Blue Flower

Management and leadership are two separate business organizational disciplines.

The manager is the one who ensures the job is well done by managing the team. The leader is the one who inspires employees to do their job well without a supervisor.

The manager requires the teams and teaches them professional skills. While from the leaders the people in the organization receive inspiration and values.

Being a manager requires you to have a lot of professional skills and extensive experience in your field. But to be a leader, personal qualities are required that cannot be gained only with experience or management education. Reference “Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities”,

In life cycle theory, Hershey and Blanchard assume almost by default that the effectiveness of leadership must be sought by adjusting the leader's behavior to the maturity of the followers, which suggests that the leaders in question are flexible enough. But is that so? Is it not possible to think the opposite, ie. Can we not say that effective leadership is rather the choice of a leader for certain followers in a certain situation or modeling the situation itself so that it fits the personal characteristics of the leader.

The positive answer to this question has led to the formation of a whole subset of situational theories of leadership presented by Fiedler's work. Assuming that the leader himself is the factor whose nature is more difficult to change, we should look for a way to describe and classify in some sufficient common groups of leadership types, to do the same for the situations in which they may find themselves, to choose leaders who would be effective when a situation arises or to influence the situation so that the distinguished type of leader is appropriate.

To accomplish the first task, Fiedler proposes a tool, such as the LPC (least preferred colleague), whose main purpose is to clarify the nature of the leader's motivation. The idea is for each leader to try to choose one of the followers with whom he has the hardest time working, who is least sympathetic to him, and with whom "communication" does not work regularly.

Then the leader should describe the chosen person with the help of pairs of concepts such as friendly - hostile, honest - dishonest, annoying - interesting, executive - whirling. At the next stage, this description is quantified, based on which, leaders are classified into two groups: low LPC and high LPC. The behavior of the former is motivated mainly by the work and the specific goals to be achieved. They feel satisfied with well-done duties and can focus on interpersonal relationships only after ensuring that the task is completed. Leaders in high LPC are motivated primarily by relationships.

Fiedler considers the "situation" factor primarily from the aspect of favoritism, defining the latter as the degree to which the leader can influence followers. The manager cannot guarantee that.

The favorable situation is determined by three main indications:

Relations between the head and the members of the organization. This means mutual trust, faith, a friendship between the leader and subordinates. When they are good, the leader has more power and influence;

Fixing of obligations. By this condition, Fiedler understands how obligations are defined. When they are specific, clearly defined, and planned, then the situation is favorable for the manager. Exercising power and influence is more effective and easy for him. Conversely, when the duties are to some extent vague or unspecified, then it is difficult for the leader to influence the members, as neither he nor the members have a clear idea and precise criteria on how to do a job;

Strength of position. It is about the power that a leader has from taking a position. The greater the ability to impose penalties and rewards or legal force on a leader, the greater his or her ability to influence the members of the group.

Based on these criteria, a situation varies from "very favorable" to "very unfavorable" for the leader, and between these two extremes, there are many intermediate positions.

The task-oriented style is most effective in the most favorable or most unfavorable situations. This means that in favorable situations, when the leader has more power and his responsibilities are clearly and precisely defined, the group is ready to accept the guidelines on what and how to work.

Under the most unfavorable conditions, subordinates prefer the leader to take responsibility for decisions and lead the group.
The style oriented to human relations is most effective in intermediate situations.

According to Vroom and Yeton, good leadership is what implies an optimal degree of involvement of subordinates in decision-making processes. The authors identify five styles depending on the involvement of subordinates in decision-making.

  • AI - the leader makes decisions based on the available information;
  • AII - the leader receives information from subordinates, but makes his own decisions;
  • CI - the leader presents the problem to subordinates who affect them, listens to suggestions and ideas, but without gathering them in a group. Makes decisions that may not reflect the proposals made;
  • CII - the leader presents the problems to the group and everyone listens to the given ideas. The decision made by the leader again may not reflect the ideas of the group .;
  • GII - the leader presents the problems to the group. Everyone selects and evaluates the alternatives by consent. The decision taken by the group shall apply. The abbreviation used means A - autocratic, C - consultative, G - group.

In Tannenbaum Schmidt's model, the central idea is that the effectiveness of different leadership styles is a function of three categories of factors that relate to the leader, subordinates, and the state of the environment.

In particular, they consider that there is a consistent link between the different leadership styles.

The gradual shift from an authoritarian to a democratic style means a reduction in the power exercised by the leader and an increase in the freedom or participation of subordinates. Between these two extremes, there may be different leadership styles, characterized by a predominance of authoritarian or democratic elements. Possible variants of leadership styles show their effectiveness only under certain conditions.

The behavior of the leader

The behavior of each leader is largely determined by the elements that make up his personality:

  • Value system;
  • Trust in subordinates;
  • Leadership skills;
  • A sense of security in an unclear environment

These are the main factors that influence the style of leadership. The value system includes the understandings and positions of the manager regarding the role of subordinates' participation in decision-making.

The manager's trust in subordinates

The manager's trust in subordinates reflects his confidence in their ability to solve a specific problem, as well as his understanding of human nature.
His leadership skills express the ability to master and apply a certain style of leadership.

The important factors determining the behavior of subordinates towards management are:

  • need for independence from subordinates
  • willingness to take responsibility in making a decision
  • the importance that subordinates attach to their participation in decision-making;
  • the importance they attach to problems
  • possessed knowledge and experience necessary for solving a given problem;

The more pronounced these forces are in subordinates, the more effective will be those leadership styles that incorporate more democratic elements.

Environmental factors are also important:

- the type of organization;
- efficiency of the group;
- the type of problems;
- term of performance of a given work - the democratic style requires more time than the authoritarian one;

An effective manager must know and understand all leadership factors

The conclusion that can be drawn from the model of Tanenbaum and Schmidt is that an effective leader must know and understand the role of each of the above factors and have the ability to make different connections between them to achieve maximum effect in each specific case.

Among the most modern and up-to-date leadership ideas are:

Stephen Kerr's concept of substitutes and boosters of leadership, Charles Manz and Henry Sims of super-leadership. Kerr denies that too often leadership can be hampered by internal and external factors and that good leadership also poses dangers. In this regard, Kerr offers its substitutes and amplifiers.

The first are factors that act in the direction of reducing the importance of leadership itself: reward systems, stimulating teamwork, and others. The latter helps the leader in his efforts to make the desired impact. These include the transformation of the leader into a central source of information, strengthening the organizational status and power of the leader mainly through his ability to decide remuneration, full use of crises to demonstrate the skills of the leader and others.


The leader must exercise management over himself

Mantz and Sims place a completely different emphasis on the leader's exercise of leadership on himself. This requires many behavioral skills - maturity, self-analysis and self-criticism, the ability to set clear goals, and other no less important qualities of thinking - imagination, focusing on the value of the activity itself, and more.

All this works in the direction of self-motivation for good results. The main idea of ​​Manz and Sims is that each member of the group should perceive himself and act as a leader using the mentioned techniques. For this purpose, the organization needs leadership, creating people, leaders of themselves, ie. super leadership.

It should unlock everyone's abilities, give space for their realization. The abbreviation MYB in the literature denotes the concept - manage your boss (Bo Yours) or systematization of how to influence those who govern us or those over whom we have no formally regulated control. This concept can be very useful in several ways, even just as a framework for understanding the relationship between manager and manager.