G. Balasubramanian | Chairperson, Board of Advisors, ICSL | Editor-in-Chief, The Progressive School
While we do acknowledge the need for networking and cooperation among all the stakeholders, very often leaders who have established a style of their own find it difficult to change over to a newer method of functioning. In this process, they feel that their ego is assaulted, their inadequacies stand exposed, their inability to cope quickly with the change may stand exposed or for a similar reason. It must be realized in that in a constantly information flowing society, it is quite impossible for anyone to be the storehouse of all information. He has to continually upgrade himself and also learn the art of learning. A leader is a not only an agent of change, but a manager of change. He has to usher in the change in an effective manner lest he stands rejected.
A lot of research has been done on the styles of leadership across the world. Gary Yuki in his book on “Leadership in Organizations identifies the following five major methods by which people provide leadership:
The first approach is dependent on the attributes of the leader like his personality, motives, values and skills.
The second approach relates the pattern of activities, responsibilities and functions carried out by leaders.
In the third approach, it relates to the type of power exercised by the leader and the type of relationship between the leader and the follower and the quantum and quality of influence of the former over the latter.
In the fourth category, the position of the leader and the followers in a given situation and the type of leadership provided by the person in a given context and a set of circumstances is exemplified.
The fifth approach involves those who have more than one of the above types and how they successfully integrate two or more of the above types in their functional domain.
A leader is a not only an agent of change, but a manager of change.
Adequate research has been on the relationship between leadership traits and leadership effectiveness to find the common traits that enable leader effectiveness.
It is quite important to understand what kind of leadership we provide in an academic environment and how effective our leadership is. It is also important to understand that what we perceive about our leadership may not be true as the followers may be perceiving it differently. While we would be examining some of the characteristics in due course, it would be a great learning experience if we could collect and read some literature on the above. It will give a great insight to see the strengths and paradoxes of our great leaders of the past and to learn from their experience.
Have a happy reading!