This essay is an examination of three Leadership Styles depicted by academics who have studied the effectiveness of predominant leadership behaviour in teams, groups and organisations with a view to understanding the techniques involved and how they might be harnessed to improve leadership skills generally.
Three leadership styles were chosen because “Research into the personality trait antecedents of executive leadership styles demonstrates the links between dispositional anchors and the following leadership orientations; autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire.” (James, B., Hunt. 2010).
An understanding of basic leadership skills is important because of the effect on people of various subtleties.
(BHATTI, 2012) suggested that leadership is influence by a variety of social processes whereby leaders look for the agreed participation of subordinates to achieve the goals set for the group. He also believed followers want to identify with their leadership and that intellectual stimulation is apparent when leaders help employees motivate themselves to be innovative and creative.
The need to understand leadership method is further supported by (Bass, 1997) who proposed that’ “when leaders pay attention to Individual considerations, employees feel supported and coached rather than intimidated”.
AUTHORATIVE OR AUTOCRATIC STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
The U.S. Army Leadership Manual, FM 6-22, describes authorative or autocratic leaders as people who have; “…...no confidence in the abilities of subordinates, who want full control, without the will of delegating responsibility to anyone”.
Generally speaking autocratic leaders are known for ignoring the views of others. Their own previous work experience and exposure learned from within well drilled teams of highly skilled, motivated and trusted individuals, tasked to work within defined guidelines, policies and time frames. Team’s often small and interactive, regularly found within paramilitary organisations, working in high risk environments.
M, Van Vugt (cited Messick and Brewer, 1983) ; “First, researchers have focused almost exclusively on one type of leadership, namely an autocratic style. This has led some analysts to conclude that the only viable solution to social dilemma conflicts is the adoption of a coercive, non-democratic regime. There seems to be an assumption that autocratic leadership effectively resolves social dilemmas by forcing members to invest in their group. Although this is true in situations where escape from a group is impossible, in many situations group members not only have a choice between investing or not investing in a group, but also between staying in the group or leaving, thereby affecting the groups welfare and stability”
So that all the available evidence suggests autocratic leadership is best adapted to indoctrinated teams of highly skilled people, with defined operational procedures, policies with defined outcomes in mind.
A Democratic Leader makes decisions but invites members to participate in the decision making process. For that reason they are more likely to provide job satisfaction by involving individuals and teams in achieving their goals.
It is leadership that encourages people to develop their skills and it motivates them for more than financial rewards alone.
(FOELS, 2000) ; “The effects of leadership style on member satisfaction may be based in part on the gender of the group members. Research that addressed question directly shows that women are less satisfied with autocratic leaders than men (Kushell & Newton, 1986), and that the difference in satisfaction between an autocratic and democratic leader is larger for women than for men (Stitt, Schmidt, Price, & Kipnis, 1983). These findings have been discussed as a result of socialization processes in which women are raised to be more relationship oriented,