Even though leadership has been given various unique definitions, there is one that seeks to portray it as the act of guiding a group of people who are inspired towards achieving or realising certain specific goals. Based on such a definition a leader is expected to have certain unique qualities that will set him or her apart from other so-called leaders and through the exhibition of these qualities, a true leader is always known. Some of the qualities include;
- Being compassionate about the general wellbeing of each and every member of the group
- Show deep care and concern towards followers
- Having a very interactive vision
- Being very committed and passionate about the whole process
- Displaying a broad understanding of what the group is about
- Being inspired
These are just a few of the qualities that a true leader is expected to possess in order to excel and such qualities are always looked for in any individual who decides to take up the leadership mantle of a particular group. However, aside all these qualities there are certain determinants which helps in identifying the type of leader that a particular person is and how he or she sets out to achieve all the goals of the group.
There are basically two distinct types of organisational leaders in existence and they have been around for as long as leadership can be traced. These two leadership types upon all their distinctiveness can only be distinguished through how they each carry out their leadership roles. This means that they can all boast of having the same qualities of a leader and everything that a leader must have but when it comes to putting things into practice that is where one is found as lacking the ethics of a true leader.
Below are the two main types of practical leadership styles;
A Team Leader: A Team Leader is the kind of leader who seeks to become just a guide to the other members who work within the organisation. The main concern of this type of leader is not about instructing others to get the job done but rather being part of the team that gets the job done and even being the one who initiates the projects before other members come aboard.
Such a leader is always involved in all the activities that the group undertakes and there is not a single moment where they are seen as idling about without doing something that is of importance to the whole organisation. Whether an exciting or physically demanding task, such leaders can be seen in the midst of the workers. They are not the type of leaders who choose the more dignifying tasks and leave those demanding and physically exerting ones to others to do.
A team leader makes sure that each and every member of the team is adequately catered for and likes the role that has been given to him or her. Doing this helps the leader to be assured that each and every member of the team is satisfied with how the group is being run. These are the leaders who are able to identify that each and every member is of equal importance to the group being able to achieve its targets and as such seeks to ensure that they are all satisfied and comfortable with what they are expected to do.
A leader who delegates tasks: This is the type of leader who sets down on a path to achieving the targets that has been set by the organisation by ensuring that those tasks are delegated to other members of the group. Although they do have the qualities that make a good leader, they are only interested in getting themselves involved with those kinds of tasks that are less demanding, equally exciting and dignifying. Those tasks that they find difficult and energy-sapping are delegated to other members of the group who are tasked with seeing to it that such jobs get done extremely well.
A leader who delegates tasks to his or her workers is not seen as been a true leader mainly because every true leader is expected to get actively involved in all the activities that are undertaken by the group and not to have some preferences for certain kinds of tasks. A true leader is expected to be the initiator of almost every activity of the group and as such when any leader is found delegating tasks to other members he or she is automatically ruled out of those with true leadership skills.
To get to this part means you have a very clear idea of the two main types of practical leadership styles available.
About the Author: Jeff Evans, Ph.D. I am CEO of Envision Global Leadership, Inc., a leadership development and organization development consulting firm focused on change navigation.