The Perfect Recipe for Impactful Leadership
It is important that those who are in leadership positions possess exceptional and effective leadership abilities within the increasingly complex world businesses operate in. Leaders have the ability to drive change, facilitate learning, and encourage motivation; all of which are the building blocks to productivity and success within their teams. Having a leader who can develop and better both the organization and its people is crucial to long-term success. Therefore, knowing the most effective leadership styles is the first step in improving upon about what we know about leadership. So, how do you ensure your existing and upcoming leaders are developing appropriately to take charge? We’ve identified some of the strongest leadership styles and how they can help your organization.
The Best Leadership Styles
Within the research literature, one of the most commonly researched leadership styles among many scholars are transformational leadership and transactional leadership. These two types of leadership approaches are found to be the most effective because they capitalize on building and developing employees’ as well as provide incentives for well performed jobs.
This style of leadership is person-centric in that leaders often encourage and inspire performance among their employees. The relationship built between leader and employee is personal. By building and gaining the trust and confidence of their employees, transformational leaders are often looked upon as role models.
Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.Mary D. Poole
Transformational leaders set future goals and create strategic plans to achieve them, are creative and bold, and mentor and empower their employees so they can develop and grow into their full potential. Being a transformational-charismatic leader includes efficient and confident communication of current and future objectives.
Contrary to transformational-charismatic leadership, transactional leadership is based upon exchange-based relationships. Leaders who take on a transactional style often appeal to their employees through either an active or passive management-by-exception approach:
- Contingent Reward Approach (active) — Leadership behavior characterized by exchange of resources and support for agreed upon employee effort and performance Emphasis is placed on the clarification of goals, work standards, assignments, and equipment.
- Passive Management-by-Exception — Leaders take on a passive approach, only intervening when problems become serious; often resulting in practicing avoidance of corrective action as long as standards are being met. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This leadership style approach is characterized by avoidance of leadership responsibilities, resulting at little to no leadership whatsoever.
Although all leadership styles are found in effective leaders, the most effective and the top-rated style is a combination of transformational leadership and the contingent reward aspect of transactional leadership; as they consistently are the most effective at motivating, inspiring, and driving performance.
Best Practices to Help You Develop as a Better Leader
- Create an Environment of Learning. Encourage those following you by creating a safe space for learning and development. Use mistakes and failures as opportunities to grow and learn.
- Lead by Example. Because of a phenomenon called the leader-follower effect, followers often change their behaviors and perspectives when they perceive fair and ethical leadership.
- Be Transparent. Create a work environment where there is a two-way flow of communication between leader and follower. Being able to communicate efficiently and with confidence builds trust and confidence in an employee.
- Be Real. Be personable and real with your followers. Doing so will help build trust and confidence in your followers and allow both leaders and employees to perform at their highest potential.
- Develop Effective Habits. Be mindful and implement continuous daily practice, as seen in The Leader Habit, towards improving upon skills geared at enhancing employee development, learning, and Motivation.
As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow.Himanshu Bhatia
- Bono, J. E., & Judge, T. A. (2004). Personality and transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology, 89(5), 901.
- Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2003). The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence. The leadership quarterly, 14(6), 807-834.
- Hater, J. J., & Bass, B. M. (1988). Superiors’ evaluations and subordinates’ perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership. Journal of Applied psychology, 73(4), 695.
- Vergauwe, J. (2017). Personality and leadership: Trait-perspectives on charisma, curvilinear relationships, and measurement innovations (Doctoral dissertation, Ghent University).