Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles Definition: A leadership style is based upon a set of expectations; a person learns to develop as to how they should involve themselves, and others, in the achievement of results.

There are five main leadership styles which have been talk about over the years; below we have the definitions of these. Obviously there are many other styles of leaders, but these five try and sum up what we normally see in business.

Great Man

The great man style of leadership defines that the leader tends to be a born leader, but tends not to look into the future too much. Their productivity is high, but only for the short term, which means that they can change quickly to market changes, but on the other hand they are unlikely to see changes coming and therefore it may lead to competitors having an edge. ‘Great Man’ also tend to be too dependant on other individuals, meaning that a good team needs to be around him, this is where a good business culture and environment would come in handy. These leaders also tend to be very well organised, against management, which can cause unrest, and due to this can be destructive.

You will sometimes hear about the ‘Great Man Theory’, which uses the above information as a basis to describe leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Julius Caesar.

An argument against the great man comes from Herbert Spencer, saying that “you must admit that the genesis of a great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears and the social state into which that race has slowly grown… Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.”

Organisation Man

The organisation man is a productive leader, but not as productive as possible because of a tendency to compromise. As this leadership style is based around the organisation, instead of an individual, it can be hard to change when faced with a market shift etc. due to the fact that compromise is made. This leadership style is however well organised and structured which helps staff understand what they are doing and trying to achieve which in turn can lead to a more motivated workforce.

Social Man

As the name suggests, this is a leadership style which tries to keep the employees happy. Although productivity can be low, to keep the employees comfortable, in the right kind of environment is can work well. This can be seen in many modern web businesses where a small term is set up to take internet riches, where the organisation is very informal within itself. If this type of leadership style is too unproductive, it will fail.

Retired on Job

This type of leadership style defines that management is not normally intensely committed; therefore the organisation depends on its workers, depending on how much they care about the business. If there is low concern for the company, then the company will fail. In this type of business communication tends to be quite poor and therefore meetings and other important issues don’t get discussed, therefore leading to the (mostly) inevitable fail.

Professional Manager

A professional manager is very productive, reaching out to get the maximum from the organisation and the individuals who are there as well. It tends to be a motivated environment, which both formal and informal parts of the business helping to build a strong culture which reaches out for success. As a system the professional manager goes for objectives, which are then completed and moved on to new ones to try and improve the effectiveness. Individuals are lead in a team management systems, so that everyone feels part of the business and wants to work for the achievements of the business. The actual leader tends to be a goal setter, helping direction, a problem solver, which allows the company to change quite quickly, in response to market or competition, and an educator which helps people grow through the business.

Page 48 Green Book (Loughborough University)

(J.B.Lau, 1975)


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