There are various ways in which leadership has been conceptualized but there are three tenets which can be identified as most important: a process involves influence common objectives and then it occurs in groups. Leadership refers to a process where a person influences a team of people to meet a common goal. Those who influence others to achieve a common objective are referred to as leaders while members of the team that are influenced are called subjects or followers. There are three leadership approaches that this paper would focus on. Transformational leadership servant leadership and authentic leadership approach.
Transformational leadership is a leadership approach that aims at changing as well as transforming individuals. It entails the values emotions as well as standards of the acolytes and leaders. Meanwhile servant leadership that is paradoxical in nature as it does not entail leaders being servants as the term may suggest. Instead leaders influence while the servants follow. The last leadership approach that would be discussed is the authentic leadership. This is an approach that examines whether leadership offered is genuine. It questions the originality of leaders and their leadership models. The three leadership approaches would be compared and contrasted below focusing on their strengths and weaknesses.
Transformational leadership is an approach that links the roles of a leader and acolyte. Leaders tap acolytes motives to meet organizations goals. The leadership style is entailed of various factors as it is building blocks. The first factor is idealized influence. It explains of leaders who are role models for their acolytes. The leaders are usually of high moral levels and ethical behavior therefore highly respected by followers who trust them. Second factor is the inspirational motivation. This is a factor entailed in transformational leadership which is descriptive of the type of leaders who speak high expectations to acolytes instilling the spirit commitment in them as well as becoming part and parcel of an organization’s goals. This factor is used to enhance team spirit of a group of followers. Thirdly intellectual stimulation is another factor of transformational leadership. It includes leadership that stimulates the followers innovative and creative in their way of doing things in order to achieve the common goals of the team. Finally, individualized consideration is the last factor which involves leaders who provide an effective environment and listen to the personal interests of acolytes northouse 2019 they act as advisers and counselors for their followers.
Transformational leadership has its strengths and criticisms. Some of the strengths of transformational leadership include intuitive appeal. It describes how leaders guide in advocating change for others and thus many individuals in society identify with it as it is consistent with public notion on leading. Moreover it integrates acolyte and leaders interests therefore acolytes get great positions in the process. However the transformational leadership approach has its own share of criticism due to its various glaring weaknesses. Firstly transformational leadership entails a vast range of variables such as vision motivation and social architect.
Consequently it becomes challenging to define the parameters in a research process. Besides the method of measurement of effectiveness of transformational leadership is another weakness. The validity of measurement methods has been questioned. Thus it becomes weaker compared to the other leadership approaches. Second leadership approach is the servant leadership. This is an approach that do not coincide with societal perspectives leaders being servants. Under this approach the leaders influence and servants follow. It tests how one can be both a servant and a leader. The style was developed by greenleaf in 1970s. The leadership style concentrates on leadership on the leaders perspective and behavior. It is similar to the transformational leadership approach. It requires that servant leaders put into consideration their followers nurture them and empathize with them.
In comparison to transformational leadership servant leaders are also ethical and of high moral standards. Servant leadership has basic principles that guide its formulation. These are highlighted by different scholars. Firstly servant leaders put the needs and interests of their followers first. Secondly they depict a strong moral behavior towards their followers and organizational stakeholders. Finally it is noted that servant leadership in practice emanates naturally in some but every individual can be taught to become such a leader northouse 2019 there are also some traits that are common with a servant leader.
These are empathy listening self-awareness persuasion and commitment to the growth of people. These characteristics make servant leadership approach even more similar to the transformational leadership approach. Essentially servant leadership houses three conditions which affect the leadership style and its outcomes context and culture of a particular organization and people. The practices and norms of an institution or a sector would influence servant leadership. The culture such as those of shared powers among the people also influences the effectiveness of servant leadership. Furthermore leaders attribute is another antecedent that influence servant leadership as the characteristics of a leaders influences how he performs. Finally follower receptivity influences the outcome of this leadership style on variables for instance organizational performance.
The approach has both strengths and its weaknesses. One of its strengths is that it provides an exasperating approach concerning influence and power use. It argues that leading should not dominate but rather share control and influence which is contrast to transformative leadership. Additionally it is easy as compared to transformational leadership to measure effectiveness of servant leadership. However it also has criticisms as a result of its weakness. There are arguments that servant leadership is viewed as following which is the opposite of leading; the manner in which it influences is incorporated as part of the model is not fully explained. Furthermore it is not clear why conceptualization is considered as one of the traits in the approach while it is seen as a cognitive ability.
The last approach is the authentic leadership approach. This is a contemporary leadership approach and it establishes whether a leading style is genuine. It examines the legitimacy of leaders and their leadership. It is defined as a leaders pattern of behavior that develops from and is grounded in the leaders positive psychological qualities and strong ethics. It is composed of four components. Self-awareness moral perspective balanced processing and relational transparency avolio et al 2009 there exist diverse factors that control true leadership such as moral reasoning critical events in life and positive psychological traits. These have an influence on the outcome of the process of authentic leadership approach. Under positive psychological factors there are variables such as hope optimism that enhances the ability of a leader to adopt the elements of true leadership. Life events catalyze and influence growth in persons making them better leaders. This critical life events might be things such promotions and giving birth to a child.
The authentic leadership approach has two distinct areas of the process of leadership. These are approaches which are practical in that its from real examples and written material. Another one is the theoretical approach from social science research discoveries avolio et al 2009 the practical approach mainly concerns itself with the steps involved in becoming an authentic leader. This involves the authentic action wheel that describes the steps involved. Theoretical approach focuses on the components such as relational transparency and balanced processing as the tenets of authentic leadership.
The approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Once it justifies a need for having earning trust and competency in society. The public has yearned for great and true leadership and this approach is the answer to their needs. Second it gives guidelines to individuals in society that want to become authentic leaders. Third which is like transformational and servant leadership it has a moral dimension as its principle. However the approach has its own share of weaknesses. Scholars question whether capacities related to psychology should be elements of true leadership as it makes it difficult to measure the effectiveness of the model. Secondly there are vague and broad definitions of authentic leadership that need further explanation such as how leaders are influenced by justice to the community.
In conclusion there are three leadership approaches that have been outlined. Transformative leadership servant leadership and authentic leadership. Leadership style alludes to the trademark practices utilized while controlling, overseeing, coordinating, or potentially propelling a gathering of individuals. Individuals have diverse leadership styles. Moreover, associations frequently have a specific leadership style determined for different positions. It is essential to know which leadership style works best in different workplaces, with the goal that you can pick the best style for a specific circumstance. Each work style has its preferences and inconveniences. The key is picking the correct leadership style at the ideal time. Doing as such causes one become an incredible leader and have the resultant achievement one wants in their own and expert life.
These three have various similarities and contradictions through their components and practice in society and various organizations. The major similarity for the three approaches is that they all entail high moral and ethical standard as a principle of leadership. It was also seen that both transformative and authentic leadership involves the influencing and inspiration of followers by their leaders. Transformative leadership is different from the other two as it is not centrally focused on the acolytes that is the followers do not have shared control and influence of power. I believe that servant leadership is the most effective leadership approach. This is because it is easier for a leader to endear oneself to the followers. In addition through understanding followers individual needs one would be able to give tailor-made solutions and inspirations for each follower. Consequently this would lead to the achievement of the organizations and society common goal. Implementation of servant leadership in work stations can be done through joining of followers/ employees in performing their duties. During the time one can get a feel of the challenges and needs of the followers firsthand. Moreover it can be implemented through putting in place private sessions with members of the teams discussing their grievances and suggestions.