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Leadership For Beginners

Leadership Styles

Leadership vs Management
Leadership Styles
Leadership and Ethics
Leadership and Culture
Leadership and Gender
Leaders on Leadership
Leadership Quotes
Other Useful Sources
Leadership style is the most important factor when working with others
Leadership styles

By Zoe Cooper





Leadership “is the ability to influence people towards the attainment of goals” (Samson & Daft, 2005, pp. 817). Leading is therefore a “set process used to get members of a team to work together to further the interests of the group” (Davidson et. al, 2006, pp.7). An effective leader is someone who can bring about change and affect performance in a positive way (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006). A leader deals with change, inspiration, motivation and influence. It is believed that an effective leader will possess many of the following characteristics:


  • Self confidence
  • Trustworthiness
  • Extroversion
  • Emotional stability
  • Enthusiasm
  • High tolerance for frustration.

 (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miler, 2006).


Leadership can be seen in every daily situation, whether it be making dinner for the night or leading a team into battle, the underlying theory is the same. An effective leader is someone who can influence and motivate a group of people to reach a target or goal (Samson & Daft, 2005). There are many ways that leaders influence and motivate people and groups; this is usually done by a particular leadership style.


Situational Leadership


Situational leadership establishes that leadership varies from one situation to another. This theory identifies important situational factors and specifies how they interact to determine appropriate leadership behaviour for the situation (Davidson et. al, 2006). Samson & Daft describe situational leadership as “a contingency approach to leadership that links the leader’s behavioural style with the task readiness of employees” (2005, pp. 547).  Situational leadership is affected by the type of organisation, group effectiveness, the problem itself and time pressures (Davidson, et. al, 2006). Situational leaders are more concerned with procedures that can be repeated over time (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006).  There are many models based around situational leadership, these include the contingency model, Vroom Yeltum Jago model and path – goal theory. Situational leadership is effective when the leader adapts their behaviour to the situation or employees with which they are working with.

Transactional Leadership


Transactional leadership is the traditional management function. Transactional leaders clarify employees’ roles and task requirements, initiate structure, provide rewards and display consideration for employees (Samson & Daft, 2005). Transactional leaders take pride in keeping things running smoothly and efficiently and generally conform to rules and regulations (Samson & Daft, 2005). The transactional leader administers policies, maintains the status quo and gains power from the position bestowed upon him/her (Sullivan & Decker, 1997). The goal of the transactional leader is to emphasise interpersonal dependence and routine performance (Sullivan & Decker, 1997). The transactional leader is more effective in situations of crisis that demand short term solutions (Trott & Windsor, 1999).


Transformational Leadership


The focus of transformational leadership is on what the leadership accomplishes, not on the leader’s personal characteristics (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006).  Transformational leaders are concerned with long term, second order change. Davidson et. al (2006) describes transformational leadership as “a reliable reflection of the full range of leadership behaviour and a valid predictor of effective leadership outcomes” (pp.357). A transformational leader is characterised by having the ability to bring about innovation and change (Samson & Daft, 2005). Charismatic and transformational leaders are similar, but transformational leaders rely on shared values and visions to build relationships (Samson & Daft, 2005). Transformational leaders are those that drive the “motivation of followers to higher levels of effort” (Davidson & Griffin, 2003, p.p.585). They inspire their followers to exceed their own expectations and self interests and change their awareness of certain issues and are able to excite their followers to exert effort. They focus on longer term projects and commitment to those projects and their vision is important. The characteristics of this type of leader are focused on the ability to pursue and tackle risky and challenging situations and show high levels of internal locus of control. The dimensions of transformational leadership consist of individualised consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealised influence.

Transformational Leadership model

Servant Leadership


Servant leaders value human equality and aim to promote greatness in services to others and give up personal rights of their own. Characteristics of servant leaders include; having a vision, appreciation of others and being trustworthy (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006). Servant leaders aspire to serve the community by putting the service of others before their own needs (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006).Servant leaders are leaders that value human equality and serve to promote greatness in services to others and give up personal rights of their own. Servant leaders have attributes such as a vision, credibility, trust, empowerment and appreciation of others with the most important ones being trsut, appreciation of others and empowerment. Servant leaders are trusted to do what they say they are going to do as they are committed to the service (Dubrin et al, 2006, p.p.69). A servant leader aims to serve the community as well as employees and customers by putting the service before their self interest, listening to others, encouraging trust by being trustworthy, focuses on what is in one’s ability to accomplish, lends a hand and provides tools to get the job done (Dubrin et al, 2006, p.p.69).




Davidson, P, Simon, A, Gottschalk, L, Hunt, J, Wood, G & Griffin, R.W. (2006). Management: Core concepts. Queensland: John Wiley & Sons.


Dubrin, A. J, Dalglish, C & Miller, P. (2006). Leadership. Queensland: John Wiley & Sons.  


Samson, D & Daft, R. L. (2005). Management. Victoria: Dryden Press.


Sullivan, E & Decker, P. (1997). Effective leadership and management in nursing. USA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.


Trott, M. C & Windsor, K. (1999). Leadership effectiveness: How do you measure up? Nursing Economics, May, pp.127.  




By Laura Phillips, Kathleen Varela and Zoe Cooper