Leadership is one of the highly sought after and highly valued commodities in the world. The public has become increasingly captivated by the idea of leadership. People continue to ask themselves and others on how to make good leaders whereby others believe that leadership is a way of improving their personal, professional and social lives. This paper describes my leadership style and various leadership theories that are applicable to my leadership approach.
Comparison and contrasting of leadership theories
The first theory is the contingency theory. It is also referred to as situational theory of leadership and it was developed by Fred Fielder. Under this theory, Fiedler postulates three situational dimensions that are assumed to enhance the effectiveness of leaders. They include leader-member relations which is the degree of confidence that the subordinates have in the leader as well as the loyalty that is shown to the leader and his or her effectiveness, task structure which is the degree to which the responsibilities of the followers are routine and position power whereby power is inherent in the position of leadership. Contingency theory as applied to leadership recognizes various factors that interact with the leader’s style and contribute to a leader’s effectiveness. The theory identifies personality and attitudes of subordinates, task structure, and the leader’s position power as the variables that influence the effectiveness of a leader (Gill, 2006).
The second is path-goal theory which attempts to explain the effects of four kinds of leader behavior on the expectations and attitudes of the subordinates. It suggests that the relationship between leadership style and subordinate outcomes is contingent upon the environmental and subordinate characteristics. This theory differs from Fiedler’s theory in definition of the effectiveness of leadership, which path-goal theory defines as subordinates’ job satisfaction, motivation and acceptance of the leader. Path-goal theory identifies two categories of contingency factors which are personal characteristics of subordinates and environmental pressures and demands. Regarding personal characteristics, the theory contends that subordinate characteristics will partially determine their satisfaction and perception. Environmental contingencies include subordinates’ tasks, formal authority system of the organization and ability (Chance & Chance, 2002).
The third theory is Hersey and Blanchard Theory in which, a three dimensional approach for assessing the effectiveness of leadership is identified. First, leaders exhibit task behavior and relationship behavior. Second, the leaders’ effectiveness depends on how his or her style interrelates with the situation. Third, the willingness and ability of employees to do a certain task is a significant situational factor. This theory’s approach offers suggestions for the varying leadership style and shows the leaders what to do and the time it should be done. Generally, it demonstrates a degree to which leaders are able to vary their style appropriately to the readiness level of the subordinates in a particular situation (Schermerhorn, 2011). The last theory is style theory. It identifies particular kinds of behavior that underlie leadership ability. According to this theory, a number of factors determine leadership style whereby the factors are predominantly determined through an individual’s personality. This theory maintains that subordinates should accept all organizational decisions that are made and be committed to them. Also, it holds that these organizational decisions should be of high quality (Martin, 2006).
In conclusion, these leadership theories are applicable to the leadership style or approach. For instance, the approach is well described by contingency theory and Hersey and Blanchard Theory identifies personality and attitudes of subordinates, task structure, and the leader’s position power as the variables that influence the effectiveness of a leader as well as showing a degree to which leaders are able to vary their style appropriately to the readiness level of the subordinates in a particular situation.