Different Types of Leadership Style

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There are many widely accepted leadership styles adopted by managers. They are not definite and there is no one style that triumphs over the other, rather it is dependent on the situation and goals of the company. According to Casimir (2001, as cited by Johnson & Klee, 2007) leadership styles are “a pattern of emphases, indexed by the frequency or intensity of specific leadership behaviors or attitudes, which a leader places on the different leadership functions”. Over the years much research has taken place in the arena of ‘leadership’ and some of the more prominent styles generally talked about are; authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, transactional and transformative. In the passage we can identified variations of some of the styles that I mentioned above. In the case of Kolab, she is described as being a “go getter” and a “high performer” along with having a goal- oriented and achievement focused attitude. With reference to her lack of communication with her employees, and her emphasis on goals, her leadership style resembles that of a ‘bureaucratic’ style. According to a paper “Bureaucratic leaders are very structured and work “by the book.” They follow rules rigorously, are likely to overemphasize the importance of goals, and ensure subordinates accurately follow established processes and procedures” (Mc Queen, 2013). With her abilities, such as strategic planning and focus on goals, this style of leadership can certainly be helpful in meeting an organization’s desired goals and achieve increased productivity, but since the organization (ICE) is based on connecting people from around the world and “learn from another” communication and building relationships with the employees is a crucial element in the leadership style required. Another leadership style clearly seen being adopted by her is an ‘Autocratic’one. As a paper states “Leaders operating as authoritarians maintain strict control over followers by dictating the what, when, and how of tasks and by distancing themselves from followers as a means of emphasizing role distinction” (Hackman & Johnson, 2009, as cited by Martha R. Mc Queen, 2013).

This can be clearly seen in the passage when employees complain about Kolab being impersonable, avoiding communication and, in another instance, when an employee talked about working only because Kolab told her to do so.  One reason for her to adopt these leadership styles could be her refugee background, that could have affected her inability to connect with some of her employees, and hence pursue goals and expectations that she was passionate about instead of aligning them with the goals of the organization and its employees. Another could be her experience living in Cambodia under a communist regime, which might have allowed her to adopt a more autocratic leadership style reflecting the communist ideas and devoid of personal connection. 

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