Assess Leadership Styles: Comparative Essay
I have looked at five styles of leadership and am considering if they are currently used within our workplace and if not, what would be the suitability of these practices.
Firstly, I considered a Directive Leadership. This is a top-heavy approach, quite an autocratic approach and what I would think as a very traditional ‘old school approach to leadership. Whilst this is a consistent approach it does not allow for flexibility or fluidity within a team, which can be found to be a more productive and inclusive workplace. Whilst some responsibility can be diluted over senior management it is still quite a set hierarchy. This is not an approach that is utilised at Indigo and one that I do not believe would work as it would limit the productivity and revert us to a more autocratic style of leadership.
Secondly, I looked at Transformational Leadership. This works on bringing teams together and is a more inclusive approach. Heavily focussed on teamwork and collaboration. It brings teams together to work as a team and provide input and feedback. This improves productivity, morale, and motivation. This method is already in place at Indigo and works well for us. We feel that our opinions and thought processes are considered and we show this with the results we achieve on a daily basis.
Next, I looked at Servant leadership. This approach is a culture of inclusion where the manager works on the same level as the employees to empower the staff. This is based on a culture where the team takes pride in their work, the manager trusts the team implicitly and all enjoy their work. The theory believes that this is a great way to achieve the company KPI’s and goals.
This can work in smaller organisations where a family like approach is productive and conducive for the environment. With smaller numbers without a standout leader you can make decisions easily and changes within your team without issue. In larger organisations whilst its not necessarily beneficial to have an autocratic style of leadership you do need a leader and hierarchy to take charge when needed and when an escalation is required. A diluted version of this approach may work in our organisation but within groups rather than across the organisation.
The fourth style I considered was Participative Leadership. This works in a similar way to Transformational leadership, however, has an element of the servant leadership style. It is almost a hybrid of the two, taking the best parts of each style to create the participative approach. It is considered to be an innovative approach as it asks teams to take risks at time and act independently, however this can be when people can flourish and can act as a brilliant motivational tool and whilst the Leadership teams can be responsible for the final decisions it’s not done without the support and engagement of their teams.
We are working closer every day towards this model at Indigo. We are very much still in the transformational style; however, I believe that this is the style that the company is working to achieve and will eventually be the most productive.
Finally, I assessed the Authoritative leadership style. This is very much an autocratic style with long term goals built in. There is a set organisational hierarchy to a business, and it is not looked to be deviated from. Teams are encouraged to not stray from their departments and follow set processes. Leaders do not look for input from outside the leadership team and whilst this is similar to directive leadership it is a stricter style of management that is a more traditional style. This is not a style that works well today in our environment and is not practised within Indigo.
I have found that ultimately my preferred style would be Participative leadership due to is hybrid approach from servant and transformational leadership. I believe that this is the style that would be most productive and beneficial for leaders and employees alike, bringing the best out of all parties. Whilst I believe that I am currently working under a transformational leadership and find this works very well, I believe that the utopia would be Participative leadership. Allowing me to flourish and bring real input to the table.