Leadership is a trait that has been revered by men across the ages. It has led to the creation of individuals who are larger than the masses. It has also been quite a sought after quality and many people and organizations have wanted to develop their own. In the modern world leadership training and leadership development are terms that have been associated with various training and coaching institutions. This is because this has now become a field of study with a lot of research to back its discoveries and theories. Leadership training draws its content from these research works and drafts out the delivery with the trainees in mind.
There are various leadership models that have been identified by the scholars over the time and these models are related to the personality of various leaders, their environment, their circumstances and finally their impact on these circumstances in particular and history in general. Scholars and researchers have also differed in the exact number of models and their characteristics. For e.g. some believe that there are three distinct styles of leadership. These are authoritarian or autocratic, the participative (also called democratic) and the free reign model also known as Laissez-faire. As the name suggest the authoritarian style is based on the absolutely power of an individual whereas the participative style allows active participation of the followers. The third style of Laissez-faire is the most lenient with the leader only exerting some controls in the affairs. In leadership training the first and the third styles are the least desired.
Some other classifications are identified as Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership and Situational leadership. These are three important classifications which have further explained this idea. Transactional leadership comes into existence by virtue of a silent agreement that maintains status quo of a particular process at any organization. An e.g. of this is the agreement between an employer (the leader) and a employee (the follower) wherein the employee agrees to follow the leader by accepting to work under him. The Transformational leadership is different as it strives to change the position or status of an organization to something different or better. It seeks change and betterment. It is more proactive and has the ability to involve others in a task or motion. This is an important step in leadership development.
The situational leadership is a very respected and acclaimed identification of Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. They have stated that for a leader to be effective he has to oscillate between four distinct features and styles of leading his men depending upon the situation at that given point in time. Firstly, the leader may direct things to his followers without entertaining any ideas. Secondly, he may act as a coach and listen to ideas although take decisions independently. Thirdly, he supports the participation of his followers but keeps his guidance. And finally, the leader delegates responsibilities to individuals and allows them to make decisions. Situational leadership requires that the leader be vigilant and about the need of the hour and change his style according to the need. In terms of leadership development and management this is the most effective.
All these leadership models have been studied and researched so as to make the managers of the new age better prepared for what’s in store and how to handle them. If this information are available to any person it would be foolish not to utilize them to the best of one’s ability. After all, it would do nothing but help in leading a better professional life.