Leadership

Leadership

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8950-2.ch006
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Abstract

Leadership development happens when one can determine and/or strengthen leadership style. Development continues when there is a trusting connection, when there are clear roles and responsibilities, and when an environment that facilitates quality communication is maintained. This chapter examines a study that shows a disconnect in opinions from employees, CEOs, and human resources professionals who were all asked the same questions about how people view their organization. Top-level leaders were overly optimistic about the frequency with which their employees were being recognized for their contributions. Conversely, human resources professionals were pessimistic about frequent recognition while employees seemed to be divided about the frequency and appropriateness of recognition. The authors find a variety of team qualities as they peruse thousands of leadership, management, and self-improvement books. This chapter narrows the focus to engagement, the setting of leader and manager roles, and developing members.
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Background

Leadership style is important to telework success, especially when person-to-person and team communications are done remotely. To ensure leaders are ready for the challenge, develop them through creating, identifying, or refining their leadership style. The leadership style should guide all efforts and assist with course corrections when things do not go exactly as planned with your team. Developing this leadership style requires several, ongoing steps. First, determine and/or strengthen leadership style. Second, demonstrate the importance of a trusting connection. Third, establish roles and responsibilities. Fourth, create a quality environment.

Figure 1.

Requirements for Building Leaders

978-1-7998-8950-2.ch006.f01

The leadership requirements figure above is a roadmap for success. Each leader has a style whether they are aware of it or not. The first step should be to determine what is your leadership style. There are formal and informal ways to do this. One formal way is to consult The Leadership Practices Inventory® at www.lpileadershippracticesinventory.com. According to the website, the inventory “assessment not only measures the frequency with which you engage in exemplary leadership behaviors leadership skills, but it also inspires the breakthrough insights needed to build positive relationships and achieve the extraordinary. This 360-degree assessment helps organizations create change towards a more motivated and productive workforce by building a culture of leadership.”

Informally, you can use the Table 1 below to determine your leadership style. There are many lists available containing seven or more styles, but this text uses the three identified by Kurt Lewin and his team of researchers in 1939: authoritarian, participative, and delegative (Bhargavi & Yaseen, 2016, p. 90).

Table 1.
Leadership Styles
StyleAdvantagesDisadvantages
Authoritarian - Autocratic (directive)
• You make all the decisions
• Little or no discussion with workers
• Team expected to obey orders
• Decisions will be quick
• Greater control in crisis situations
• Value achieved when decision is the right one
• Provide direction to encourage workers
• Difficulty motivating workers
• Miss out on worker experience and ideas that could be helpful
Participative - Democratic (collaborative)
• You discuss plans with workers who can influence decisions
• Workers have a voice
• Workers may feel motivated and committed
• Worker ideas and skills could be helpful
• Decisions will be slower
• May be difficult if quick decisions are needed
Delegative - Laissez Faire: “leave to do”
• You decide upon the objectives and leave it up to the workers to achieve them
• Works for independent, motivated workers• Workers may lack direction
• Workers may take advantage
• May not suit all workers

NOTE: Many leadership experts also refer to transformational and servant leadership. Transformational leaders are active, communicating any changes to members and focusing on motivation. Servant leaders shine the light on members, while leaders work behind the scenes.

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