Great Leaders: Styles, Activities, and Skills - Revision Notes

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Leadership styles, roles, activities and development

Leadership Skills required

1. Cultural flexibility
2. Communication skills
3. HRD skills
4. Creativity
5. Self-management of learning

Leadership Styles

Blake and Mouton’s classic managerial grid identifies leadership styles of practicing managers. The grid has two dimensions “concern for the people along the vertical axis and “concern for the task” along the horizontal axis. Each axis is divided into nine parts. The (1,1) manager has minimum concern for people and task. The opposite if the (9,9) manager. This individual has maximum concern for both people and task. A manager’s current position can be determined by a questionnaire developed by Blake and Moulton. Managers can be sensitized to the need for moving to (9,9) style.

(Robert Blake and Jane S. Mouton, “Should You Teach There’s only One Best Way to Manage?” Training HRD, April 1978, p. 24.)

Another approach to identifying leadership styles was formulated by Hersey and Blanchard. They also use two dimensions, task style and relationship style. They divide each axis into two parts, low and high and identify four styles.

1. Telling style: high task, low relationship
2. Selling style: high task, high relationship
3. Participation style: low task, high relationship
4. Delegating style: low task, low relationship

A situation variable maturity of the follower is brought into the model by Hersey and Blanchard. The level of maturity is defined three criteria:

1. Degree of achievement motivation of the follower.
2. Willingness to take on responsibility.
3. Amount of education and/or experience.

The maturity level is defined at four levels.

When maturity is very low, telling style is appropriate.
When maturity is low, selling style is to be used.
When maturity is high, participating style, is the preferred one.
When maturity is very high, delegation is the best style.

There is a questionnaire instrument that provides various situations depicting the maturity of the followers and managers asked to give their responses in terms of managerial actions. Then managers are made aware of their situation and style understanding.
Roles of Leadership

Henry Mitzberg’s research on what leader do resulted in a description of roles of managers.

The roles are described under three heads

Interpersonal Roles: Figurehead, Leader, Liason
Informational Roles: Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson
Decisional Roles: Entrepreneur, Disturbance handler, Resource allocator, Negotiator
Activities of Leaders

The research studies of Fred Luthans along with his colleagues on what the managers are doing in their day-to-day work resulted in a listing of activities of leaders. The activities are grouped under four main headings.

Routine Communication: Exchanging information, handling paper work
Traditional management: Planning, Decision making, Controlling
Networking: Interacting with outsiders, Socializing/Politicking
Human resource management: Motivating/Reinforcing, Disciplinary/Punishing, Managing conflict, Staffing, Training/Developing
Managerial Skills

Whetten and Cameron provided an empirical derivation of effective leadership skills. They are:

1. Verbal communication (including listening)
2. Managing time and stress
3. Managing individual decisions
4. Recognizing, defining, and solving problems
5. Motivating and influencing others
6. Delegating
7. Setting goals and articulating a vision
8. Self awareness
9. Team building
10. Managing conflict
Leadership Development by Organizations

Zand identified three areas to be developed for future leaders in an organization. They are knowledge, trust and power.

Fred Luthans, Organizational Behavior, 9th Edition.
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