In this assignment I will be describing the different team leadership styles
Unit 2 Assignment
In this assignment I will be describing the different team leadership styles, comparing the different leadership styles and evaluating the effectiveness of different leadership styles used in the public services.
• Authoritarian (autocratic)
This style is used when leaders tell their members what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their followers. This is used in the UPS, mainly by the military as you can’t afford to have people questioning you when the situation requires a split second decision and lives depend on it. I think the authoritarian style should only be used on rare occasions unless in the military. If you have the time and want to gain more commitment and motivation from your employees, then you should use the participative style.
This style involves the leader including one or more members in the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. This is used in the UPS, and can be used by the Police. Here is an example scenario:
Simon is a Senior Community Police Officer involved in an initiative to reduce the amount of youth crime occurring in the centre of a large city. He has called a meeting to discuss what the current problems are, how effective current preventative action is and to create a plan to move forward in achieving the local authority’s goals. Many organisations are involved in this initiative such as Social Services, youth action groups, the Probation Service, Victim Support and local business owners. All of them have sent senior representatives to this important meeting. After reviewing his preparation notes for the meeting, Simon decides to take a democratic approach to the meeting rather than using another style because everyone can have an input and Simon may find better ways to tackle the youth crime that he didn’t think of. Personally, I think using this style has a mutual benefit — it allows everyone to become part of the team and it allows you to make better decisions.
Laissez-faire leadership is a type of leadership style in which leaders are hands-off and allow group members to make the decisions. The laissez-faire approach is a good one to use when dealing with expert staff who may know a great deal more about a subject than the leader themselves on a specific issue. In a public service context, a good example of this would be a murder enquiry where the supervising officer would employ a laissez-faire approach to a scene-of-crime officer or a forensic investigator. The experts know what they are there to do and can be safely left to get on with it, leaving the supervising officer free to attend to other tasks. Laissez-faire leadership is not ideal in situations where group members lack the knowledge or experience they need to complete tasks and make decisions. Some people are not good at setting their own deadlines, managing their own projects and solving problems on their own. In such situations, projects can go off-track and deadlines can be missed when team members do not get enough guidance or feedback from leaders. However, it is useful in situations where group members are highly skilled, motivated and capable of working on their own.
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Transactional leadership, also known as managerial leadership, focuses on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. This theory bases leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Transactional leadership is often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. Transactional leadership really focuses less on what we'd usually refer to as leadership, and more on management - in particular the management of rewards and punishments.
Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style that leads to positive changes in those who follow. Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. Not only are these leaders concerned and involved in the process; they are also focused on helping every member of the group succeed as well. The concept of transformational leadership was initially introduced by leadership expert and presidential biographer James Macgregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational leadership can be seen when “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation." Later, researcher Bernard M. Bass expanded upon Burns original ideas to develop what is today referred to as Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory. According to Bass, transformational leadership can be defined based on the impact that it has on followers. Bass also suggested that there were four different components of transformational leadership.
1. Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.
2. Individualized Consideration – Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each follower’s unique contributions.
3. Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfil these goals.
4. Idealized Influence – The transformational leaders serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate the leader and internalize his or her ideals.
Being inspirational is most useful in situations where there is no evidence or the facts are unclear. This is especially true with clashes of values or standards of behaviour. Martin Luther King appealed to a basic sense of fair play to move the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw segregation on buses. The facts alone wouldn't have done it.
Bureaucratic leaders work "by the book." They follow rules rigorously, and ensure that their members follow procedures precisely. This approach is commonly found in many uniformed and non-uniformed public services. Often the public services are very large and bureaucratic themselves. Often you will find this leadership role in a situation where the work environment is dangerous and specific sets of procedures are necessary to ensure safety. For example, construction works.
• People Orientated
People-oriented leaders know their employees' strengths and talents and they place people in positions that take advantage of those positive characteristics. This can be used a lot within the UPS and also looks to develop a person’s skills and help them acquire new ones through continuous and regular training. The people-oriented leaders are thoughtful, considerate and care about the relationship with their followers. It creates a comfortable, friendly organization atmosphere and makes staff feel at ease. This type of leadership normally results in higher employee satisfaction and fewer personnel problems in most situations and context.
• Task Orientated
With people-oriented leadership, leaders are totally focused on organizing, supporting, and developing the people in their teams. It's a participative style, and it tends to encourage good teamwork and creative collaboration. This type of leadership results in high efficiency and productivity. However, failure to consider the team members human needs could lead to complaining, high turnover and poor loyalty.
Comparing Autocratic and Transactional Leadership
The advantages and disadvantages of Autocratic leadership:
- It maintains order and discipline.
- It allows public services to be deployed quickly and efficiently.
- It allows young and inexperienced recruits to know what to do and when to do it.
- It allows large-scale coordination with other shifts or units.
- It ensures that decisions are made by those best equipped to make them.
- It enables decisions to be made very quickly.
- Team members rely on the leader for instruction and do not develop initiative.
- Team members have less responsibility for their own actions.
- Team members may feel angry and resentful at being ordered to perform tasks without explanation.
- It can lead to high staff turnover.
- Staff may feel devalued and fearful of punishment.
- Staff morale may decline leading to poor job performance.
The advantages and disadvantages of transactional leadership:
- The leader actively monitors the work and each individual’s performance.
- People are motivated by being rewarded for exceeding expectations.
- There is a clear chain of command.
- Formal systems of discipline are in place.
- The team is fully accountable for its actions and will be sanctioned for failure.
- It ensures that routine work is done reliably.
- Leaders tend to be action oriented and focus on short-term tasks.
- Team members may not get job satisfaction because of the reward and punishment ethos.
- It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work but remains a common style in many organisations.
- Team members do exactly what the manager tells them to do and have no authority.
- The team might not have the resources or capability to carry out a task.
- The style assumes that people are motivated by money and not by emotional and social factors.
- The leader could manipulate others to engage in unethical or immoral practices and control others for their own personal gain.
- It creates an environment of power versus perks.
Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where leader has absolute power over his or her employees or team. Employees and team members have little opportunity for making suggestions, even if these would be in the team or organization’s interest. There similarities are that both have a clear chain of command and both team members have no authority.
Team leadership benefits the Public services by:
- having common goals
- to work as a team to achieve them goals
- everybody is aware of the teams standing in pursuit of these goals
- good team work can achieve better results
- everybody has their role to play within a structured framework
- the team has a collective and individual responsibility
- a share in the rewards
These styles of leadership can make team leaders effective in the UPS. For example, using autocratic in the military helps keep the soldiers in control and disciplined and when you’re on the front line you need autocratic. This is because in a life and death situation you don’t have time to stop and have a democratic discussion on what to do, you need to know who is in charge and the exact instructions expected to be carried out. However, leaders need to be able to use a range of styles to suit the situation and topic.