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Leading People and Organizations

Leaders give followers direction. Leaders are the heartbeat determining the success or failure of coordinated tasks and the root in organizational initiative. Leadership is an act of influencing others to work towards achieving a goal.

Leaders exist at different level which include those holding position of authority and may use the power gain through their position as well as their personal power to influence others! this type are called formal leaders. Other type is the informal leaders, those without any formal position of authority but can demonstrate leadership by influencing others through personal forms of power. Leaders do not rely on the use of force to influence people and with their charisma people willingly adopt the leaders goal as their own. Learn how to develop a Leadership Skills.

Effective leader

A successful leader

In this category lot is expected as trait for a good leader. To attain a stage to be recommended as one it vividly call for such person to be endowed with special skills interpersonal. There are principles that distinguished people perceived as leaders from those who are not perceived as leaders. An important question is how do we train Future Leaders and how can their leadership ability be improved knowing fully well that as leaders they at least partly responsible for their team’s or company’s success and failure.

Trait of good leader

When people and organizations fail, managers and CEOs are often viewed as responsible in many facet of live which include politics, education, sports and profit and non profit sectors. Influence of leaders over the behaviors of individuals and organizations is rarely questioned and that is why the assumption that leadership always matter is criticized calling it act of romance of leadership.

However evidence pointing to the importance of leaders as one of the major link to organizational success can not be ruled out.
Trait approach to leadership tells us who is a leader, it distinguished leaders from non leaders. The traits to watch out include intelligence as in general mental ability IQ. People who have high mental abilities are more likely to be viewed as leaders in their environment.

Let us be cautious, intelligence is a positive but modest predictor of leadership and in addition emotional intelligence is another trait an effective leader must portray, meaning’ must be able to demonstrate high level of motivation, self awareness, empathy and social skills.

The Big Five Personality Traits OF Good Leaders

Many are the traits however on this list we shall focus on what is required to be and live as example of a good leader. The trait which call for leading by example in general term is OCEAN.

The acronyms OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extra-version,l Agreeableness, Neurotic-ism.

Openness: Being original, intellectual, creative mindedness, open to new ideas, curious and high level of tolerance.

Conscientiousness: Being orderly, achievement-oriented, organized, systematic, punctual and dependable.
Extra-version: Being interactive, outgoing, talkative, enjoy social situations and presentable.
Agreeableness: Being kind, affable, considerate, sensitive, trusting and understanding.
Neurotic-ism: Being logical, irritable, temperamental, anxious and moody.
Considering this big five model, individual can be measured related to his or her experience in direct leadership emergence i.e been view as leader by others and leadership effectiveness.

More to this, being an extrovert is related to leadership, extra-vert are sociable, assertive, energetic and good at interacting​ with people in their environment engulf in self-confidence. However, this is not to say all effective leaders are extra-vert but more likely to find them in leadership position.

Research shows that people who are effective in leading possess moral compass and demonstrate honesty and integrity. A leader whose integrity is questioned tends losing trustworthiness and they hurt their followers along the way and if it is in an organization the business is affected. However not all traits are equally effective in predicting leadership potential across all scenario knowing fully well that a leader traits may have less to do with how the person behaves or whether such person is a successful leader will solely depends on where such leader emerge from.

So there for, some trait may be relevant in some circumstances e.g bravery is likely to be key characteristics in military leader and not necessarily in business leadership. Fact is that we should consider the condition under which different trait affect different leader’s performance as well as whether a person emerges as a leader.

Leaders behaviors

A coordinator addressing followers

Emerging as leader is not determinants of being successful as leader. Learn how to develop a Leadership Skills. Subjecting leadership behavioral roles into two broad categories which include Task oriented leadership behavior and People oriented leadership behavior we will broaden each approach with explanation.

1. Task oriented leadership behavior operate by strategic structuring roles of followers/subordinates, leading by providing them with instructions, guiding them to stick to best rules and embracing ways and methods that will increase the performance of the group. The behaviors of such leading roles centered more on giving directives to followers/employees to get things done and to ensure that organizational goals are met, this can be term initiating structure.
2. People oriented leadership behavioral appropriate operate by showing concerns for the followers/subordinate. Feeling and treating employees with mutual respect. It focused more on employee well being in relations to carrying out tasks giving with concern of both party the leader and the followers actions and decisions and this can be term consideration.

However, demonstrating this two leadership approach or behavioral would not necessarily make a leader successful but fact remains both can enhance an organizational growth though for different purpose.

The key note is when a leader demonstrate people oriented behavioral approach, employees tend to be more satisfied and react more positively. And when a leader exhibit task oriented behavioral approach, productivity tends to be a bit higher. There for in small companies task oriented behavior were found to be best approach and effective than in large companies

Leadership Influence On Decision Making

How leaders make decisions and influence decision-making styles on leaders effectiveness in related followers/employee reactions matters and to this we will consider three types of decision making styles; this includes Authoritarian, Democratic and Laissez-faire.

Authoritarian decision-making is in situations when leaders make the decision alone without the involvement of followers/employees in the process.
Democratic decision-making involve followers/employees participation in the making of the decision i.e. making choices among relevant alternative courses of action including inaction.
Laissez-faire decision-making provides minimum guidance and involvement in decision making leaving it with followers(employees) alone to come out with concrete decision after deliberation.
Key note is that to three decision-making styles treated above, not one is identified as the best only that each is best applicable to use by leaders depending on the scenario or circumstances. Therefore the effectiveness of each style depends on who is using it.

Contingency Approach to Leadership
Considering the fact that to identify the best set of traits that would distinguish effective from ineffective leader show no best style and effectiveness of each style vary across situations and scenario. Considering the inconsistency of best results this call for role of context in which leadership occurred or where the roles is played call for Contingency approach to leadership.

Contingency Approach To Leadership

One of the earliest theory of contingency was developed by Fiedler Fedrick in format that style of a leader can be measured using Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC)scale. By filling out a form to show least preferred co-worker rating out how friendly or comely the person is. Checking the cooperatives of this person at work as such may affect whom you don’t like though hardworking regards positive terms. Therefore if one can score someone base on reality, like you can boldly tell that someone you hated working with is nice though you had differences then you as leader has high Least Preferred Co-worker(LPC) score.

It vividly tells that such leader have people oriented personality by been reasonable enough to filter ability to work with a person from liking of a person. Do know that if you hated a person and same time does hated working with same person who is productive definitely such leader will have low LPC scale in ratings. So being unable to work with someone would vividly mean that you don’t like him despite he is productive means such leader is task oriented leader.

Considering the theory of Fiedler’s different people can be effective in different scenarios. In-fact LPC score can be the term to personality traits of a leader and likely may not change. The theory of Fiedler’s when critically view, considering favorable and unfavorable situations, a leader with low LPC and possess dislike feelings to coworker s who are difficult to work with may likely be successful when situations is favorable in median scale point, while a high LPC leader i.e. one who is capable of liking difficult co-workers to work with is more likely to succeed as compared to previous.

Kindly know that Fiedler’s has group the favorable condition, medium and unfavorable on the base of

1/ Leader subordinates relationship

2/ Position of power and

3/ Task structure.

If the leader has got interaction and relationship with most employees and has high position of power and task is structured this shows the situation is favorable. But if the leader has low quality relations with subordinates and low position power and task is relatively unstructured this shows an unfavorable situation. Though Fieldler’s theory wasn’t total absorbed it still a very useful frame-work to consider in situations when task-versus people-oriented leadership may be considered more effective. Do know that this theory is of more important because of its explicit emphasis on importance of leadership context.

Situational Leadership

This is another contingency approach of leadership that argues different leadership style must be adopted depending on followers development level. The model styled by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey termed Situational Leadership (SLT) coin the level of directive and supportive behaviors that leaders may exhibit. It points out that in order to be effective leader, the right style of behavior at the right time of employee development must be administered.

Therefore the fact that followers are key to leader’s success. Considering the fact that employee s at earliest stages of development are seen as been highly committed though with low competence for task will call for the leader to be highly directive and less supportive.
As the level of competence of such employee increases, the leader will drive with supportive behavior to blend the moderate to high competence level of the subordinates. And with employees who are both highly committed and highly competent delegating approach is recommended in situations like this. This styles (SLT) is popular with managers due to been easier to use and understand. It will help leaders to successfully match their style to followers readiness levels.

Path-Goal Theory Of Leadership

The principle by Robert House’s on leadership depict expectancy theory of motivation. As path goal to leadership effectiveness through expectancy theory of motivation suggest that employees are motivated when they believe or expect that
1/The contribution will lead to high performance
2/Their high performance which lead to productivity will be rewarded and
3/There rewards when received will be tangible to them.

As a leader, observing this path goal theory of leadership is to make sure that all three of the conditions exist. This in turn will create an atmosphere of satisfaction and high performing employees efforts will enhance productivity and rewarded accordingly. The leader must create avenue conducive for subordinates to be motivated and remove all barrier to growth. The theory points at specific instance whence a particular leader behavior will be effective and under which circumstances by identification under four leadership styles.
Each of the style listed below can be effective depending on the characteristics of the subordinates.

Characteristics which include skills, attributes, clarity of orders, motivation etc and the characteristics of the environment where work is done which include role ambiguity, nature of stress and complexity of task.
The Path-Goal Theory of leadership enlist this four leadership styles a leader may adopt.
1. Directive style of leadership in clear context of providing a specific directions to employees. The leadership style involves leading employees by clarifying roles, expected target, schedule and ensuring that employees know what is expected to be done and when it is to be carried out with clarity.

The directive style works well in scenario where employees experience ambiguity in responsibility or job function and by giving clarity in directive will in turn motivate them. Situations where employees already have clarity in roles or job function but performing boring routine and highly structured jobs, giving them direction does not help in situations like this. More so directive leadership may be less effective when employees have high level of ability and in situations that involves managing of professional and high expertise employees with job specific knowledge telling them what to do may demoralize them else delegating roles will enhance motivation.
2. Supportive style of leadership are the type that operate by assisting employees by provisional and emotional support. They are encouraging, caring and always give a well treatment to employees. This type of leadership style can be effective when employees are facing stress or carrying out a boring and repetitive routine tasks. It is also helpful where employees know exactly how to perform their jobs though the task seems unpleasant then supportive leadership style is a good tool to enhance productivity.
3. Participating style of leadership
This kind of leader ensure collaborative environment where employees contribute to decision-making. This styles of leadership are effective in situations where by the employees are endowed with high level of ability and in cases that the decision relates directly to them. In situations where the employees have high focus on internal control and reasonable enough they control their destiny then participating leadership give room for employees to indirectly control organizational decisions which is appreciated.
4. Achievement oriented style of leadership is a style that involves setting of goals for individual employees and admonish them to reach their goal. This style put up a specific work related goals and target challenging employees to be highly focused and very attentive. When employees have both high level skills and attributes and high level of achievement motivation this become applicable.
This four approach give room for leaders to change style and apply the appropriate one which suit the circumstances.


The contingency approaches to Leadership describe the role leader would play in choosing the most effective Leadership style. ‘s contingency theory context that when the situation was the most and the least favorably, task-oriented leader would be most effective and relationship-oriented leaders would be effective when situation is favorably and was moderate. Situational leadership theory put in consideration the maturity level of followers. House Path-Goal theory states that leaders role is to ensure that employees view their efforts as Leading to performance and enhance the belief that performance would be rewarded accordingly. In conclusion leaders would use directive, supportive, participating and achievement-oriented leadership styles depending on what employees needed to feel motivated in other to foster continuous development and productivity.

Kindly leave comments below regards the above article.

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