Leading and managing and leadership styles

Leadership Styles

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Overview and Concept

There is a question that how the human mind works and the information that we may not notice. We cannot process consciously all of the information that we receive through our senses. Our senses send the brain about 11,000,000 pieces of information per second. We can only handle consciously between 16 and 50 pieces of information per second. Much of what we think and do is done unconsciously. This means that we all have blind spots information that we don’t pay attention to.

Management is more about being efficient and working within systems and procedures. Leadership focuses on creating a vision and working on improving systems. For some, leaders are effective because they do the right job, whereas managers are efficient because they do the job right. For Stephen Covey: “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”
Daniel Goleman (2000) identified six leadership styles, all of which were useful in specific contexts.

1. Directive
2. Visionary
3. People-focused
4. Democratic
5. Pace-setting
6. Coaching

Directive

The leader uses lots of directives, expects compliance and controls tightly. We can define this style in this phrase: “Do what I tell you.” This style is useful in emergency or a crisis e.g. evacuating a school when a fire alarm sounds.

Visionary

The leader provides long term direction and a shared vision for staff. We can define this style in this phrase: ‘Come with me’. This style is useful when school changes require a new vision or when clear direction is needed.

People-focused

The leader is most concerned with promoting friendly interactions and focuses on personal needs rather than standards. We can define this style in this phrase: ‘People come first’. This is useful for getting to know the staff and motivating people in a stressful situation.

Democratic

This style gives people the chance to express their opinion to build commitment among staff and generate new ideas. We can define this style in this phrase: ‘What do you think?’ This style is useful for generating ideas and obtaining staff support for change.

Pacesetting

The leader sets and expects a high standard of performance. We can define this style in this phrase: ‘Do as I do now.’ This style is useful when managing change, for example, a demonstration lesson in literacy and numeracy.

Coaching

The leader encourages staff to set their own development goals and provides constructive advice and feedback. We can define this style in this phrase: ‘Try this.’ This style is useful when helping staff to improve their performance and develop long term strengths.

According to Goleman and his colleagues, the best leaders are flexible and can use different leadership styles when they are appropriate. The four leadership styles that are most effective are: visionary, people-focused, democratic and coaching.

Keywords: Management, Leadership, Leader, Performance, Development, Goal

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