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Leadership Styles

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Question 4 Essay 20 points [CHAPTER 15] List and explain the different approaches to leadership and the different leadership styles of today’s thinking. Cite two examples of styles of leaders you have personally observed with a functional description fitting each example. Leadership is the process by which the behavior of others is directed toward the accomplishment of a particular objective.

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The Trait Approach to leadership states that a good leader is born not made, i. e. , if one could list the characteristics of a successful leader, we could use this list to identify those who should be placed in leadership roles.

However, the more modern viewpoint, the Situational Approach to leadership, states that each leadership situation is different and warrants a specific mix of leaders, followers and therefore leadership situations. A leadership style is defined as the type of behavior displayed by a leader as he/she runs the organization. Each leadership style is based on a combination of the two main types of behavior observed in leaders as evidenced by the OSU studies: Structured behavior and consideration behavior.

Structured behavior is one that clearly outlines the leader-follower relationship and so establishes clear procedures to be followed as employees do their job. Conversely, consideration behavior shows a friendship, mutual trust, respect and warmth between leader and followers. As defined by the OSU studies, the leadership styles are categorized as: 1) low structure–high consideration; 2) high structure–high consideration; 3) low structure– low consideration; and 4) high structure–low consideration. In my current position, my direct manager displays a “high structure–high consideration” leadership style.

Even though she has established very clear procedures for day-to-day job performance, she also clearly goes out of her way to maintain good individual relationships with each member of the team. She treats us with respect and is a supportive manager with an unmistakable open-door policy. 1 This type of leadership style, as I have personally proven, promotes a certain amount of trust and caring among the team members and our manager. She is interested in us as humans: she celebrates every birthday and major holidays with luncheons and makes every effort to be present at major family gathering, such as weddings, funerals, baby showers, etc.

The result – we want to perform our jobs as efficiently as possible and have a sense of pride about what we produce. On the other hand, I have observed another manager for whom one of my colleagues previously worked who is clearly a high structure–low consideration leader. He is strictly job oriented and is very concerned that the relationship between himself and his subordinate be clearly just that. He was mostly unconcerned with my colleague as a person — his only concern being that the job is done. As a result, my colleague was mostly unhappy and eventually transferred out of that position to another more ideal job situation. 2

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