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March 2003 - Management / Leadership Styles Updated

Leadership That Gets Results
Transactional vs. Transformation Leadership
Theory X and Theory Y
Resources (links, articles, books, the lighter side)

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Management / Leadership Styles (Updated)

Our October 1996  article on management styles continues to be the most read article on our website.  In this month's article, we add some management styles to that list.  Some of these have been around quite a while, some are fairly new.

Leadership Styles That Get Results (new)

Daniel Goleman ("Leadership That Gets Results" Harvard Business Review) describes six leadership styles: Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Coaching.  He asserts, "Leaders who have mastered four or more styles especially the Authoritative, Democratic, Affiliative and Coaching styles have the best climate and business performance.

   Coercive Leadership Style:  

The leader's modus operandi:  Demands immediate compliance
The style in a phrase: “Do what I tell you”
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Drive to achieve, initiate, self-control
When the style works best:  In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround, or with problem employees
Overall impact on climate:  Negative

   Authoritative Leadership Style:   

The leader's modus operandi:  Mobilizes people toward a vision.
The style in a phrase: “Come with me” 
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Self-confidence, empathy, change catalyst
When the style works best:  When changes require a new vision or a clear direction is needed
Overall impact on climate:  Most strongly positive

   Affiliative Leadership Style: 

The leader's modus operandi:  Creates harmony and builds emotional bonds
The style in a phrase: “People come first” 
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Empathy, building relationships, communication
When the style works best:  To heal rifts in a team or to motivate people during stressful circumstances
Overall impact on climate:  Positive

   Democratic Leadership Style: 

The leader's modus operandi:  Forges consensus through participation
The style in a phrase: “What do you think?” 
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Collaboration, team leadership, communication
When the style works best:  To build buy-in or consensus, or to get input from valuable employees
Overall impact on climate:  Positive

   Pacesetting Leadership Style: 

The leader's modus operandi:  Sets high standard of performance 
The style in a phrase: “Do as I do, now” 
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Conscientiousness, drive to achieve, initiative 
When the style works best:  To get quick results from a highly motivated and competent team 
Overall impact on climate:  Negative

   Coaching Leadership Style : 

The leader's modus operandi:  Develops people for the future
The style in a phrase: “Try this” 
Underlying emotional intelligence competencies:  Developing others, empathy, self-awareness 
When the style works best:  To help employee improve performance or develop long-term strengths 
Overall impact on climate:  Positive

Mr. Goleman summarizes his article by saying, "The business environment is continually changing and a leader must respond in kind.  Hour to hour, day to day, week to week, executives must play their leadership styles like a pro using the right one at just the right time and in the right measure.  The payoff is in the results."

Transactional vs. Transformational Leadership (new)

James McGregor Burns (Leadership, 1968) distinguishes between transactional  and transformational leadership.  

Transactional leadership recognizes the need for processes such as performance appraisal, performance related pay, job descriptions, management by objectives (MBO), organizational process analysis and clarification, and job grading.  It also recognizes and uses praise, recognition and the delegation of responsibility.   

Transformational leadership is about hearts and minds, about empowering people not controlling them. 

Mr. Burns described 4 theories of management: 

  1. Management by Command Unsophisticated management in which subordinates are told what to do and have little say in what and when. 
  2. Management by Objectives Process management in which subordinates are given goals and decide how to achieve them. 
  3. Management by Communication Sophisticated organizations in which skilled subordinates deduce their own goals by learning about the needs of the organization. 
  4. Management by Vision In which management is about inspiring people to achieve what only they know they can achieve by concentrating on what is possible. 

Management by Commandmilitary/law enforcement graphic (new)

      Managers tell employees what to do with little room for discussion or dialog.  This is the military model where soldiers are expected to follow orders without question.  

      In "management by command," training is essentially technical.  It enables an employee to respond to increasingly complex technical instructions.  Very little management training is required, because the employee is not likely to take a great deal of responsibility for others. 

Management by Objectives (MBO) (updated):

trend analysis/scorecard graphicA management technique in which all levels of management are encouraged to specify and agree on quantitative and/or qualitative objectives to be achieved within a set period and to answer to higher levels of management for the actual performance achieved against these objectives.  

After Peter Drucker introduced the phrase "management by objectives" in his 1954 book, The Practice of Management, American businesses began embracing the notion with what often amounted to evangelical dedication.  During the 1960s and 1970s, MBO was the most fashionable of all management practices.  Many companies adopted some form of MBO, which as Drucker originally proposed asks managers to focus on results or outputs.

Management by Communication2 people enjoying coffee graphic (new)

      Managers assume that people know what to do, can set their own objectives and recognize their own outputs.  The manager concentrates on maximum communication, feedback and information giving. 

      In "management by communication," technical skills remain relevant.  It also demands employees to seek to understand the communication, to work out its implications and fit demands together to make the whole. 

Management by VisionKey to success graphic (new)

      Managers assume fully competent experts who create their own roles.  The manager concentrates on facilitating their abilities and decisions.

      In "management by vision," training includes technical skills but seeks to create a community in which every member understands and directs their actions towards these values and vision.

Theory X and Theory Y (new)

Differences in management styles was popularized by Douglas McGregor in the 1950's.  His theories ontinue to be studied and referenced today.  Even managers who no longer remember which style is X and which is Y, will remember the Carrot/Stick symbolism.

Theory X Management Style (also known as "Autocratic Management") 

A Theory X manager believes that people are inherently lazy, need to be told what to do and will work only when pushed.  They use techniques commonly known as the "stick" (Hard X) to punish or threaten employees.  Or, they may use the "carrot" technique (Soft X), by promising some reward for compliance with the manager's directives. 

Theory Y Management (also known as "Participatory Management")scorecard graphic

A Theory Y manager tends to believe that people are self-motivated to perform work that is satisfying to them.  These managers feel that if they provide a good environment, the employee can be successful, learn new things, use their creativity and accept responsibility for helping the company succeed. 

World Wide Web graphic  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books

  • Leadership, James McGregor Burns (Pulitzer Prize winner) - HarperCollins, May 1985 ISBN: 0061319759   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter articles: October 1996 - Glossary of Management Styles and November 1996 - Management vs. Leadership

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things...  Peter Drucker

Management by objectives works if you first think through your objectives.  Ninety percent of the time you haven't. .. Peter Drucker

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.  We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

spike bullet If you have comments about this month's topic, please let us know or take our newsletter survey.  If you would like to receive free notices of the new monthly topic, please sign up for our mailing list.

Page updated: March 31, 2014   
Institute for Management Excellence, Copyright © 2003 All rights reserved

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