Leadership Styles and Subordinates


A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way – John Maxwell

Too many say that organization’s leadership alluding to the senior most executives in the association. They are simply that, senior executives. Authority doesn’t consequently happen when you achieve a certain pay grade. Assuredly you discover it there, yet there are no insurances. Leadership has nothing to do with titles. Like the point above, only in light of the fact that you have a C-level title, doesn’t consequently make you a “pioneer.” In the greater part of my discussions I stretch the way that you needn’t bother with a title to lead. Truth be told, you might be a pioneer in your spot of live, your neighbourhood, in your family, all without having a title. To me leadership is beyond organisational positions and titles. A leader is someone who can lead and make others follow him.


What makes leadership powerful in a gathering or association? Researchers have been engrossed with tending to this key address maybe since the initiation of leadership as a formal field of exploratory request. One excellent approach that picked up conspicuousness throughout the 1970s and 1980s is contingency theory of leadership (Sage REFERENCE, 2012). This theory states that initiative adequacy is identified with the exchange of a pioneer’s attributes or practices and situational components. In the 1960s, Fred Fielder progressed the first hypothesis utilizing the possibility approach, the possibility hypothesis of adequacy. The principle thought of this early hypothesis is that leadership viability (regarding gathering execution) relies on upon the communication of two components: the pioneer’s assignment or relations inspirations and viewpoints of the circumstances. The leader’s assignment or relations inspiration is measured through the Least Preferred Co-worker 1scale (LPC). This scale asks pioneers to review an associate (long ago or presently) they work with minimum well and to portray this single person with appraisals on an arrangement of 8-point bipolar modifiers (e.g., distant– frosty). High LPC scores reflect more positive portrayals of the minimum favoured associate, while low LPC scores proof more negative observations. Fielder contended that a single person with a high LPC score is persuaded to keep up concordant interpersonal connections, inasmuch as a single person with a low LPC score is persuaded to accomplish tasks.


Management vs. Leadership

We can discuss this phenomenon as simply as possible: leaders develop followers and managers just manage subordinates. Leadership does not necessarily have to take a hierarchical structure, but it can happen at any point of the chain and can be portrayed in different ways; management on the other hand takes place in a structured organisational setting with prearranged roles and works towards a set of objectives (Mullins, 2013). Leaders create a vision and shape the culture whereas managers just “tell” vision and execute the culture of an organisation. Leaders focus on changing and managers are focused on stability. Leaders tend to be magnetic and give credit and managers usually take the credit for any succeeding element in the organisation. Leaders set the direction they want their followers to follow but managers take the already existing safe path towards success. The list doesn’t end here. Managers can also be leaders but they need to make sure that they do not betray the trust of their subordinates.

Management Styles vs Leadership Styles

John Maxwell, a motivational speaker and author quotes, “leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them” (Maxwell, 1999). Command and control management is becoming the old approach in today’s fast-changing globalised world and there has been an inclination towards leadership giving more empowerment to the employees. Organisations used to run on the concept of managers and bosses giving instructions to their subordinates for work giving them less flexibility to do work as employees please to. This may have a positive effect on some organisations but it limits creativity. The most discussed styles of management are autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic. Western economies no longer quite use autocratic styles in organisations unless for strategic industries like  nuclear and armed forces.

Some Inspirational Leaders

We always talk about Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. to be a very inspirational leader and here is what he says:

He managed to create a cult following with his brand because of his transformational, inspirational and situational approach of leadership, which even after his death, it has up till now remained. He deviated from the traditional Theory X and Theory Y approach (Mullins, 2013) of management and made sure employees were taught the importance of quality customer services. We all know Apple has a fascinating customer service domain and this is not possible if customer services representatives were not “happy” with what they were doing.



Maxwell, J. C., 1999. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow. s.l.:Yates and Yates.

Mullins, L. J., 2013. Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed. s.l.:Pearson.

Sage REFERENCE, 2012. Contingency Theories of Leadership. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

CMI (2013) Understanding Management Styles Checklist 236, Chartered Management Institute: London




Is Ethics important for Organisational Effectiveness?


We usually keep hearing about McGregor’s Theory X and Y management styles but there is a third style of management which is also significant (Mullins, 2013). Developed by Dr. Williams Ouchi, Theory Z of Ouchi suggests that apart from the monetary and physical benefits, the Theory Z organisation focuses on characteristics such as employee loyalty, decision making by consensus but individual responsibility, all-encompassing concern for subordinates and employees as a natural part of management, etc. (Mullins, 2013). These points suggest the importance of interpersonal relationships within the along with the monetary motivational methods. Since the commencement of industrialisation in the 18th century, organisations had become extremely focused on the profit motive, mass production and specialisation, without focusing on the effects on employees, morale and effectiveness of leadership (Nash & Patricia, 1983). But now there has been extensive research and work done on how to improve working conditions and employee satisfaction in the workplace as it has become apparent that humans in the workplace need to be treated like humans.

Importance of Managerial Effectiveness

Managerial ‘effectiveness’ stresses upon doing the ‘right things’ to get work done which differs from ‘efficiency’ because efficiency is related to productivity. If an organisation has an ethical leader, it is quite obvious that the mission, vision and values of that organisation will most probably be in line with their ethical beliefs. We have to realise the difference between ethics and morals. Ethics is a set of rules from and external source that are made available to an individual but morals are how an individual actually perceives right from wrong.

You will see that most of the companies’ mission statements now mostly revolve around ‘doing good business’ and that means that the importance of the environment and stakeholders are increasingly being made aware of to the population. A leader is considered to be ethical when the inward virtues of that leader reflects their decision making (Kar, 2005). The 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership suggests that the leader should follow the subsequent model:

  • Committing and understanding individual core values
  • Framing actions and creating a vision for stakeholders
  • Voicing the created vision
  • Understanding that we become what we practice


(Kar, 2005)

The profits of an ethical leader are enhanced public image of the organisation, rebuilding or improvement of investor confidence, avoidance and decrease of criminal penalties, enhanced employee retention, and better customer satisfaction. This all adds up the effectiveness of management in an organisation. Leadership based on ethical values means that the goal and objective setting in an organisation and strategic decisions would be oriented towards values of the leader (Eisenbeiss, 2012).

Are there any downsides to ethical leadership?

We have seen all the benefits that an organisation can gain from an ethical leader but let us see some things that may impact it negatively.

Ethical leadership means that all the processes within and outside the organisation would all have to go through the proper steps and procedures. In some countries that can really slow down the organisation due to the long bureaucratic procedures in almost everything. Ethical Leadership is only effective when there is trust created with stakeholders and thereby creating a follower attitude among the employees and representatives of the organisation and the leader needs to make sure that the stakeholders think that the leader acts while considering their well-being (Eisenbeiss, 2012). This can be a difficult task and creating and monitoring that culture in the organisation is a tremendous challenge.

Ethics – A Set of Rules

Almost every organisation has a code of conduct that they should follow. In some countries this is a strict business, but in others things such as bribery are a common doing. The top ten unethical companies according to an activist group states their unethical activities and their consequences that in turn affected their effectiveness. For example, Halliburton was charged with a fine of bribery to the Nigerian officials of $559mn which created bad publicity for the organisation and may have affected employees’ faith in the company (Action for our Planet, 2014). On the contrary, having ethical leadership like Accenture, Adobe Systems etc. proves that companies can gain competitive advantage when it comes to hiring staff and studies show that these ethical companies are able to recruit staff that is more loyal to them (Forbes, 2012).

Choice of Leadership?

The choice depends on what leaders set the vision and mission for their companies. If companies stress on the fact that they need to adopt the right code of conduct, then they will naturally want to employ staff that is loyal and honest. However companies that need to carry out dirty work, especially the oil and gas companies, will obviously want to employ someone who would get the job done. Ethical leadership is an objective concept and ethics may not be the same for everyone. Unethical companies may also have effectiveness, no doubt, but we should be able to sleep at night, right?


Action for our Planet, 2014. AFOP. [Online]
Available at: http://www.actionforourplanet.com/#/top-10-unethical-companies/4545796858
[Accessed 23 June 2014].

Eisenbeiss, S. A., 2012. Re-thinking ethical leadership: An interdisciplinary integrative approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), pp. 791-808.

Forbes, 2012. Forbes. [Online]
Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/03/15/the-worlds-most-ethical-companies/
[Accessed 20 June 2014].

Kar, D. S., 2005. Ethical Leadership: Best Practice for Success. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 1(14), pp. 112-116.

Mullins, L. J., 2013. Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed. s.l.:Pearson.

Nash, J. & Patricia, M., 1983. Women, Men, and the International Division of Labor. s.l.:State University of New York Press.

Can Managers actually Manage?



“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

We all know that change is something that we have to deal with on an everyday basis, be it a bad breakup or a hurdle in our daily routines. We usually have a habit of resisting anything that is different from what we are used to and in today’s fast changing technological world it may be one of the very difficult tasks for managers to create acceptance among their workforce to adapt to changes in internal processes of organisations.

Resistance to Change

The first thing managers need to acknowledge is the fact that not everybody has the same perceptions and frequency in reacting to changes. Differences in perception among individuals and personality can be caused due to their cultural background, family upbringing, income class, and their own intelligence and abilities (of course this is not the end of the list). According to Lisa Quast, a contributor to Forbes, people may resist to change because of the following reasons:

  1. The need for employees to accept too much change in a short period of time may make them resistant to change especially if there is a large element of surprise
  2. New management may not be fully trusted and respected by employees as compared to a management that has been able to earn respect over the years
  3. The sense of job insecurity may also cause resistance
  4. Some people just simply enjoy learning new things so that they can grow personally and professionally but others just prefer to follow a certain routine that they have created for themselves

(Quast, 2012)

Dr. John Kotter’s ideas about people resisting to change

Acknowledging change

There are managers who can adopt the “idiographic approach” if they want to focus on understanding motivation, career development and team relationships (Mullins, 2013). This approach regards individuals as responding to the people and their environments as they change. The following video shows different personalities that managers have to deal with on a day to day basis:

(Melkonian, 2011)

Open-minded and extroverted people are usually which are more open to change in organisations (Mullins, 2013) and it does not take much effort for managers to convince and motivate them to keep working. These people can even deal with neurotic bosses!

How Managers can overcome resistance to change (with example)

Telecommunications industry and their dependent companies (where I also intend on working in) is one that requires constant updating to technology due to its fast-changing demands and can be a perfect example to explore companies that have to deal with constant change. Newer and better technology persistently puts pressure to make employees think that they maybe soon replaced. Cisco showed effective results when introducing new operational frameworks into the companies within a span of 2 years (Cisco, 2008). This makes it apparent that Cisco realised that individuals in their organisation are different and therefore they created a complete step by step, vivid and clear cut transition into their new system. This is what is called effective leadership.

A Pakistani company, PTCL had to go through a major change when Etisalat took over majority of the shares in 2005 (Etisalat, 2007). There was a change in management and operational processes and due to this there was a significant improvement in employees’ satisfaction in the workplace and revenue boost because of effective communication and implementation (Etisalat, 2007).

Effective Leadership

Lewin’s Change Management Model of unfreeze, transition and refreeze and Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model are some models that organisations can develop for transitioning an organisation. Overcoming resistance to change can be a difficult task but applying the right method of communicating change to the parties involved with this transformation in an organisation. This fun video illustrates how change can be implemented in an effective way.

Coming to a conclusion, the reason why people resist to change is because they see that the risk is too high, requires too much effort and because they cannot see the fruits of the end result like the upper management can. In order to overcome this scenario, managers and leaders need to show the benefit to their subordinates as to how they will benefit from this change and not how the organisation will benefit from it. This is the point where miscommunication arises and the subordinates cannot see what the advantages will be. Therefore, managers need to be able to show that the gains from change is much larger than staying stationary in that position.


Cisco, (2008). How Cisco IT Implemented Organizational Change and Advanced Services for Operational Success

Etisalat, (2007). Annual Report 2007

Melkonian, E., (2011). 5-factor Model for Personality OCEAN.

Mullins, L. J., (2013). Management and Organisational Behavious. 10th ed. :Pearson.

Quast, L., (2012). Overcome The 5 Main Reasons People Resist Change