Term Paper: Leadership Styles Among Male

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[. . .] Synthesists do not generally look for compromises, consensus or agreement on the best solution to a problem or situation. They will however look for a solution that will connect and assimilate the random and contradictory views to arrive at a best-fit solution.

A b) The Idealist

The idealist style focuses on process, values and aspirations. Idealists are people who like to take a broad view of things. They also tend to be future-oriented and to think about goals and missions to be accomplished. Idealists are much attuned to the needs of others and for the betterment of society as a whole. They will evaluate the impact of any personal decision on the society. They respect and believe in the social values and morals dictated by the society they live in. Their thought processes are receptive. They entertain and review alternative ideas and suggestions that may differ from their own. They will try and achieve a middle ground so that all individuals involved in the problem and the final solution feel satisfied.

The Pragmatist:

The pragmatist style looks for immediate payoffs and tends to use incremental thinking. They verify what is true or false in terms of immediate personal experience. Individuals who posses this type of thinking are not very consistent and predictable with their decisions. They tend to experiment and look for other options and avenues and do not feel the need to conform to the traditional values that society may impose on the problem. They tend to make decisions one at a time depending on the order in which the decisions have to be made and their sole objective very often is to accomplish the task in the least possible time and in the fastest process available.

A d) The Analyst

The analyst style considers method and plans, seeks predictability through ordering data and attends to concrete details. Analysts approach problems in a careful, logical, methodical way, paying great attention to details. They always collect all data and plan any process before actually venturing into the activity. They will seek and evaluate other options to find the best one to solve any dilemma. They generally form firm opinions and values based on the data collected and tend to analyze and judge all situations. An individual with an analyst thought process will look for methods or a very logical approaches or procedures to perform any task at hand.

A e) The Realist

The realist style points to realities and resources, and considers variability and immediately comprehensible facts. Realists are empiricists, i.e., what is "real" to them is what can be felt, smelled, touched, seen, heard, personally observed or experienced. The realist's thought processes have a corrective quality.

They will strive to change or correct any process or situation that they personally feel is not correct. They tend to observe all situations as either the right way or the wrong way and find it very difficult to arrive at a middle ground in any situation.

1.4.2 The Two types of Leadership

Leaders typically display two types of leadership styles in their dealing. The style followed generally depends on a combination of five variables -- the leader, the follower, the time, the place and the circumstances. Men and women describe their leadership performance as either "transactional" or "transformational." Both styles of leadership are defined below:

a) Transactional Leadership

An individual who displays leadership by viewing job performance as a series of transactions with subordinates uses the "transactional" form of leadership. In this style rewards for exemplary performances or punishments for inadequate performances is used in the dealing with subordinates. A power status and influence rest in the hands of the leader and personal discretion is often the only restraining factor. This style of leadership leaves no room for middle ground and often rates the followers on individual discrete performances rather than a total overall performance. This style of leadership is very common among men, who are indoctrinated about the importance of power and authority.

They generally use formal authority in their dealings with their followers at all times.

A b) Transformational Leadership:

Individuals who lead by encouraging participation and interest among their subordinates lead using the transformational style of leadership. Leaders using this style will try and convince their followers that they need to work together to obtain their final goals. The leader will try and change the individual's opinion and interest if contradictory as compared to the others in the group using personal characteristics such as interpersonal skills, charisma and personal interactions. Very rarely will these types of leaders use their position in the organizational hierarchy to lead their subordinates. Women generally prefer this style of leadership. This style however requires the leader to have very good interpersonal skills and charisma. The followers also have to believe that the leader truly cares for their well being and success in order for them to be lead by the leader using this style.

1.4.3. Trait Approach to Leadership

House and Baetz defined "trait" as a distinctive physical or psychological characteristic of an individual to which her or his behavior may be attributed. (Klenke, 1996) The three traits identified with relation to leaders are;

a) Physical traits -- height, weight, energy and appearance. Leaders generally display higher energy levels as compared to the individuals that they lead. It is also generally observed that leaders have good physical appearances with relation to height and weight. Depending on the different cultures around the world, leaders' appearances vary. Appearances however, do not always have to be based on conventional standards. Good grooming and presentation also make a big impact on the followers.

A b) Mental abilities -- intelligence and aptitude level. Leaders have always been able to display mental abilities that were superior to others. Possessing high analytical and logical skills and aptitudes have helped leaders make decisions and formulate plans that helped them become leaders.

Personality traits -- aggressiveness, self-confidence, emotional control. Leaders generally are very self-confident and have a high level of determination in pursuing a goal.

1.4.4. The Leadership Styles Preferred

In this study, leadership style is taken to mean a particular behavior emphasized by the leader to motivate his or her group to accomplish eventual ends (Hanson, 1979). There are many models of leadership style. But as will be seen in the subsequent literature review, most types of leadership styles elucidated are based on two broad dimensions: people-oriented and task-oriented. These styles are defined as:

a) People-Oriented Style

The people-oriented style emphasizes the human aspects and is more concerned with interpersonal relationships. Leaders who are people-oriented have strong concern for the human relations approach and try to maintain friendly supportive relations with their followers. They are expressive and tend to establish social and emotional ties. They open up channels of communication and delegate to give subordinates opportunities to use their potential. They view people as the best asset the organization, schools and society may have and constanly work towards developing this asset. (Hersey and Blanchard, 1974) b) Task-Oriented Style

The task-oriented style emphasizes the technical or task aspects of the job and is concerned mainly with the accomplishment of tasks. Leaders who are task-oriented have strong concern for the group's goals and the means to achieve the goals. Their behaviors reflect their interest in completing assignments and getting the work done. They concentrate on methods for assigning and organizing work, making decisions, and evaluating performance. These types of leaders may not always demonstrate concern and look for the success and individual development of others if this is not always tied in with the task at hand.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study seeks to gain insight into teachers' preferences for the different cognitive styles and leadership styles and to see if there is any relationship between gender and cognitive styles and leadership styles. There is a significant relationship between teachers' cognitive style and their preferred leadership styles. If principals recognize the best style that can be used to motivate both male and female teachers in the school, he (or she) can get the teachers to work at their optimum level. The study will examine the literature on gender and its relationship to leadership from a number of disciplinary perspectives -- communications, political science, psychology, and sociology. Leadership is studied in the linkages between structure and culture; it is here that values and institutions crucially intersect. The impact of leadership within various social institutions and across cultural, structural, and individual levels of interaction is examined.


2.0 Leadership qualities:

There is a constant debate: "Are leaders born or are leader made?" Leadership skills can be developed -- the qualities required in a leader can be learned. Bernard M. Bass states "Leadership is one of the world's oldest preoccupations." (Wren, 1995) When individuals know and understand both their strengths and their weakness their effectiveness as leaders is greater. The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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