The corporate world is full of leaders who constantly seek the next big change, the next big shift in company policy, or the next big challenge to transform the status quo. Today’s business world is extremely competitive. To survive, restructuring the needs of a company in this fast changing world will become a necessity. Resistance to change can be disastrous for everyone involved. Organizations are reforming themselves to adapt quickly in order to keep up with the competition and the different phases of the life cycle of the company.
As a leader having the skills necessary to quickly and effectively implement change will be critical to the inevitable transition that will occur within the company allowing the course of action to be relatively a smooth process. In order to understand the different processes involved in leadership change, identifying the different types of changes and leader ship styles would seem the logical first step.
Leadership styles will vary from source to source but a general idea can be formed in regard to developing a general idea, at one point or another one must face an important practical question, “What leadership styles work best for me and my organization? ” Now to answer this question an understanding that as a leader one cannot get attached to a single style but rather absorb as many styles as possible is essential to become an effective leader. There are three classic leadership styles.
One of them is a dimension that has to do with the control of subordinates and one’s discernment of how much control one should give to people working under one’s leadership. The laissez faire style entails low control; the autocratic style assumes high control and the participative rests somewhere in between the first two. The Laissez Faire leadership style is largely a hands off view that usually minimizes the amount of direction and face time that is normally required in most cases. This style is conducive and frequently seen in relation to a highly trained and highly prepared group of employees.
The Autocratic leadership style advocates, this style it is falling out of favor in many corporations in different countries because of the absolute power that it tends to give to CEOs resembling the lords of Medieval times. The Participative leadership style is somewhat different and at the same time difficult to implement. This is because it is hard to demand employees to be creative, work and perform as a team, solve complex problems individually, improve product and service quality, and provide premier customer service.
The style presents an alternative medium between over controlling leadership or micromanaging and not being there for the employees. This style is usually seen in organizations that must innovate to prosper and evolve. Situational leadership is another style established in depth in the 1950s, management theorists from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan published a series of studies to determine whether leaders should be more task or relationship and people oriented. (Johanssen, 6)
This research was very important because most leaders tend to have more of a dominant leadership style. The research discovered that there is no one best style leaders must adhere to, their leadership style must adapt to the situation as well as to the group of people being led. The Transactional leadership style emphasizes getting things done while keeping the status quo. This style strives to do everything by the book always staying within the rules already established and it is commonly seen in large, bureaucratic organizations.
The Transformational leadership style focuses on making changes on oneself, others, groups and organizations. Visionary leadership style focuses on defining the future for followers and moving them as effectively as possible towards it. The next step would to be to identify the type of changes that corporations have implemented most recently and commonly in the last couple of years and the steps that it took to put them into practice.
Some of these changes have been acquisitions and mergers, transitions to E-commerce, establishing Six Sigma quality programs, switching to lean manufacturing, continuous improvement initiatives, establishing new company culture, and establishing new organizational structures. The steps that it took to get to these goals are very structured and precise. To be able to effectively identify the steps one must identify some key roles that play a major part in these changes.