. In situations where a transformational leader interacts with the customers in a proper and effective manner, the customers can be retained. This helps the employees stay with the company and this limits the cost of constantly looking for new customers.
In situations where managers are placed with leadership skills with the need to manage change and improvement the results obtained are more or less positive and it is beneficial for the organisation. Managers in proper leadership positions help in increasing the outcomes of the existing employees and they bring about change in order to equip employees to be productive in their work. Therefore such positions in organisations are necessary for effective outcomes (Carroll and Levy 2008).
With the advancement of time, it has been seen that the needs and requirements of leadership and its impact on organisations are changing. Leadership approaches which are detrimental to the growth of the organisation cannot be encouraged at any cost. It is therefore the duty of the managers, entrepreneurs and leaders of powerful organisations to ensure that, the people who are in leadership positions employ practices which encourage the growth and discourage the employee turnover in those companies. Leadership approaches have been found to play a huge role in the development of organisational merit and atmosphere. It cannot be said that a leadership approach is completely positive or negative. No approach is entirely good or bad. It is the duty of the leaders to ensure that whichever style they pick are capable of creating a positive impact on the organisations and does not leave much room for criticism.
Examples of leadership in the past decades help provide an idea as to how individuals can become great leaders. They also have helped in making sure that leadership practices do not in any way negatively influence the companies and help them in their overall development.
Alvesson, M. and Sveningsson, S., 2003. Managers doing leadership: The extra-ordinarization of the mundane. Human relations, 56(12), pp.1435-1459.
Boje, D.M. and Rhodes, C., 2005. The virtual leader construct: The mass mediatization and simulation of transformational leadership. Leadership, 1(4), pp.407-428.
Carroll, B. and Levy, L., 2008. Defaulting to management: Leadership defined by what it is not. Organization, 15(1), pp.75-96.
Ford, J. and Harding, N., 2011. The impossibility of the ‘true self’of authentic leadership. Leadership, 7(4), pp.463-479.
Gabriel, Y., 1997. Meeting God: When organizational members come face to face with the supreme leader. Human Relations, 50(4), pp.315-342.
Gemmill, G. and Oakley, J., 1992. Leadership: an alienating social myth?. Human relations, 45(2), pp.113-129.
Jackall, R., 1988. Moral mazes: The world of corporate managers. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 1(4), pp.598-614.
Pfeffer, J., 1977. The ambiguity of leadership. Academy of management review, 2(1), pp.104-112.
Wray?Bliss, E., 2012. Leadership and the deified/demonic: a cultural examination of CEO sanctification. Business ethics: a European review, 21(4), pp.434-449.