Last weekend I facilitated a workshop for the City of West Hollywood, CA at their Women leadership Conference about leadership skills and Team building which gave me the idea for the Leadership blog series, this being the 1st one.
A leader is someone whom others trust and consistently look to for guidance. Age or status within a group may create assumptions about who will lead, but a true leader inspires loyalty, earning the trust of others. Leadership is a responsibility but also an honor. Leaders can be managers, but managers cannot necessarily be leaders. A manager does things right, while a leader do the right things. A leader inspires, and a manager coordinates. Leaders come in all shapes and forms
A team is a group of people working for the same purpose or to achieve a common goal, they share the same principles and ideas.
- Creating Positive Influence, positive change, having the Right Positive Attitude.
- Setting the Right Priorities.
- Modeling Integrity.
- Problem Solving.
- Developing people and Staff.
- Charting the Vision.
- Practicing Self-Discipline.
The most prevalent of these theories are briefly described below:
1- The X/Y Theory: Developed by Frederick Herzberg, an influential psychologist who became well known for his work in the 1970’s. The X/Y theory states that:
- People inherently dislike work and incapable of accepting responsibility
- They must be coerced or controlled to do work to achieve goals
- They require authoritarian management s they are lazy
- People view work as being natural as play and rest
- They will exercise self-direction and control towards achieving goals they are committed too
- They learn to accept and seek responsibility, require less management
2- Empowerment Theory: Developed by Elizabeth Moss Kanter, an education expert who sees that authority should be decentralized and made up of independent groups, their combined efforts empowers them. She also saw that selecting leaders from women and minorities will empower them and will inspire workers from those groups to excel.
3- Action Centered Leadership Theory. John Adair, who wrote a book Effective Leadership, developed the idea that leaders inspire by communicating their own enthusiasm and commitment to their employees. He believes in three approaches to leadership, namely: Task, Group and Individual.
4- Contingency Theory: It states that effective leadership varies according to the way it is applied and to whom it is applied. The type of leadership style one chooses is “contingent” upon the environment in which one leads.
5- Informal Leadership Theory: Is against management and appointed leaders. It stresses that all members of a group share responsibility and take turns by assuming leadership roles when they are able to or as they are asked to do so by their peers. Rotating responsibility wherein leaders are voted into positions for a six month or yearly term until the next election when another group takes over responsibility for certain leadership tasks.
There are three main styles from which all others are built, they are:
A combination of all three of these basic styles will yield the best results. Here are the basic elements of the three leadership styles.
- The Authoritarian (or autocratic) Where the leader makes decisions by himself with no input from his team. It should be used as infrequently as possible and only in situations where there is a strict deadline. It is not meant to encourage managers to dictate and demand or to berate their employees. The sole responsibility for vital decisions is placed upon the leader when the situation warrants quick action and results.
- The Participative (or democratic) Leaders tend to seek the input and opinions of their staff on matters that are not of immediate urgency, based on the information they have received. The final decision ultimately lies with the leader.
- The Delegative (or free reign) allows qualified employees to make decisions on their day to day work without the help of the leader or manager. This style lets the manager focus on more important problems or issues. This style requires the leader to have trust in his staff and their ability to make smart and wise decisions. However, if an employee makes a bad decision, a good leader will take responsibility for the action rather than placing blame on his or her staff member.
I will be discussing Leadership skills and Team building management cross-culturally, as well as the Maslowian triangle in my next posts.