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Leadership College - Essay Example

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People have become good leaders for they are made to become one (Clark, pars. 1-2). They undergo a never-ending process of education, experience, self-study, and training. Their desire and will power enables them to become effective leaders. They also inspire the workers into higher levels of teamwork and also help them become good leaders…
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Leadership College Essay
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, Kurt Lewin defined leadership as the "manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people" (271-299). In the Army, leadership is defined as "influencing people-by providing purpose, direction, motivation-while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization."
According to Patterns of Aggressive Behaviours, there was a group of researchers that identified different styles of leadership (271-299). Lewin's study recognized there major styles of leadership that have been very influential: 1) autocratic, 2) democratic, and 3) delegative. Groups of school children were allotted to one or three groups where researchers have observed their behaviours in response to the different styles of leadership.
The autocratic or authoritarian leadership is well applied to conditions where there is limited time for group decision-making and the leader is the most educated and experienced member of the group (Lewin, 271-299). There is a clear distinction between the role of the leader and the followers. Authoritarian leaders make independent decisions with very little or no input form the rest of the group of what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. Thus, it was concluded by researchers that decision-making in authoritarian leadership was less creative. Lewin stated that moving from an authoritarian style to a democratic style is more difficult than vice versa. The abuse of this kind of leadership is viewed as controlling, bossy and dictatorial. The authoritarian style is usually used by leaders when employees need close supervision to carry out certain tasks. It occurs when leaders tell their employees what they want done and accomplished, without getting the opinion of their followers.
According to Lewin, participative leadership or the democratic kind, on the other hand, has a leader who encourages group members to participate and give their inputs (271-299). Lewin observed that members of the participative group were less productive than the members of the authoritarian group though the inputs were of higher quality and the members feel much more motivated and creative. A participative leadership style is where the leader, including one or more employees are engaged in the decision-making process. Normally, this happens when the leader has a part of the information and the employees have the other parts. The leader and the employees work closely together to accomplish certain tasks. However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority which the employees must learn to respect.
The delegative, mostly known as the laissez faire meaning the non-interference in the affair of others, are the least productive of all the groups (Lewin, 271-299). Researchers have found that children who belong in this group are more demanding to the leader and demonstrate little cooperation, thus working dependently. The delegative leaders leave the decision-making up to the group members and offer little or no guidance at all. Though this style can work effectively in conditions where group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, the roles of each member are badly off and lack motivation. However, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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