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Leadership entails ability to persuade, inspire, motivate other people and set aside for sometime their own individual resources, time and attention willingly to pursue and achieve a common goal that is significant for the success and welfare of the group or in a business enterprise.

Good leadership is not about coercion nor domination, it is about persuasion, people asking others to carry out their instruction coercively are not leaders, good leaders shows, where followers or subordinate willingly accept for a period of time the goals of a group or business organization as theirs.

In line with the concept of leadership by Mullins-process of planning leading and controlling the works of organization members and of using all available organization resources to reach stated goal and my perception of leadership one can deduce that leadership matters because works and goal achievement matters leadership involves building a strong team with the need to achieve.

However, Leaders must demonstrate superior ability, having expert power is an advantage whether in technical skill or organizational sophistication, their skills and knowledge entitles them to the position of leadership, therefore professionals expert their leaders to know more about the field.


Who is a Leader?

Leaders are expected to be credible person and to know rules the dos and don'ts, the norms, expectations and values of the group he or she supervises.

Good leader motivates trains and helps develop subordinates and members. Should be someone who can be looked up to, whose personal judgment is trusted; who can inspire and warm the hearts of those he or she leads, gaining their trust and confidence and explaining what is needed in the language that can be understood by the members.

There are four broad ways to leading people; they are:

  1. Authoritarian way
  2. bureaucratic way
  3. democratic way
  4. laissez-faire way

Autocratic Leadership Style:

This is often considered the classical approach. It is one in which the manger/ Leader retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible. The leader does not consult member, nor are they allowed to give any input. Members are expected to obey order without receiving any explanations. The motivation environment is produced by creating a structure set of rewards and punishment.

The Leaderships style is tyrannical and use to end up with little or no achievement as a result of dictatorial approach.

In most cases, autocratic leaders;

  • Rely on threats and punishment to influence members
  • Do not trust members
  • Do not allow for members" input.

This does not mean that autocratic leadership is all bad. Sometimes it is the most effective style to use. These situations can include:

  • When members do not know what to do
  • Members do not respond to any other Leadership style.
  • There is limited time in which to make a decision
  • Some members are acting against the overall cooperative interest

The autocratic leadership style should not be used when members expect to have their opinions heard and when there is low employee morale.

Bureaucratic Leadership Style

Bureaucratic leadership is where the manager manages "by the book". Everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn't covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. This manager is really more of a police officer than a leader. He or she enforces the rules.


This style can be effective when employees are performing routine task over and over; employee need to understand certain standard or procedures and where employee are working with dangerous or delicate equipment that requires a definite set of produces to operate.

The style is capable of making employees do just what is expected of them and no more. They may also lose their interest in their jobs an in their fellow workers.

Democratic Leadership Style

The democratic leadership style is also called the participative style as it encourages followers to be part of the decision making. The democratic manager keeps his or her followers informed about everything that affects their work and shares decisions making and problem solving responsibilities. This style requires the leader to be a coach who has the final say, but gathers information from staff members before making decision.



Democratic leadership can produce high quality and high quantity work for long periods of time. Many followers like the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale. Typically the democratic leader:


  • Develops plans to help followers evaluate their own performance
  • Allows followers to establish goals
  • Encourages them to grow
  • Recognizes and encourages achievements


Like the other styles, the democratic style is not always appropriate. It is most successful when used with highly skilled or experienced employees or when implementing operational changes or resolving individual or group problems.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

The laissez-faire leadership style is also known as the "hand-off". It is one in which the manager provides little or no direction and gives followers as much freedom as possible. All authority or power is given to the followers and they must determine goals, make decisions and resolve problems on their own. This method is problematic especially when arrowhead leadership is badly needed; when initiatives need to be taken and championed.

What Managers/Leaders should know about Human Beings

As manager, we need to know that human beings do not just comply with or disobey instructions. They do not often make needless requests or ask questions without reason; human beings are needs-driven. According to Abraham Maslow, these needs come in five major categories.

  • Self actualization needs
  • Self Esteem needs
  • Love and Affection needs
  • Safety needs
  • Physiological needs
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Mark Irabor has 1 articles online

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This article was published on 2010/11/01