Leadership Styles and Characteristics Essay

Discuss two styles of leadership and five characteristics of an effective leader. A leader is one who has the knowledge understanding, confidence and communication skills to lead or drive their followers to a particular goal. Everyone cannot be a leader; followers are needed to get things done. An autocratic leader is one who makes all the decisions regarding his/her followers; its either their way or no way. People that are new to the company in which this leadership resides may need this style in order to become effective are their job, as this type of leadership is very detailed in the things they want done.

In the event this leader needs to make a very important and swift decision, they do not sit and listen to everyone’s opinion like a democratic leader; this leader has to rely on their own capabilities as an effective leader. In situations that are stressful and there is a deadline that has to be met most people would rather an autocratic leader, so that they can focus on the work rather than deal with complex situations.

On the other hand the people that follow this leader may rebel or become irritable towards the leader; this can then cause strikes and maybe even acts of violence.

People in general like to have a voice or be heard regarding an issue involving them; once you take that away a negative impact may occur. An autocratic leadership may have a lack of creativity as there is only one person making the decisions. This type of leadership can be used effectively when the leader is the most knowledgeable than the other group members. A laissez-fare leader is a little more laid back than the autocratic leader as this style of leadership gives full power to the staff to make decisions and rely on their own abilities.

The followers of this style usually are able to handle the company themselves as they are experienced and equipped to do so. This leader has no choice but to trust his/her staff since the leader may not be easy to contact. Sometimes the leader is needed and cannot be found, this can send confusion and paranoia throughout the company; this usually happens because the leader doesn’t know their responsibilities so they allow the staff to cover for them. Some people cannot disciple themselves enough to set their own deadlines for completion of necessary projects, this can cause a decline in productivity for the group.

An effective leader must be able to set a good example for their followers. Certain leaders, like that of a president or leader of a country are constantly watched so a positive example must always be apparent. By showing endurance in certain situations, whether it be mental or physical, you can inspire others to do the same. Leaders should always have a pleasing personality. No one wants to follow someone who is negative about every situation, so a good personality should always shine through.

This personality should appeal to both male and female followers. Telling your followers how much of a good job their doing can increase productivity and prove positive for the group. A good communicator is not only good at speaking but they should be good at listening; which is another characteristic of an effective leader. To be able to not only understand what your followers are saying but to have the ability to paraphrase in short terms can also be effective. A good leader is in tune with their followers.

They are involved in every aspect of the project from the beginning to end; they have no problem rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty but still have the ability to set themselves apart from the pack and be an effective leader. Leaders should be intelligent, skilled and qualified for their position. If you have less qualifications than your followers this could pose a problem if they were to find out. When you look up to someone usually they have more knowledge or a strong educational background with experience to back it up.

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