The way a modern day leader thinks is the by-product of a series of changes that have happened over the years. Many leadership styles came into the picture, and people chose the techniques that derived the expected results for them.
The modern approach focuses on making the official environment fruitful for each and every employee. However, this was not the case when people used to lead earlier. The workplace leadership styles were heavily influenced by the political structure of the world, and therefore the situation was not harmonious.
Post the introduction of the new economic policy in 1991, the situation in India started to improve, and more and more people began to gain employment. As a result, the organizational culture of companies got more streamlined, and leaders were chosen after due consideration.
There is a lot more to leadership styles and theories than what meets the eye. If you want to learn more about the hidden intricacies of this evolution, you can consider opting for online leadership courses. These courses are gaining prominence every day, and you can even choose some top-tier courses such as leadership courses from XLRI.
A Glimpse To Various Leadership Styles
1. Authoritarian Leadership
The authoritarian leadership style gives all the power to one person who is expected to make all the decisions. It happens when the leader has the most knowledge amongst the team, and therefore they are expected to set the layout which everybody else follows.
This style is used the most when the deadlines are tight and the time to develop a strategy is scarce. The leader provides the necessary guidelines, and all the power to change the outlook lies with only one person.
While addressing the advantages, any company that uses this style takes less time to finalize crucial aspects, and therefore the results are attained at a faster pace. The room for innovation is indeed minimized since there is only one brain at work, but the timing of these decisions can be critical in specific environments.
The IIM Lucknow leadership and strategy course talks about this style in detail, and you can opt for this online leadership course to understand the psyche behind choosing this style to derive maximum productivity. This style also reduces the margin of error as the instructions are clearly stated, and the communication is crystal clear.
On the contrary, this leadership style has also reported many unfortunate events of team rebellion where the employees do not feel like a part of the organization. Their potential is curbed, and therefore their motivation to work is also reduced significantly.
Even when the orders from the top-level management are crystal clear, the bonding and interactions amongst the team are significantly restricted. This quirk proves to be dangerous for the organization as each employee gets focused on meeting their own personal targets rather than looking at the bigger picture.
Every leadership style has its own pros and cons, and therefore it is necessary to learn about all of them before deciding which kind resonates the most with you. There are multiple online leadership courses available to guide you from this point so that you can choose the best possible style.
2. Participative Leadership
As the name suggests, participative leadership circles around the democratic style of leadership. In this approach, all the team members are allowed to give an opinion about their findings so that the decision can be based on a mutual consensus.
This style allows the creative juices of the employees to flow out in the open, and they feel motivated to contribute to the decision making of the organization. It also imbibes the feeling of a team where the informal structure of communication is established.
The organizations that have been using this approach have also reported a higher level of productivity owing to increased initiatives by the team members. This style works best when the leader takes the final call and the rest of the machinery is set up by the team.
If you think that participative leadership matches your general outlook, you can learn more about it through leadership courses from XLRI. These online leadership courses will give you much needed insights into the pros and cons for allowing informed decision making.
While participative leadership comes with a bag of pros, there are some drawbacks that are attached to it. The first and foremost problem that arises in this style is the time that is required to formulate strategies.
The implementation is usually delayed since different people have a variety of opinions, and therefore it takes a lot of time to attain the middle grounds, which are crucial for performance. Also, since it becomes a team activity, it also causes some expert opinions to get sidelined over a majority’s vote.
Each leadership style has its own share of benefits and losses; the choice depends on the existing conditions and the ability of the leader to get things done. If letting the team members participate can boost the productivity of your team, you must opt for it even if it takes a day more to arrive at conclusions.
3. Delegative Leadership
The delegation leadership style is commonly known with its alias “Laissez-faire” leadership style. This style focuses on decentralizing the power of the leader so that the employees can get engrossed in work to take worthy initiatives.
The role of the leader gets restricted to monitoring the daily workflow and evaluating the metrics to ensure that the right initiatives are being taken and no resource is getting wasted. The most critical prerequisite for this leadership style is the competence of the team.
If the team is self-motivated towards attaining organizational level goals, the job of the manager becomes relatively more straightforward since the direction is evident amongst the subordinates. In such cases, a good leader acts as a wise mentor who raises the morale of the team.
However, if the leader proposes an absolutely free reign, the team can get haywire and indulge in internal conflicts. The hierarchy can also get disturbed, which should be an evident red flag to pull the team together.
It is imperative to change roles as a leader according to the dynamism of the business environment. You can also have a glimpse at these five ways of improving your leadership style according to the need of the hour for a better understanding.
While gathering information about all the prominent leadership styles, it is vital to understand the theory of creation behind them. These theories can be learnt through online leadership courses that are present in abundance on the internet.
You will also get access to exciting case studies, success stories, and even the biggest failure so that you can use this information to tackle any event that occurs while you are leading a team.
4. Transactional Leadership
A modern leadership style, Transactional leadership, was quick to attract many young age leaders with multiple targets and a limited workforce. This style works on reward based dynamics where every action is met with either a positive or a negative outcome.
Employees are given recognition and other financial rewards after the completion of a short term goal, and likewise, if they fail to achieve a set target, they are punished according to the magnitude of the task. This style caught wind in recent times and has been going strong with more and more leaders adapting its intricacies.
Various companies have various ways in which they implement this scheme. Some companies stick to financial rewards such as sales cuts or commissions, whereas some companies opt for a lump sum reward such as a foreign tour.
In the companies where both the options are available, the employees get to choose the reward system that resonates the most with them. These things are good for achieving short term goals, but it becomes the responsibility of the leader to maintain the essence of the organizational goals.
Even though transactional leadership is modern and adaptive, it comes with its own set of drawbacks. The first and foremost drawback is the yes-man spirit that comes with the rewards attached to the tasks. Owing to the glorious benefits, employees put a full stop to their imagination and keep on doing the jobs that will yield them something.
Adding to that, it also cultivates a feeling of internal competition, which proves to be unhealthy in the long run. It also negates the possibility of choosing upcoming leaders from the internal employees since they get used to obeying orders and not thinking strategically.
There is much more to learn about using this style of leadership effectively, and you can do the same by applying to various online leadership courses. These courses are curated by top-notch institutes, and they offer you the luxury of learning the intricacies of this field within the safe proximity of your family members.
5. Transformational Leadership
The problem created in the previous style is the core competence of this leadership style. Transformational leadership style helps the leader to imbibe his mates with a vision that they can carry forward.
The leader is supposed to take the team forward towards a common objective and provide them with all the necessary resources to achieve the target. Once the team understands the insights, the leader is also expected to act as a significant cog while the team treads forward towards the mission.
This leadership style has helped companies to generate a feeling of inner motivation as the employees start trusting the leader and the company without any reservations. They are given all the resources and authority to do the work, and hence they feel attached to the business.
The better relationships that emerge in an organizational flow, the better it becomes for the leader to guide the team with unanimous decisions. However, there is a margin of deception involved in this style, and therefore the leader should be vigilant at all times.
Transformational leadership has been known for dissolving existing hierarchies as the bond between the associates starts to supersede the organizational workflow. If you are determined to steer clear of these types of issues, it is best to enrol in the online leadership course by IIM Lucknow, which will teach you to tackle these problems.
Developing Your Own Leadership Style
It is completely normal to not use any of the mentioned leadership styles as leadership is a skill that is acquired, not learnt. Any leader is free to use any type until they are churning out results, and therefore there are no organizations that superimpose any particular style onto the management.
While it is essential to learn the concepts and principles, it is also important to practice them in real time and then ascertain which style works out the best for you. You can also use a mix of all these styles and add an element or two of your own to make it unique and personalized.
The amount of study material on leadership is present in abundance, and therefore you can choose amongst all the viable options. An excellent opportunity to consider in today’s world is the multiple online leadership courses that are present on the internet.
You can even do multiple courses, such as the online leadership course by IIM Lucknow and even the reputed leadership courses from XLRI. These courses will add to your repository of knowledge and will help you to increase your bandwidth while dealing with tricky situations.
Decoding The Essentials Of A Good Leader
While there are many leadership styles to master, there are some basic qualities of a good leader that must be present in every employee handling a leadership role. Have a look at this checklist and mark the areas where you can use some improvement!
1. Integrity Is The Key
It is imperative for every leader to maintain their integrity while doing their jobs. The actual act of displaying integrity can inspire many other employees who are trying to imbibe the culture of the organization.
There are no thumb rules to learn about this life skill as there is no theory to support the genesis of integrity. It is an innate skill that gets activated after conscious efforts towards it.
You can read about any of the top successful businessmen, and you will find that integrity had a fixed place in their persona.
2. Delegation Is An Art
Even if you are determined to use the delegative leadership style, you have to first learn how to delegate tasks. Delegation is an art that should ideally motivate your subordinates to take up a particular charge rather than you giving them charges against their free will.
In most organizations, the leaders are not well equipped with the art of delegating, and as a result, their employee turnover rates touch the sky. The primary step to master the art of delegation is by generating a certain level of trust with your subordinates.
Once they trust you enough to follow you, the need for direct delegation will be waived off from the entire assembly of operations. You can also learn about delegation in detail via the leadership courses from XLRI that provide hidden insights to master this art.
3. Effective Communication
Even the most well planned plans can fail if they are not appropriately communicated to the team. Communication is the most crucial cog in the wheel, and therefore it is the duty of every leader to share their plans in the most transparent way possible.
Contrary to popular belief, communication as a skill can be learned and even mastered if the leader is willing towards learning it. The online courses in leadership give immense importance to this field, and therefore there are multiple avenues to learn.
Communication has a direct relationship with the successful implementation of plans which makes it an essential skill as against other skills that are required to perform leadership in an efficient way.
4. Self Awareness Is A Virtue
In order to make sound decisions, you will have to be self aware as a leader. It is important to understand the existing dynamics in the organization before you start drafting your plans and strategies.
If you have a decent understanding of your own skills, it will help you to delegate work more effectively as a leader. Being self aware is a step by step process that cannot be implemented instantly. It requires a consistent approach and a vigilant outlook towards things in general.
It is a great strategy to improve the team’s performance while making sure that you are learning every day as a leader. If you want to check out more ways of improving your team’s performance, you can check some of the ways out here.
5. Be Grateful
Even the tiniest acts of kindness, such as thanking your teammates after a successful task, can go a long way in boosting their spirits. As a leader, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that your team is feeling motivated at all times.
Most people discover a new authoritarian attitude after attaining power, but if you want your team to work together while achieving the milestones that you set, you will have to inculcate this feeling of gratitude amongst them.
There are multiple ways to express gratitude that you can learn and implement in your daily life. If you want some guidance in this particular field, you can check out the leadership courses from XLRI to polish your skills in the same domain.
6. Listening Displays Trust
It is not necessary that your subordinates will always come up with million dollar strategies. However, it is needed to give them the opportunity to express themselves so that they get the right push to never stop ideating.
The first rule of brainstorming says that there are no bad ideas in a group discussion; they are simply ideas that can be combined together to form a winning strategy that includes small contributions from everyone in the team.
Active listening is yet another skill that is crucial for a leader to learn and implement to ensure growth and prosperity amongst the team. Once you actively start listening, the communication gaps will be bridged, and the overall effectiveness of the communication will reach a new all time high.
7. Hold Yourself Accountable
The people who work for 14 hours on a 9 hour workday do not do it because they are bound by the company policy to do so. They do it because they take ownership of their tasks, and they feel an attachment to the company.
As a leader, it automatically becomes your duty to take both bricks and bouquets for your team’s performance. Once you start representing your team, they will feel an additional security net to go out in the blue and try out new things that might turn out beneficial for the company.
Even in the IIM Lucknow leadership course, you will find an entire portion talking about taking accountability and then churning out results!
8. Be Positive
The elementary school phrase of looking at a partially filled glass as half full is the best way to form a general outlook towards life. It helps you to radiate positivity in tough times, which is precisely what a leader needs to do when their team is not performing up to the set expectations.
If the leader is calm and collected, the employees will experience a feeling of reassurance to move forward with their tasks. They will also be more focused to effectively solve the situation of crisis rather than panicking about the same.
Once you develop this charismatic outlook, your team will have the required faith in you, even when the times are not favourable.
9. Learn Decision Making
A decision is not choosing a random option out of the given choices. A structured decision is made after assessing the given situation and then coming up with a befitting way to tackle it.
As a leader, it will be your duty to put the final seal on the work done by your employees, your decisions will impact their work, and therefore you will have to be very mindful about the way you conduct your assessment to ensure a peaceful environment.
On the contrary, it becomes your duty to put the organizational needs at the front while making decisions. If you wish to learn the intricacies of efficient decision making, you can browse for online leadership courses to guide you.
10. Accept Your Mistakes
A leader is a human being, and as a human being, you are bound to make mistakes.
You must accept your mistakes and move forward with the learnings that you gathered along the way. There are many top-level managers that play the blame game after committing any error. Some of them even stoop down to scapegoat another employee in order to save themselves from the embarrassment.
However, this outlook towards mistakes diminishes the learning curve attached to them. It also makes the employees feel wronged and unmotivated to excel with the company.
Accepting your mistakes is a key to effective leadership, and you must set an example by following it yourself. If this point resonated with your psyche, you can check out some more keys to effective leadership that will help you to lead better!
Leadership Principles To Live By
While it is essential to understand the characteristics of becoming a good leader, it is equally important to understand the principles of practising sound leadership. Here are some of the most prominent leadership principles that will help you to grow as a leader.
1. Be Proficient
In order to supervise the tasks given to your employees, it is quintessential for you to have proficiency in the same domain. If not, you will not be able to give out a technical review which is vital for the development of your subordinates.
You must work towards sharpening your skills every day so that you are readily available to tackle any problem that arises while working. You must also have a tactical approach and a calm outlook so that your employees are not scared to report their mistakes to you.
If you are able to achieve this mix of tactical and technical proficiency, gaining trust in the eyes of your subordinates will become extremely easy.
2. Invent Without Fear
The trait of a good leader is inventing without the fear of the outcome. You must keep the bigger picture in mind while chalking down any new plan, but it should not stop you from creating and implementing any new strategies that will yield better outputs.
If you follow a fixed chain of events every day, it can cause monotony in your team that can be harmful in the long run. As a leader, you must motivate your team by trying out new things so that the scope of creativity is not lost.
You can learn more about innovation and strategy through various online leadership courses. These courses will allow you to increase your spectrum of knowledge to enable you to come up with winning strategies.
3. Scrutinize While Hiring
It is wrong to have preconceived notions about a candidate before assessing their skills, but it would be best if you can weigh the pros and cons of hiring a candidate before you add them to your team.
Most people restrict their judgement to the previous experience of the candidate; however, a better way to move forward is by checking whether the candidate in question can align with the values and the vision of the company.
There are many modern day leadership practices that support this chain of thought, and you can learn more about these practices here.
4. Think Big, Achieve Bigger
When a team is performing well in most organizations, the organizations expect them to submit to their current practices without any change. This is encouraged to ensure a steady trajectory; however, this can make the employees fall into a comfort zone.
A good leader always makes sure that their team is not falling into the early gratification trap when there is untapped potential left in the employees. You must second the ideology of thinking bigger with each passing day so that your employees are motivated to bring about a change.
Every successful leader in the modern world became a success story after ditching the comfort zone. They kept on expanding their missions to aim at better results while creating history!
5. Quality Over Quantity
If your subordinates are working for 10 hours in a day without deriving any output, it is a red flag towards their style of approaching the tasks at hand.
Management and leadership are not learnt; they are practised according to the need of the hour so that the desired results can be churned out with optimum resources. The key result areas (KRA) should be identified so that the employees can work towards rectifying these errors rather than clocking in their daily shifts without any introspection.
The IIM Lucknow leadership course also throws some light on this phenomenon, and that is precisely the reason why every leader should constantly learn from these value-adding courses.
The Shift To The Modern Day Leadership
In today’s world, there is cutthroat competition amongst employees across all verticals. The educational avenues became more accessible, and therefore more and more skilled professionals started joining the task forces.
Earlier, there used to be one outright star who was given the opportunity to lead a team, but today, people are focused on capitalizing on their skill sets rather than taking the additional responsibility of leading the team.
As a result, the number of leaders with innate talents started to fall, and to overcome this fallacy, the shift to modern leadership styles had to happen! Here are a few takeaways from the modern practices that have made an appearance. You can use them directly or mould them to personalize according to your discretion!
1. Collaboration Not Commanding
Leaders have always had an image of passing down orders until the completion of the task. However, the times have changed, and now the approach is more focused on jointly handling things rather than directly ordering someone to do it.
Collaboration empowers the employees to directly enter their inputs which is something that never existed in the past. Today’s personnel are enlightened and learned, and therefore pushing tasks without their consent is not the ideal way to tread forward.
The collaborative approaches do have a few setbacks as the thin line of command is somewhat compromised. The employees may take you for granted, and thus you must establish that trust and respect before involving any employee out of the blue.
On the other hand, the collaborative approach allows the employees to work with the level of flexibility that they deem fit. This flexible outlook makes them responsible for the shared task, and it becomes their duty to work towards it without any constraints.
Many approaches like this approach have been shared in the online leadership courses that are present across multiple verticals. You can choose any of them and update your existing repository of knowledge and leadership styles.
2. Empower until You Conquer
The world is pacing up with newer and better innovations each day. The automation industry has been experiencing a boom, and therefore motivating employees to leave their traditional practices to shift to something new requires support.
The traditional leadership styles revolved around delegating responsibilities in a unilateral way where task completion was the ultimate priority. However, when you look at modern day leaders, you will find that they are more involved with their teams.
The overall well-being, environment at the office, and the work pressure of the employees have become major agendas, among other things. The leaders focus on creating a suitable environment for the entire team, and this approach has automatically given out better results.
In a nutshell, every leader in today’s times aims to become an enabler who sorts all the resources and then guides the team to achieve the set goals.
3. Leader As A Team Player
In the situation of a crisis, the leader should be the first person to take charge in order to mitigate the negative consequences. The leader today is a team player first who has to set an example for the entire team to follow.
A leader’s job of delegation and following up has been automated by efficient softwares, and thus they have more time in hand to upscale their existing base of knowledge. Most organizations conduct these employee development sessions, and likewise, there are separate sessions and courses for the managerial roles as well.
These online leadership courses are affiliated with some of the best universities in the country, and they are specifically designed for people who cannot attend classes in a brick and mortar setting. If you are a working professional, signing up for these courses can land your career on an upward facing slope.
The leadership courses from XLRI are a great place to start; you can check the various things in the curriculum and then make a decision.
4. Breaking The Mental Health Stigma
There are many leaders who have transformed themselves from a six day work week to now a four day work week. These transformations happened owing to the increasing work pressure and also because of the alarming rate of work induced stress.
Now, it is the leader’s responsibility to give due consideration to their employees if they are feeling work pressure or anxiety owing to any of the business related avenues. There are multiple schemes in place, and the leader becomes the enabler for them.
This increased involvement towards the betterment of the employees has also curbed higher employee turnover rates as a healthy environment is promised and propagated. It also gives a sense of belongingness to the leader since new and better bonds are forged.
Mental health safety holds paramount importance, and each leader should make it a point to ensure the well-being of their subordinates.
Importance Of Studying About Leadership
As Steve Jobs rightly said, “Learn continually; there’s always one more thing to learn.”
Leadership is an acquired skill that gets refined over time, but in order to get to that stage, you must have your basics set in place. These basics can be structured after going through online leadership courses, and you must start learning through them without any delay.
With a myriad of options online, it can be challenging to find the best online course according to your needs. But what if we tell you that all your learning needs have a new destination? TalentEdge provides you with all the online courses that you want.
Their online leadership course is curated by XLRI Jamshedpur and IIM Lucknow, both of which are premier educational institutions in the country. Their interactive platform evades the need of attending classes physically.
TalentEdge has collaborations with many domestic and international colleges to mediate these courses for your skill development. If you are looking at a starting point to begin your journey of learning, TalentEdge is the place to be.
Here are some benefits of learning leadership at TalentEdge
- All the classes are live so that the students can experience the same classroom environment within the safe proximity of their homes.
- Instant support for any technical glitch during or after classes
- The replication of classroom learning by promotion peer to peer interaction
- Usage of artificial intelligence to automate and simplify the operations of students
If you want to learn more about the importance of doing these online leadership courses, you can check them out by clicking here.
Get enrolled for an online leadership course at TalentEdge, and change the way you look at difficult situations!