One way or the other, most of us seek to manage others. Many people shun leadership responsibility while the others long for it. Some people seek leadership on one occasion and try to avoid it on some other occasion. Leadership variables are related to situations and methods of leadership.
A person who is an effective leader in the army may be less effective in an industry. An executive of proven ability may not succeed as a teacher. A person who is successful in sports may not be a success in business. A very few people seem to be good leaders, whatever they do and where they are.
Let us try to analyze what roles, methods, and kind of situations make a good leader: Authoritarian leadership may be quite effective to run an organization well. Generally, if there are no problems, people do not mind any decision their leader may take. Similarly, in times of crises, decisions and effective solutions must be forthcoming from the leader.
People look up to them for solving their problems. Qualities required for leadership vary from place to place. An effective leader will be required to know the technical aspects of business if he is representing a large organization.
However, in times of change, people usually want to be involved. The worker wants to have a say in matters involving his future; if it is a college, the faculty of the college will require to be consulted on the proposed changes in curriculum or whatever. Here, permissive leadership proves to be more effective. Paternalistic leadership exists in many organizations and institutions where the founder who will be the fatherly leader exerts control over everything.
In some cases, there are bargain leaderships where differences or disputes are settled by compromise by the leader and his group. Negotiated settlement of trade disputes between workers and management is an example for this. Mutual leadership involves a situation where the leader and his people work together to find a satisfying solution, acceptable to all concerned.
Leaders command more influence and acceptability during hours of crisis. People look up to them for solving their problems. He will be required to have an understanding of the organizational climate and it’s economic, socio-political and psychological aspects. Moreover, he should be able to work with and through his people.
In short, there is no set of professionally written rules for a good leadership. But we can agree that methods of effective leadership include force, paternalism, bargain, and mutual cooperation.