According to Trait Theories, Effective leaders have several similar personality features, or “traits.” Trait theories assist us in identifying characteristics and abilities that are beneficial for leading people (for example, honesty, empathy, assertiveness, practical decision-making abilities, and likability).
Today, we will discuss Four Basic Principles for Core Leadership Theories and Effective Leadership Styles.
The reason behind Unsuccessful Leaders
Have you ever noticed, very few Leaders are successful?
The fact is that there is no “magic mix” of qualities that makes a leader effective, and various qualities are essential in different situations. However, this is not to say that you can’t learn to be a good leader. You only need to be aware of the numerous leadership methods to select the best one for your needs.
Learning about the essential leadership theories that form the foundation of our present leadership knowledge is one approach to do this.
The Four Core Theory Groups
Let’s look at each of the four primary areas of theory and investigate some of the tools and models that apply to each. (Keep in mind that there are other alternative possibilities out there).
1) Power and Influence Theories
Power and influence theories of leadership take a completely different approach, focusing on the many ways in which leaders utilize power and influence to get things done, as well as the leadership styles that emerge as a result.
French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power is perhaps the most well-known of these theories. This paradigm emphasizes three forms of positional power: legitimate, reward, and coercive, as well as two kinds of personal power: expert and referent (your appeal and charm).
According to the concept, employing personal power is the superior option, and you should concentrate on developing expert management.
Transactional leadership is another type of leadership that uses power and influence. This approach implies that individuals perform things solely to receive a reward. As a result, it focuses on task and reward system design.
While this is not the most appealing leadership style for forming connections and creating a highly stimulating work atmosphere, it frequently works, and leaders in most businesses employ it daily to get things done.
Similarly, setting an excellent example for your team is a powerful approach to influence them.
2) Behavioral Theories
Behavioural theories are concerned with how leaders act. Do leaders, for example, prescribe what has to be done and then demand cooperation? Or do they include their teams in decision-making to foster acceptance and support?
Kurt Lewin established a paradigm based on a leader’s conduct in the 1930s. He contended that there are three kinds of leaders:
Leaders that are autocratic make choices without consulting their staff. This leadership style is acceptable when options must be taken fast, there is little need for input, and team consensus is not required for a good conclusion.
Democratic leaders allow the team to offer feedback before making a decision, albeit the degree of participation varies from leader to leader. This approach is essential when team unanimity is crucial, but it may be challenging to manage when there are many diverse opinions and ideas.
Laissez-faire leaders don’t intervene; they delegate many choices to members of the team. This works best when the unit is highly talented, motivated, and does not require close monitoring. However, this behaviour might occur because the leader is lazy or preoccupied, and this is when this leadership style might fail.
How leaders act has an impact on their performance. However, researchers have discovered that many of these leadership characteristics are suitable at different times. The most exemplary leaders can employ a variety of behavioural styles and select the appropriate type for each scenario.
Our essay “Laissez Faire” against Micromanagement examines how to strike the correct balance between autocratic and laissez-faire leadership styles, while our article on the Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid assists you in determining how to behave as a leader based on your concerns for people and output.
3) Contingency Theories
The conclusion that no one-size-fits-all leadership style led to the view that the circumstances determine the optimum leadership style. These theories attempt to anticipate which style is most appropriate in whatever situation.
Which method is ideal, for example, when you need to make rapid decisions? Is there a more practical approach to lead when you require your entire team’s support? Is it better to be people-oriented or task-oriented as a leader? Contingency leadership theories attempt to answer all of these problems.
House’s Path-Goal Theory and Fiedler’s Contingency Model are two popular contingency-based theories. You may also utilize the Leadership Process Model to understand how your circumstances influence other essential leadership elements and how they, in turn, control your leadership.
4) Trait Theories
According to trait theories, influential leaders have many similar personality features or “traits.”
According to early characteristic theories, leadership is an intrinsic, instinctual characteristic that you either have or don’t have. Thankfully, we’ve moved on from this notion and are now learning more about cultivating leadership traits in ourselves and others.
Trait theories assist us in identifying characteristics and abilities that are beneficial for leading people (for example, honesty, empathy, assertiveness, practical decision-making abilities, and likability).
However, none of these characteristics, or any combination of them, can ensure leadership success.
Effective Leadership Styles
As previously said, transformational leadership is frequently the most effective leadership style in the workplace.
Transformational leaders exhibit integrity, and they understand how to create a strong and inspirational vision for the future. They inspire individuals to realize this goal, oversee its implementation, and develop ever-stronger and more effective teams.
However, you’ll frequently need to alter your style to meet a given group or setting, which is why learning about various types is beneficial. Our essay on Leadership Styles delves deeper into the many leadership styles available.