Which types of leader are the most effective?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In general, it is believed that there is no one style of leadership or any one type of leader that is better than all others.  Instead, students of leadership in the business context argue that different leadership types each have their place.  Different styles or types of leaders will be most effective in different situations.

One type of leadership can be called “affiliative.”  This style of leadership involves trying to create emotional bonds with team members.  It focuses on making people feel good about themselves and about their situations.  This sort of leadership would be most effective in situations where the team or organization has been badly stressed.  It would help to rebuild confidence.

However, this type of leadership would not be very good in a situation in which an organization needs a firm hand.  Let us imagine a case in which a team member is not doing what they are supposed to do.  In such a case, affiliative leadership would be too weak to get the team member in line.  A more authoritarian leader would be needed.  The same goes for a situation in which an organization needs to be changed radically and quickly.

What these examples show us is that there is no one leadership style that fits all situations.  Instead, a really good leader needs to be able to use different styles as events warrant. 

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