Friday, January 25, 2013

Leadership Styles: Two Different Approaches

The top-down style of leadership — otherwise known as the “command style
- A group is defined by a single, supreme leader who “rules” over all.
- The leader’s main responsibility is direct and command members of a group.
- To carry out these command functions, the supreme leader must possess multiple skills:
Serving as spokesperson for group ( through speaking and writing).
   Functioning as the group’s chief negotiator with other forces.
   Serving as military field commander in struggles with the “enemy”.
   Serving as the group’s political strategies.
   Promoting internal group cohesion and motivating the membership ( interpersonal skills).
  Training one “heir apparent”.

Alternative concept of leadership is "shared Leadership"
A group functions collectively - with a large number of leaders, each able to contribute specific skills, such as:
- Serving as spokesperson ( through speaking and writing)
- Representing the group in negotiations with other forces
- Serving as military filed commander in struggles with the “enemy”
- Developing political strategy for the group
- Fostering intra-group harmony and the concept of teamwork
- Recruiting new members
- Managing tasks and overseeing group responsibilities
- Fostering a “culture”— or atmosphere within the group— that promotes learning, membership development, and fun

The group can be comfortable with having many styles of leadership: no one style is defined as the most important style.
The group should provide a nurturing atmosphere, enabling all members to grow in their leadership skills and to learn new skills

Common Misconception about Leadership:
"There is one-and only one-style leadership for a group.”
“For any group, there is one—and only one—leader. A few members of the group are ‘developing leaders,’ while the rest are “followers”.
“Leaders are born and not trained: a person either has leadership ability or does not.”
Even when people recognize the existence of different leadership styles, they tend to believe that “one style (usually the ‘command style’) is more important that other styles.

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