Leadership

Leadership is the process of influencing other towards the accomplishment of goals. It is the ability of a manager to induce subordinates to work with confidence and zeal. A key to effective leadership is helping followers to achieve their respective essentials goals as well as their maximum potentialities. Dynamic leader, therefore, should have the ability to awaken in other the desire to follow a common objective in a given situation, leadership thus, is a function of the leader, the followers and other situational variables.
L = F(I, F, S)
Leadership does not flourish in vacuum. It always envisages followers. Further leadership envisages the idea of interpersonal influence.

Difference between managers and leaders are:
Managers Leaders
1. Who direct the work of employees and is responsible for results. 1. Who cope with changes.
2. A manager is appointed and after that get a position. 2. A leader emerges emergence depends a number of situational factors.
3. A manager seeks those objectives, which his subordinates do not regard as their own. Thus there is clash of objectives. 3. A leader generally seeks those objectives, which are the objectives of his subordinates. Thus, there is mutuality of objectives between leader and his followers.
4. Manage complexity through planning and budgeting i.e. setting goals, establishing steps to achieve them and then allocate resources to achieve them. 4. Sets a direction or vision of what the future might look like and then develop strategies to produce changes needed to achieve that vision or direction.
5. Ensure that employees reach their goal by controlling their behavior i.e. they monitor the result by means of reports and meetings and note derivations from the goals. 5. Requires 'motivating and inspiring teams of employees' taps their needs values and emotions.
6. Achieve their goals by 'organizing and staffing' creating an organizational structure and sets of jobs for accomplishing the plans requirements. Staffing the jobs with qualified employees communicating the goals and monitoring the progress. 6. Try to align employees who share their vision create teams who understand and share their vision.                             

Issues in Leadership

The following are the major and important contemporary issues in leadership.
Issue No.1: Gender issue: Do males and females lead differently?
Research has shown that regardless of gender, people will traits associated with leadership- such as intelligence, confidence, and sociability- are more likely to be perceived as leaders. However, there is found some differences in leadership styles. For example, males tend to use a directive command and control style, while females tend to adopt a more democratic leadership style.

Issue No.2: Is there a biological basis for leadership?
There is increasing evidence indicating that leadership has biological roots. Two chemicals-serotonin and testosterone are found to have profound effect on becoming a leader. Increased levels of serotonin appear to improve sociability and control aggregation. Higher levels of testosterone increase competitive drive and they are found higher in the players like tennis.


Issue No.3: How does national culture affect the choice of leadership style?
National culture affects leadership style by way of the subordinate. Leaders cannot choose their styles at will. They are constrained by the cultural conditions that their subordinates have come to expect. For example, an autocratic style is compatible with high power distance and participation style is compatible with low power distance.

Issue No.4: How is the current popularity of empowerment affecting the way managers lead?
Empowerment is putting employees in charge of what they do. The problem with the current empowerment movement is that it ignores the extent to which leadership can be shared and the conditions facilitating success of shared leadership. Because of factors such as downsizing, higher employee skills commitment of organizations to continuous training, implementation of total quality management programs and introduction of self-managed teams, there seems to be no doubt that an increasing number of situations call for a more empowering approach to leadership.

Issue No.5: Since leaders are not leaders until they have followers, what can managers do to make employees more effective followers?
Successful organizations need effective follower, who can follow effective and efficient leaders. Following are some qualities of effective followers:
  • They manage themselves well. They can work independently and without close supervision.
  • They build their competence and focus their efforts for maximum impact.
  • They are committed to a purpose outside themselves.
  • They are courageous, honest and credible. They are critical thinkers who knowledge and judgement can be trusted.
Issue No.6: Is there a moral dimension to leadership:
Leadership is not value free. So we should look at the moral content of a leader’s goal and the means he/she uses to achieve those goals.

Main Focus of Traits Theories of Leadership

The trait theory of leadership states that there are certain identifiable qualities or characteristics that are unique to leaders and that good leader possess such qualities to some extent. The trait theories identifiable a long list of qualities which leader posses. The following list is only illustrative and not exhaustive. 
  • Intelligence: Good leaders should be intelligent enough to understand the context and content of their position and function, to group the dynamics of environmental variables, both internal and external, which affect their activities and to have a goods perspective of the present and future dimensions of their organization. 
  • Personality: This is not to be confused with physical appearance, though it is important. More than outward appearance, certain inner-personality qualities mark out goods leaders from others. Such qualities include emotional stability and maturity. Self-confidence, decisiveness, strong drive, optimum, purposefulness, discipline, skill in getting along with others, integrity in character and a tendency to be cooperative. These qualities tend to help leaders to organize and co-ordinate human effort, to guide and motivate people in talk situations, to make sound decisions, to achieve concrete results and goals, to organizational goals. 
  • Other Qualities: A part from intelligence and personality attributes, good leaders also possess a few qualities like open mindedness, scientific spirit, social sensitively, ability to communicate, objectivity, an abiding interest in people, pragmatism and a sense of realism.

Main Focus of Behavioral Theories of Leadership  
According to the behavioral theories of leadership, leadership can be described in terms of what leaders do rather than what they are. In other words, leadership can be identified by reference to their behavior in relation to the followers. Behavioral theories have been presented mostly on the basis of research studies.

Behavioral theories differ from the trait theories in at least two ways. First, actual leader behaviors, not the personal traits are the main focus. Second, while most trait theories endeavored to distinguish between leader and non leaders, behavioral theories attempted to determine how different kinds of behavior affect the performance and satisfaction of the followers.

Emerging Approaches to Leadership

Leadership is a term that conjures up different images in different people while to some it means charisma, to other, it means power and authority. Leadership skills emerge out of spontaneity and contagion needs, spontaneity refers to the need for initiating a wide range of activities or creating opportunities for other with a view to influence people. In contracts, people with contagion needs are influenced by others and will develop leadership skills. In fact, effective leadership is the mixture of both needs.

Leadership thus, plays a crucial role in organizational dynamics. It fill many of the voids left in conventional organization design, allows for greater organizational flexibilities and responsiveness to environmental changes, provides a way to coordinate the effort of diverse groups within the organization, and facilitates organizational membership and personal needs satisfaction. It is the quality of managerial leadership that often differentiates effective from ineffective organizations. Therefore, rational leader should know different emerging approach of the leadership and also they should be aware of current issue in leadership.

There are different approaches emerging in the field of leadership. Some of them are:
  1. Attribution theory of leadership: It deals with people trying to make sense out of cause-effect relationships. When something happens, they want to attributes it to something. This theory tells that leadership is merely an attribution that people make about other individuals. Effective leaders are generally considered consistent or unwavering in their decisions. 
  2. Charismatic leadership theory: Followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary abilities when they observe certain behaviors. Some examples of charismatic leaders are John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. Walt Disney, Ted Turner, Barack Obama etc. They are found to have extremely high confidence, dominance and strong convictions in his or her beliefs.
  3. Transactional or transformational leadership: Transactional leaders guide or motive their followers in the direction of established goals and clarifying role and task requirements. Transactional leader, on the other hand, inspired followers to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the organization, and they are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on his or her followers. Transformational leadership is about leading, changing the organizations strategies and culture so that they have a better bit with the surrounding environment. They are change agents who energies employees and direct them to a new set of corporate values and behaviors.
  4. Visionary leadership: The ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization unit that grows out of and improves upon the present. This vision, if properly selected and implemented, is so energizing that leads to great success of the organization. A vision has clear and compelling imagery that offer an innovative way to improve, which recognizes and draws on traditions, and connects to action that people can take to realize change. Vision taps people’s emotions and energy, properly articulated a vision creates the enthusiasm that people have for sporting events and other leisure time activities, binging the energy and commitment to the workplace.

Leadership Styles

A leader’s typical way of behaving towards group members can be classified as leadership style. It refers to the behavior exhibited by a leader during supervision of employees. The style represents the leader predominant way of acting with his group. Actually, there are as many different styles as there are leaders. However, organizational researchers have listed following three basis styles:
1. Autocratic Style
The autocratic leader assumes responsibility for deciding on the group’s project by assigning tasks to members and permitting no participation in decision making process. He centralizes authority and decision making in him and exercise complete and full-fledged control over his subordinates. He sets group goals and structures the work. He gives orders and the subordinated are expected to obey them. The manager expresses decision by the use of rewards and the fear of punishment. Communication tends to be one way i.e. downward. The subordinates are made aware of what to do but not why. Tasks are assigned facilities provided and direction given without consultation with the individual carrying out the work.

An average of autocratic leadership is that the decisions are very speedy. It is most suited at the time of crisis or when the subordinates are inefficient.

2. Democratic Style
Democratic style is widely known participative or employee oriented leadership styles. The essence of this style is the consultation, the leader consults the subordinates. Before arriving at decisions, participative leadership styles take into consideration the wishes and suggestions of the subordinates as well as the leader. All members of the group are seen as important contribution to the final decision. The communication is two ways i.e. upward as well as downward.

The advantages of this type of leadership style include;
  • Increased member’s moral and support for the final decision and better decisions through shared information. 
  • Ideas among group members participating in decision-making can lead to improve manager/ worker relations. 
  • High satisfaction and decreased dependence on the leader.
  • Multi-directional communication permits fruitful exchange of ideas and information between the leader and led and helps in encouraging member commitment to the decision.
3. Free rein style or laissez faire Style
It goes a step further of democratic style and turn an entire problem or project over subordinates, subordinates may be asked to set their own goals and to develop plans for achieving them. Thus, in this type of leadership style, a manager avoids power and relinquishes leadership position. The leader is a silent spectator. In essence, this approach is characterized by the absence of any active leadership by the leader. It is the abdication of responsibility. The leader merely functions as a group member, providing only as much advice and direction as requested. There is very little control or influence over group members of the leader.

Qualities of a Successful Leader

The qualities of a successful leader are:
  1. Intelligence: A successful leader must have above average knowledge and intelligence. Mental ability to think precisely, analyze accurately, interpret clearly and consciously are necessary to consider the problems in the right perspective.
  2. Maturity: A leader should possess a high level of emotions stability and cool temperament. He needs a high degree of tolerance.
  3. Sound Physique: Sound physical and mental health is essential to bear the burden of leadership. Sound physique includes physical stamina, nervous, energy, mental vigour and important leadership qualities.
  4. Self Confidence: The leader should have confidence in himself and a strong will power.
  5. Empathy: The leader must have the ability to see things from other’s point of view. He must respect the viewpoints and feelings of others.
  6. Foresight and Vision: He should have the capability to look forward and anticipate the events. He should have a high degree of imagination, moral courage, breadth and determination.
  7. Decisiveness: A leader must have sound judgement and the ability to take quick decisions.
  8. Human Relations Approach: A leader must have the capacity to understand people, work with them and to gain their confidence, loyalty and voluntary cooperation. He must be able to motivate people towards higher performance.
  9. Objectivity: A leader should be fair and objective in dealing with subordinates. He must be free from bias and prejudice.

A leader influence the behavior of followers towards goal achievement

We defines simply leadership as the art of process of influencing people as that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of group goals. The person who guides or influences the behavior of others is called leader and people guided or influenced are called the followers. Leadership can be used the process of influencing the people to regulate their behavior. For this purpose, the organization firstly, select the best leader as appropriate to the employee. Then the leadership appreciation involves the use of verbal and non-verbal influence. Fourthly, the use of certain leadership is evaluated. Finally, leadership at the very moment has become complex practice due to employee education and awareness. Also the revolution in trade unions has made the official leadership quite complex and challenging.

Path Goal Theory of Leadership
Path Goals leadership theory draws heavily on expectancy motivation theory and high concern for both people and work. The theory has been proposed by Robert House and has been expanded and refined by him and other over the last decade. The theory can be summarized as follows:

a) The leader can improve subordinate motivation by making the rewards for performance more attractive. By giving the people raises, promotions and recognition, the leader can increase the subordinates valence i.e. preference for goal achievement.

b) If the worker’s assignments are poorly defined the leader can increase motivation by providing structure in the form of helpful supervision, subordinate training and goal clarification. Reducing the ambiguity of the job makes it easier for the subordinate to pursue the goals. Expectancy i.e. likelihood of attaining the first level outcome should increase.


If we take these two steps together, we can see that in the first valence is increased and in the second expectancy is increased. Now, as per the expectancy theory of motivation, since

Motivational Force = Valence x Expectancy
It is obvious that path goal theory is designed to increase worker motivation.

c) If the work of the subordinates is already greatly structured, as in the case of assembly line worker or mechanist, the leader should refrain from introducing any more structure such action will be viewed as unnecessary and overly directive. Instead of worrying about the work, the leader show now speed more time being concerned with the personal needs of the people by giving them attention, praise and support.

Path Goal Theory provides three important benefits: - It helps integrate expectancy theory and contingency leadership.
- It reemphasizes the importance of high leader concern for both the work and the people.
- It encourages the leader to analyze the situation in determining the right degree of each concern for structure and concern for people that will be required.

Fiedler's Contingency Theory of Leadership

Fred E. Fiedler developed a contingency model of leadership. According to the contingency theories of leadership, the success of leadership depends upon the situation in which the leader operates. According to him, a leader's effectiveness depends upon the following three situational factors.
  1. Leader followers relations, that is the degree of followers trust, confidence and respect for the leader. 
  2. Task structure, power, that is the nature of task performed by the subordinates.
  3. The status power that is the degree associated with the position or status held by the leader in the organizations.
The most favorable situation for leaders to influence their group is one in which they are well liked by the members, the task performed is highly structured and the leader has enough power attached to his/her position in the organization. On the other hand, the most unfavorable situation for leaders is one in which they are disliked, the task is highly unstructured and little power is attached to the leader's position.
Findings of the Fiedler Model 
According to the questions, laissez-faire or free rein leadership style of leadership apply to Fielder’s Contingency Theory. Under this style, leaders avoid power and responsibility. They grant authority and responsibility to groups. The role of the leader is to provide advice and direction as requested by the subordinates. Group members perform everything themselves. Leader behaves primarily as a group and plays the role of a member only. The concept of management by exception promotes this type of style, where subordinates themselves plan, control, evaluate and decide and the manager interferes exceptionally. This style is suitable for highly trained and professional staff.

Quality Circle (QC)

Quality Circle (QC)
The concept of quality circle (QC) originally emerged from Japan. Quality circle is a work group of employees who meet regularly to discuss their quality problems, investigate causes, recommend solutions, and take corrective measure. QC is a small group of employees who work voluntarily on company time, to address work related problems such as quality control, cost reduction, production planning and techniques, and even product design.
Quality circle is used to achieve the following objectives:
  • Improvement in quality of product manufactured by the organization. 
  • Improvement in methods of production and productivity.
  • Development of employees participating in QC.
  • Promoting morale of employees.
  • Respect humanity and create a happy workplace worthwhile to work.
Problem in Implementations and Their Solution
Though QC concepts have many positive points, it has failed miserably in many organizations due to certain problems and pitfalls. Following are some major problems of QC implementation and their suggested remedies.
  1. Negative Attitudes: Both employees and managers having negative attitudes towards QC often resist its implementation. Managers feel that QC dilutes their authority and importance in the organization. This negative attitude can be dispelled by imparting appropriate training to employees as well as managers about the real concept and contribution of QC. 
  2. Lack of Ability: The workers are characterized by their low level of education and lack of leadership abilities. This problem can be overcome by initiating workers education programme.
  3. Lack of Management Commitment: Lack of management commitment towards QC is demonstrated by not permitting the members to hold QC meeting during the working hours. Therefore, the top management should permit workers to hold QC meetings periodically during the working hours and should also extend all required and timely assistance for the smooth functioning of QC.
  4. Non-Implementation of Suggestions: The members of the QC feel disheartened in case of their suggestions are not accepted and implemented without convincing reasons. Instead, the suggestions rendered by QC should be given due consideration and weightage and should be implemented. This will enthuse the members of the QC to improve quality of their goods and services. QC benefits both organization and workers.

Groups Decision Making

Decision making is the process whereby a final but best choice is made among the alternative available. Group decision making is collective decision making by group members. Group offer an excellent vehicle for performing many of the stages in the decision making process. They work for information gathering. If the group is composed of individual with diverse background, the alternatives generated should be more critical. When the final support is agreed upon there are more people in a group decision to support and implement it.


Advantages of Group Decision Making:
The group decision making offer the following advantages:
  • Compared to an individual, the groups usually have a greater knowledge, expertise, and skill base to make better decisions.
  • Larger number of members provides more perspective of the problem. As such, the narrow vision of a single perspective is avoided in making decisions.
  • With large numbers of group members, the participation also increases that helps to reach at a quality decision.
  • Following increased group participation, comprehensive of final decision arrived at is usually high.
Disadvantages of Group Decision Making:
All is not good with group decision making. It suffers from the following disadvantages:
  • Group decision making is a time consuming process.
  • Influence groups usually manipulate the group decision in a direction of their linking and interest.
  • Sometimes decisions made by the group members are simply a compromise between the various views and options offered by the group members.

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