Week 9 668

Essential Question: Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

In order to create change an effective leader must be able to address the needs of all employees. I think a leader needs to have a variety of skills and be able to communicate with a diverse population.

Fullan (2014) writes about the six leadership styles, which he identified from (Goleman, 2000):

Coercive- the leader demands compliance.

Authoritative- the leader mobilizes people toward a vision.

Affiliative- the leader creates harmony and builds emotional bounds.

Democratic- the leader forges consensus through participation.

Pacesetting- the leader sets high standards for performance.

Coaching- the leader develops people for the future.

We have all see one type of these leaders or more, but for a leader to truly be effective, I think they need to be a little of all the leadership styles. According to Fullan, “Leaders who have mastered four or more- especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative, and coaching style- have the best climate and business performance.”

As Fullan (2014) also states, “Effective leaders have the right sensitivity to implementation.” When change occurs, some people feel scared or nervous. This is when the leader needs to employ an affiliative or coaching style to encourage the person through. Elements of authoritative leadership help as well to model confidence. Some people need that type of leadership to keep them going. The problem starts when the leader is only authoritative or only affiliative or only a coach (Fullan, 2014).

Fullan writes, “Leaders who have a combination of styles have a sense of moral purpose, measure success in terms of results, do things to get the organization going.” Leaders have to be able to communicate and deal with a diverse group of people and that requires the ability to use a variety of leadership approaches. When people see their leader using different kinds of leadership skills they know the leader appreciates and is prepared to work with a diverse group of colleagues who respond in different ways to change.

Owens (2015) list 4 traits that every leader should have:

1.  Honesty- 84% in a survey from 2014 consider honesty the most essential trait.

2. Openness- this refers to how a person is open to new ideas and experiences.

3. Decisiveness- people want someone who weighs the options.

4. Conscientiousness- this is how organized, thoughtful and forward thinking a individual is.

These are important traits that I believe fall under the leadership traits that all good leaders have.

As Fullan (2014) says, “Leadership is complicated and it requires combining elements that do not go together easily.” A person should be approachable, listen and show their employees that their opinions matter. “You will FAIL if you are not approachable, humble, and available as a leader. You will fail because you have not developed the trust needed to succeed”(Roland, 2015).  This is why it is so important to have a variety of skills from different leadership styles. A leader like this will be able to handle change more effectively and be a better leader for their group. Because people are diverse, a leader must use flexible methods to connect with all kinds of people, respecting their styles and meeting them where they are at. The person who can do this is the rare outstanding leader who can successfully handle change and help others through it.

References

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Owens, M. (2015). 4 Personality Traits That Make You an Effective Leader. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245394

Roland, J. (2015). Leadership for Dummies, it is not that complicated. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from http://sbcvoices.com/leadership-for-dummies-it-is-not-that-complicated/

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6 thoughts on “Week 9 668

  1. I love that 84% said honesty was the most essential trait a leader should have. I know as a teacher, I hate feeling like things are being hidden from me or that I’m not told the whole story. Having a new principal this year that tells us exactly what he does and doesn’t know about different mandates is so awesome! He has been very open and honest from day one and it gives our school a whole different atmosphere. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I like the quote by Roland (2015) that you included. “You will FAIL if you are not approachable, humble, and available as a leader. You will fail because you have not developed the trust needed to succeed.” My school also has a lot of changes going on, including a new principal and assistant principal this year. It has been very frustrating at times, but I feel like I can always go to our principal. She is very approachable and available to us. I also think she is pretty humble. We have had a really rough start and this change has been tough for everyone.

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  3. I think being approachable is tough for leaders if they are working with a large team or group. Being approachable can mean that others feel comfortable around you, sharing their ideas and concerns, and trusting you to hear them out. It can also look like an open-door policy, dedicated time with individual staff, or being relatable because you have common ground, interests, or experiences with others. At the same time, as leaders, we cannot always know what others expect from us in order to feel that we are approachable. Sometimes the issue is that leaders are not working at being approachable and sometimes staff are hesitant to trust the leader because of past situations where trust was broken with a previous leader. And having a large team or group to work with can be challenging to make time for everyone and to meet all their expectations. I appreciated reading about the different leadership styles in context because they can shed light on various situations that leaders face. Being approachable with a large team would definitely require some affiliative and even democratic leadership qualities to meet the needs and expectations of a diverse group of individuals!

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  4. Being able to use the right style for the right situations is vital. Teachers and administration need to be able to interchange this to best suit the situations that arise. I really appreciated the list of Owen’s 4 traits of leaders. These are traits that work for all!

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