Leadership is defined as the ability to properly influence others for the sole purpose of cohesively accomplishing similar goals and objectives. This sample essay explores insight into how contemporary leaders shape their surrounding environments so profoundly.
Leadership objectives and success
Leadership differs depending upon the scope by which a particular individual seeks to attain a goal or objective that has been set forth. Each organization functions successfully because of its leadership. It is important for each company to have adequate leadership. There are many different types of leadership styles that various companies display and exhibit. Typically, when focusing on leadership and the different types, the two that are noteworthy are task-oriented leadership and relationship-oriented leadership. As with all leadership models, each has its pros and cons and successes and failures.
Success can be achieved using either leadership styles. Purely task-oriented leaders are likely to keep their distance psychologically from their subordinates and tend to be more cold and aloof towards them. Successful task-oriented leaders are instrumental in contributing to their groups’ effectiveness by setting goals, allocating labor and enforcing rules and sanctions. They initiate structure for their subordinates, define the roles of others, explain what to do and why it needs to be done and establish well-defined patterns of organization (“Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership,” n.d.). These types of leaders are usually present in most companies and corporations because of the structuralized aspect of attributes associated with this model type.
Task vs. relationship-oriented leadership
Task-oriented leadership tends to embody strategic thinking upon the leader himself/herself and a necessary objective to propel manifestation of a specific goal or objective set forth by the company or organization where the leader and subordinates are. Connecting people through the patterns is the main undercurrent of task-oriented leadership (“Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership,” n.d.). In certain situations, task-oriented leadership is more effective than its relationship-oriented counterpart due to the channels of communication and the less heavy-handed approach to accomplishing various assignments and tasks. Hitler and Churchill were task-oriented leaders.
Relationship-oriented leadership follows a human relations approach and tries to maintain friendly, supportive relationships with its followers. Those with a strong concern are identified as relationship-oriented leaders. A strong relationship leader is often considered a missionary or developer of the subordinates he/she must give tasks to. Relationship-oriented leaders seek to open the various channels of communication, maintain personal relationships and most often initiate a trusting friendship with their subordinates in an effort to successfully complete tasks (“Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership,” n.d.). The idea with this form of leadership is that tasks can be carried out effectively through a plethora of communicative ideals rather than directives and no open dialogue.
Concerns for both styles
While both models are effective depending upon the task at hand, there are concerns for each. Receptivity seems to be the biggest challenge with task-oriented leadership. Subordinates under this type of leader often find him/her to be standoffish and less approachable, despite the success that can be attained from this model. While participation among the group is desired with this model, subordinates often feel like their relationships with their boss’ are not being obtained in reaching the levels of productivity that must be achieved in a company or organization.
Relationship-oriented leadership also has its share of issues as while it contributes to the development of subordinates, it can challenge the motivation of the subordinates. Leadership under this model is friendlier than the task-oriented leadership model and can make for a better working day, but sometimes objectives and tasks given are not achieved as successfully under this model because of the hands-on approach. Many times in the workplace, individuals need their space to grow and learn and many times with the relationship-oriented leadership approach, individuals tend to have a friendship with the leader and this can blur the lines of the task requirements for the job if something goes awry.
Both styles still successful
Each model of leadership is still considered good components of leadership despite these particular complications that may result from them. One such example of this type of leadership is police stations. Agencies such as this tend to mirror a task-oriented leadership style in order to successful ensure cases are solved adequately and properly. Situations do arise where relationship-oriented leadership is needed, but for the most part, most companies and corporations tend to follow the aspects of the task-oriented leadership model.
Relationship-oriented models can be effective at companies and corporations as well. Research has shown that supervision matters significantly. Personal experience and common sense justify this type of model. In one study, the most important finding where a relationship-oriented model was used was that supervision can significantly influence subordinate behavior apart from the quantity of supervision. Considered the “active” leadership style in the study, it seemed to have the most influence on the subordinates (“How Police Supervisory Styles Influence Patrol Officer Behavior,” n.d.). Yet, even with the “active” style approach, both the task-oriented and relationship-oriented models have their drawbacks as far as leaders are concerned.
Is leadership different from management?
Traditional supervisors are usually highly task oriented and expect their subordinates to produce measurable outcomes. With these types of task-oriented run companies and corporations, the traditional supervisor’s concern is to control subordinate behavior and is less inclined to have relationships that develop as a result. Decisions can often be made immediately under this type of leadership because the supervisors and subordinates take a standoff approach with the situations (“How Police Supervisory Styles Influence Patrol Officer Behavior,” n.d.).
Some relationship-oriented leaders are known as innovative or considered to be. In overall management, these supervisors generally encourage their followers to embrace new philosophies and methods of managing while forming the necessary relationships with their subordinates in the process because of their innovative approach. This management technique allows subordinates to handle certain situations on their own without delegation from management. Decision-making is still delegated, but the subordinates take a more active approach in how the decision is carried out (“How Police Supervisory Styles Influence Patrol Officer Behavior,” n.d.). Under this particular management form of leadership, one can reason that there is a shared responsibility between the leader and the subordinates in terms of how goals are carried out and whether they are carried out successfully.
There is no right or wrong way of leadership in management. Performance does not appear to be better under either type of model due to the cons that are present. It can be said that the perception of the leaders’ behavior does influence the development of group processes and how objectives are carried out. Both the task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership models have a positive effect on the development of subordinates and their work ethic. Each model affects the way processes are carried out by subordinates. Both leadership models can aid companies and organizations such as police agencies in adequately ensuring that goals are accomplished. Leadership is one fascinating concepts created. It is a multifaceted sphere of influence in how companies, corporations, and organizations are able to function successfully. Each style and model are unique, yet, each works towards a common goal of changing the scope by which projects are performed and how individuals are affected.
Like what you read? Check out this essay on The Dance of Leadership to learn more about contemporary leadership strategies.
How Police Supervisory Styles Influence Patrol Officer Behavior [PDF]. (n.d.). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Justice website: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/194078.pdf
Tabernero, C., José Chambel, M., Curral, L., Arana, J. M. (2009). The Role Of TaskOriented Versus Relationship-Oriented Leadership On Normative Contract and Group
Performance. SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY, 37(10), 1391-1404. Retrieved from http://www.sbp-journal.com/index.php/sbp
Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership [PDF]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Columbia University website: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/pi/ppf/Bass.pdf
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