Leadership At one end of the scale

Leadership styles can vary entirely between different businesses; some
take a fully democratic approach, with power shared between many employees, to
the other end of the scale, a very autocratic workplace where there is one
clear leader and there is little power shared between the other employees.  Numerous theories and models have been
written in relation to leadership in business, many of which are still relevant
in the workplace today. 

The theory I feel is still up to date with the modern business
workplace is the Tannenbaum and Schmidt continuum.  This theory looks at how the power and
control within a business is shared from management downwards.  From left to right it gets less Manager
oriented and more Subordinate oriented, with the Degree of freedom awarded to
subordinates enhanced as the manager uses less authority on their employees (Babou, 2008).  This theory was first published in 1973 as an
extended and more updated version of the model Lewin and Lippitt produced in
1938.  At one end of the scale there is
Manager (task) oriented whereby the manager comes up with the idea before he
tells his subordinates what to do.  This
means the employees have very minimal power in the situation and are
essentially puppets for the manager. 
This structure will however be useful in places where there is little,
if any, margin for error such as in the military or in a trade such as a
joinery or a manufacturing business.  Steve
Jobs is famed for this kind of approach in his early days at Apple as his
mindset was very rigid and he had his ideas which he wanted to implement and
struggled to listen to the contributions of others.  This may have felt necessary for him at the
time, due to the seemingly impossible deadlines they had to meet so there was
limited time to even communicate ideas and address areas for improvement,
however it led to him receiving a lot of criticism from.  This leadership style does have benefits as
it allows faster decisions however being fully autocratic is seem as outdated
now as more businesses opt for involving the subordinates in the business
decision making process.  On the other
end of the scale there is a very democratic mode of leadership, also known as
subordinate oriented, where the employees have a large degree of freedom with
the manager sacrificing control to be shared within the business.  The employees have as much power in this
style as the manager does in the previously mentioned mode of leadership with
all people involved with the business able to contribute their own ideas and
then as a team they decide on the most suited option to take.  Apple are a great example of this with Steve
Jobs as Apple would not be anywhere near the business it is today if it wasn’t
for Steve Jobs learning how to adapt his business style to be democratic and to
take other ideas other than his own on board.

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Google are famed for their approach to leadership with the treatment of
their employees being exceptional and them building an environment which is
said to boost creativity for its employees to be able to think more for
themselves and come up with great ideas. 
Google search engine was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page whilst
they were pursuing their doctorates at Stanford University  (Gill, 2016).  Following advice of more experienced business
men they hired Eric Schmidt in 2001 having been impressed by his
credentials.  The 3 men (Brin, Page and
Schmidt) then aimed to find experienced members to form smaller democratic
teams which they did and to this day Google remain all for a democratic
leadership style and this is shown in the way they treat their staff.

Relating to Google’s well-rounded approach to leadership is the next
theory in leadership, the Functional/Group approach.  This approach to leadership states that the
skills required within leadership are based on the situation with which you find
yourself in and also it assumes that leadership skills can be learnt and taught
when required.  “Successful companies
seek those out who possess leadership potential and expose them to experiences
designed to develop that potential” (Kotter, 1990).  I feel this is a valid statement as it means
that great leaders do not have to be born and they can be nurtured and
developed so anybody who has the potential can fulfil the qualities needed to
be a leader.  Adair’s action centred
leadership approach.  Linking in to this
ideal is Adair’s Action Centred Leadership approach (1979).  This states that great leaders must meet all
3 of the areas within the diagram and find a perfect balance between task, team
maintenance and individuals.  This model
too states that you can train to become a leader.  The 3 elements John Adair shows in the
diagram each vary.  Task, or task
completion, states how some people will be driven by achievement in completion.  Team maintenance, or team work, states that
people be encouraged to work as one unit to form a synergy and all aim towards
the same common goal.  The third element of
this leadership model is individuals, or individualism, in which the leader
encourages all staff to ensure they don’t lose their own identity within the
workplace.  Despite this model being from
1979 I feel it is still very relevant today as it depicts every aspects of what
a leader should be.