Human Resources South Africa

Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles

January 24
20:56 2011

Research on the bebavior of individuals with leadership is moving in many new directions and new lines of enquiry are opening up in an attempt to construct the leadership model. The following contempory perspectives are only a few of the numerous enquiries into the new leadership models.

Transactional leadership is the traditional management function of leading. Transactional leaders in essence do what managers do: they clarify the role of employees, iniate structures and reward or punish individuals for the team’s performance. One individual is given the opportunity to lead the group and that group agrees to follow his lead in order to accomplish a predetermined goal in exchange for something worthwhile. The leader is given the power to evaluate, correct and train the employees when productiveity is not at the appropriate level and they are able to reward effectiveness and efficiency when the outcome expected is reached.

Over the recent years a particular interest in transformational and charismatic leadership has been taken by I/O psychologists because in the past individuals have ignored the importance of the leader as a communicator. The following two leadership styles inspire followers through their words, ideas and behaviors.

The expression “transformational” is used because change and adaptation to change are the forerunners of a successful modern organization. The transformational leader is a person whom has a definite vision of the organization in the future and of what they want to achieve and transform followers’ beliefs, values and needs. The transformational leader seeks to accomplish their goals by making workers or followers feelings more aware of the importance of want they are trying to do, convincing them to put the organizations or teams needs ahead of their own self-accomplishments and to appeal to their achievement and mastery needs.

Charismatic leadership has a dependency more on the actual force of the leader’s personality as to the appeal of the leader’s vision. Charismatic leaders have the ability to put all their trust in others, are able to take personal risks and are sensitive to other people’s needs. They also have the ability to make individuals overcome lack of personal belief and do more than what is normally expected of them; they motivate subordinates to transcend their expected performance.

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