Compare and Contrast Select Leadership Theories Essay
Compare and Contrast of Select Leadership ModelsLeadership comes in different forms and in different aspects of life from private business to government entities (Wren, 1995, p. 5). The models of leadership used are dependent upon the individual attributes of the leaders, for example traits, values, self-identity, skills, and competencies (Yukl, 2013, p. 136). A close look at select leadership models and how they compare and contrast with each other provides insight into the types of leadership that might be employed within organizations as they face various leadership issues and challenges. In this paper, we will review four leadership models: charismatic, servant, situational, and transformational. A separate discussion describing similarities and differences between the models as they apply.
As similarities and differences are identified, we will discuss how contemporary leadership issues and challenges are addressed within the scope of each leadership model. Leadership ModelsCharismatic LeadershipA charismatic leader has three key dimensions that Weber (1968) identified as concepts of charisma that include vision or mission, extraordinary or exceptional qualities, and recognition (as cited in Avolio and Yammarino, 2013, p. 167). Transformational leadership closely resembles charismatic leadership as both are vision related and empowering; however the main difference deals with the expectations set by the leader. Charismatic leaders typically set unrealistic expectations based on their vision and ability to motivate and energize their followers (Wren, 1995, p. 110). Transformational leadership changes followers thinking and empowers them to realize that the expectations can be exceeded (Wren, 1995, p.
106).Servant leadership does not possess a strong vision behavior (Avolio &Yammarino, 2013, p. 176), unlike charismatic leadership.
Charismatic leadership and situational leadership are very different. Situational leadership requires the leader to adjust his behavior, depending on the development level of the follower (Wren, 1995, p. 208). Servant LeadershipServant leadership is a theory based on Robert K Greenleaf’s belief that all men have a primary motivation to serve others and through this service theyaspire to lead (Parris & Peachey, 2012). Although this leadership model has very little in common with charismatic and situational does however compare to transformational leadership in several areas.
The main area of commonality between the two can be found as transformational leaders serve as stewards to change enable the followers to accept the change and move forward with the organization (Tichy & Devanna, 1990, p. 75). In essence, servant leadership becomes the long-term transformational approach to life and work. Situational LeadershipSituational leadership has very little in common with the other models mentioned herein. This model revolves around the leader changing leadership behaviors to meet the needs in relationship to the follower (Kouzes, 2003, p. 111). The difference between situational leadership and charismatic, servant, and transformational leadership is the lack of an organizational vision and the empowerment of the followers.
Situational leadership uses followers based on their readiness level that relate to their ability and willingness to complete the task (Wren, 1995, p. 208). This aspect coupled with the leader’s task and relationship behavior is used in relation to the follower’s readiness level (Wren, 1995, p.
209). Transformational LeadershipTransformational leadership is a theory that emphasizes the leader’s ability to transform the follower’s values while motivating them to achieve beyond expectations (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013, p. 79). By exceeding expectations necessary changes become a reality.
As change agents, transformational leaders have to use social relationships to create and build a new organization (Tichy & Devanna, 1990, p. 87). In the mist of the change, transformational leaders begin to understand the complexities of social networks and the effects of how they operate within the organization. Addressing Contemporary Leadership Issues and ChallengesAs leaders, we have a responsibility to identify current contemporary challenges and issues within our organizations along with the leadership model that would handle them most effectively. As all leadership models will in some manner work within their respective organizations in an ongoing practice, it becomes critical for leaders to know which model to employduring such challenges. Ethical BehaviorWhen thinking about the various ethical issues in business, education, and government acquiring the right leadership model can help alleviate potential harm.
The servant leadership model provides a sound ethical balance to leadership within ethical behavior. When we look at what happen with Enron and their quest to gain wealth for themselves as leaders a matter of unethical behavior became clear. Enron did not have a servant leader at the helm. We all know that the executive leadership employed unethical practices that bankrupt the company.
The servant leader would have been a better fit for this company as they look at what is good and right for the company even at a financial expense (Bennis, 2007, p. 349). Transformational leadership follows the same basic preface as the servant leader in that they both work to empower and help the followers grow and except change as it is happening without exploiting the follower (Yukl, 2013, p. 353).
Organizational DiversityOrganizations simply are made up of very diverse individuals. This diversity can come in many forms be it race, national origin, gender, or social economic status. How well the organization runs depends on the leadership’s handling of this diversity.
The situational leadership model takes into account the readiness level and willingness of the follower. Diversity plays a role in this as there are varying levels of competence based on education, training, and experiences of the follower (Wren, 1995, p. 208). Additionally, the willingness of followers can have a diverse situation arise.For example, in education there a various levels of teachers.
From novice to veteran based on the number of years of experience. The diversity of this group can play an important role in what the readiness and willingness levels are for each level of teacher. Thus, the leader has to adjust to meet the readiness and willingness level of each group.
As the novice teachers gain more experience their readiness and willingness levels will change with them. Again the leader has to adjust relevant to the level of the follower (Wren, 1995, p. 207).
Charismatic leadership is also a model to consider when dealing with diversity issues. The charismatic leader displays vision, extraordinary or exceptional qualities that get the organization excited about the vision (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013, p. 168). There is no concern over race, national origin, gender, or social economic status. Their goal is to move the organization toward the vision they have set in place. With their ability to motivate diversity within the organization become pointless. ConclusionAfter carefully reviewing the select leadership models, it is fair to say that there is “no one size fits all” leadership model. Organizations have to become selective when placing leaders into those positions to ensure that they move the organization in the right direction.
By comparing the four models, we can gain insight to how each model can benefit organizations as well as which ones could be detrimental. Of the four models, situational leadership provides the organization with a model that encompasses all levels of followers and leaders. This model also lends to rapid change within the organization. Transformational and servant leadership are ideal for followers to grow within the organizations as these two types of leadership place a great deal of emphasis on relationships and empowering of followers (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013, p. 86; Wren, 1995, p. 22). Charismatic leadership fits well with organizations going through periods of change (Wren, 1995, p. 108).
No matter what challenges or issues that an organization faces there is a leadership model that can obtain results. Effective leaders and leadership according to Bennis (2007) he states, “I believe all exemplary leaders have six competencies: They create a sense of mission, they motivate others to join them on that mission, they create an adaptive social architecture for their followers, they generate trust and optimism, they develop other leaders, and they get results.”ReferencesAvolio, B. J.
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