BOH4M – Grade 12 Business Leadership – Leading


Chapter 13: Leading


The Nature of Leadership


  • Leadership: The process of inspiring others to work hard to accomplish important tasks
  • The distinction between management and leadership is important
  • Today’s leaders being challenged in new and demanding ways:
    • Time frames for accomplishments getting shorter
    • Expected to get things right the first time
    • Problems to be resolved are ambiguous and multi-dimensional
    • Expected to be long-term oriented while meeting short-term expectations


Leadership and Vision

  • Leadership is associated with vision: A future that one hopes to create or achieve in order to improve upon the present state of affairs
  • Visionary leadership brings to the situation a clear sense of the future and an understanding of the actions needed to get there
  • Five principles of visionary leadership:
  1. Challenge the process – Pioneers that encourage innovation
  2. Show enthusiasm – Inspire others through their personal passion
  3. Help others to act – Team players that support others
  4. Set the example – Provide a consistent role model
  5. Celebrate achievements – Rally “hearts” as well as “minds”


Power and Influence

  • Foundations for effective leadership lie in the way manager uses power:  The ability to get someone else to do something you want done or to make things happen the way you want
  • One important source of power is position power: The manager’s official status or in organization’s hierarchy of authority






  • Sources of position power:
    • Reward power – Ability to influence through rewards
    • Coercive power – Ability to influence through punishment
    • Legitimate power – Ability to influence through formal authority, or the rights of office


  • Another source of power lies in personal power: The manager’s unique personal qualities that they bring to the leadership situation
  • Sources of personal power:
    • Expert power – Ability to influence through special expertise
    • Referent power – Ability to influence through people’s desire to identify personally with you


  • Successful leadership relies on acquiring and using all sources of power
  • Best leaders understand different outcomes are associated with the use of various power bases:
    • Use of reward power or legitimate power produces temporary compliance
    • Use of coercive power produces temporary compliance accompanied by resistance
    • Use of expert power or referent power creates the most enduring influence because they generate commitment


  • Key points to developing personal power:
  1. There is no substitute for expertise
  2. Likable personal qualities are very important
  3. Effort and hard work breed respect
  4. Personal behavior must support expressed values


  • Power and influence are also linked to where one fits and how one acts in the structures and networks of the workplace. Important criteria are:
    • Centrality – Establishing a broad network of contacts and getting involved in important information flows
    • Criticality – Taking good care of others
    • Visibility – Becoming known as an influential person




Ethics and the Limits of Power

  • According to the acceptance theory of authority (Barnard), for a leader to have his directives followed and achieve influence, the other person must:
    • Truly understand the directive
    • Feel capable of carrying out the directive
    • Believe the directive is in the organization’s best interests
    • Believe the directive is consistent with personal values


Leadership and Empowerment 

  • Empowerment: The process through which managers enable and help others to gain power and achieve influence
  • Effective leaders empower others by providing them with information, responsibility, authority, and trust to make decisions and act independently
  • Leadership through empowermentis allowing and helping people to use their experience, knowledge and judgment to make a real difference in daily working affairs. This can be accomplished by:
    • Getting others involved in selecting work assignments and task methods
    • Creating an environment of cooperation, information sharing, discussion, and shared ownership of goals
    • Encouraging others to take initiative, make decisions, and use their knowledge
    • Finding out what others think and let them help design solutions
    • Giving others the freedom to put their ideas and solutions into practice
    • Recognizing successes and encourage high performance



Leadership Traits and Behaviours


Leadership Traits

  • Kirkpatrick and Locke identified the following traits as being common in differentiating successful leaders: Drive, self-confidence, creativity, cognitive ability, business knowledge, motivation, flexibility, and honesty and integrity






Leadership Behaviours

  • Possession of certain traits alone is no guarantee to leadership success
  • Focus has shifted from who leaders are, to concern for what leaders do
  • Behavioural theories of leadership sought to determine the best leadership style: The recurring pattern of behaviour exhibited by a leader
  • Most research in leader behaviour focused on two dimensions of leadership style:
    1. Concern for the task to be accomplished
    2. Concern for the people doing the work


  • A task-oriented leader:
    • Plans and defines work to be done
    • Assigns task responsibilities
    • Sets clear work standards
    • Urges task completion
    • Monitors performance results
  • A people-oriented leader:
    • Acts warm and supportive toward followers
    • Develops social rapport with followers
    • Respects the feelings of followers
    • Is sensitive to followers’ needs
    • Shows trust in followers


  • Truly effective leaders are high in both a concern for task and for people


Classic Leadership Styles

  • Three classic styles of leadership:
    1. Autocratic: style that emphasizes task over people, keeps authority and information to themselves, and acts in a unilateral command-and-control fashion
    2. Laissez-faire: style that does just the opposite. Shows little concern for task, lets the group make decisions, and acts with a “do the best you can and don’t bother me” attitude
    3. Democratic: style that is committed to task and people, getting things done while sharing information, encourages participation in decision making, helps others develop their skills and capabilities


  • Blake and Mouton Leadership Grid uses assessments to determine where someone falls on a grid with respect to task and people concerns
  • A training program is then designed to help a person become strong on both dimensions once their preferred managerial styleis determined:
    • Team management – Focuses on building commitments to shared purpose. High task concern; high people concern
    • Authority-obedience management – Focuses on efficiency of tasks and operations. High task concern; low people concern
    • Country club management – Focuses on people’s needs and building relationships. High people concern; low task concern
    • Impoverished management – Focuses on minimum effort to get work done. Low task concern; low people concern
    • Middle of the road management – Focuses on balancing work output and morale. Non-committal for both task concern and people concern



Contingency Approaches to Leadership


  • Interest in situational attributes or conditions associated with leadership success
  • Understanding when and under what circumstances a particular leadership style is preferable to others


Fiedler’s contingency model

  • Leadership success depends on a good match between leadership style and amount of situational control
  • Leadership style is measured on a least-preferred coworker scale (LPC)
  • LPC assessment score determines a person’s tendency to behave either as a task-oriented, or as a relationship-oriented leader
  • Fielder believed that this either/or tendency is part of a person’s personality, and therefore enduring and difficult to change
  • Prospective leaders should actively seek situations for which their predominant leadership style is most appropriate
  • Key to leadership success is putting existing styles in a situation for which they are the best fit


  • Amount of control that a situation allows a leader is a critical issue in determining correct style-situation fit. Three variables used to diagnose situational control include:
  1. Quality of leader-member relations – Degree to which group supports leader (good or poor)
  2. Degree of task structure – Extent to which goals, procedures and guidelines are clearly spelled out (high or low)
  3. Amount of position power – Degree to which position gives leader power to reward/punish subordinates (strong or weak)


  • Matching leadership style and situational control summary:
  • Task-oriented leaders are most successful in either very favorable (high control) situations or very unfavorable (low control) situation
  • Relationship-oriented leaders are most successful in situations of moderate control



Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model

  • Leaders should adjust their styles depending on the maturity and readiness of their followers: How able, willing and confident followers are to perform required tasks in a given situation
  • Four possible leadership styles that result from different combinations of task-oriented and relationship-oriented behaviours:
    1. Delegating Turn over decisions. Low-task, low-relationship style that works best in high readiness-situations (followers able, willing, confident)
    2. ParticipatingShare ideas. Low-task, high-relationship style that works best in low-to-moderate readiness situations (followers able but unwilling or insecure)
    3. Selling Explain decisions. High-task, high-relationship style that works best in moderate-to-high readiness situations (followers unable but willing or confident)
    4. TellingGive instructions. High-task, low-relationship style that works best in low-readiness situations (followers unable, unwilling, insecure)


  • Leadership styles should be adjusted as followers change over time
  • If the correct styles are used in low-readiness situations, followers will “mature” and grow in ability, willingness and confidence


House’s path-goal leadership theory

  • Effective leader is one who clarifies paths through which followers can achieve both task-related and personal goals
  • Four leadership styles for dealing with path-goal relationships:
  1. Directive leadership – Let subordinates know expectations, give directions, schedule work, maintain definitive standards of performance, clarify their role in the group
  2. Supportive leadership – Do things to make work more pleasant, treat members as equals, friendly and approachable, show concern for subordinate’s well being
  3. Achievement-oriented leadership – Set challenging goals, expect highest performance levels, emphasize continuous improvement, display confidence in meeting high standards
  4. Participative leadership – Involve subordinates in decisions, consult with others and use these suggestions when making decisions


  • Path-goal theory advises that a manager should always use a leadership style that compliment situational need:
    1. Use directive leadership when job assignments are ambiguous
    2. Use supportive leadership when worker self-confidence is low
    3. Use participative leadership when performance incentives are poor
    4. Use achievement-oriented leadership when task challenge is insufficient


Substitutes for leadership 

  • Aspects of the work setting and the people involved that can reduce the need for a leader’s personal involvement
  • “Outside” leadership unnecessary because it is already built into the situation
  • Possible leadership substitutes:
    • Subordinate characteristics (ability, experience, independence)
    • Task characteristics (routineness, availability of feedback)
    • Organizational characteristics (clarity of plans, formalization of rules and procedures)
  • When these substitutes are present, managers should avoid redundant leadership and concentrate on other things that need their attention



Vroom-Jago leader-participation theory

  • Helps leaders choose the decision-making method that best fits the nature of the problem situation
  • Effective leader is someone who can consistently choose and implement the following decision-making alternatives:
    • Authority decision – Decision made by the leader and then communicated to the group (decide alone)
    • Consultative decision – Decision made by the leader after receiving information, advice, opinions from group members (consult individually or with group)
    • Group decision – Decision made with the full participation of all group members (facilitate or delegate)


  • Use group and consultative decision-making methods when:
    • Leader lacks sufficient information to solve a problem by himself/herself
    • The problem is unclear and help is needed to clarify the situation
    • Acceptance of the decision by others is important
    • Adequate time is available for true participation
  • Use authority decision-making methodwhen:
    • The leader has greater expertise to solve a problem
    • The leader is confident and capable of acting alone
    • Others are likely to accept the decision
    • Little or no time is available for discussion



Transformational Leadership


Transformational and Transactional Leadership

  • Transactional leadership: Directs the efforts of others through tasks, rewards and structures
  • Charismatic leadership: Develops special leader-follower relationships and inspires others in extraordinary ways
  • Transformational leadership: Someone who is truly inspirational as a leader and who through the use of their charisma and related qualities arouses others to seek extraordinary performance accomplishments



  • Qualities often characteristic of transformational leaders:
  • Vision – Has clear sense of direction that is communicated to others, develops excitement about accomplishing shared “dreams”
  • Charisma – Arouses enthusiasm, faith, loyalty, pride and trust in followers through personal reference and appeals of emotion
  • Symbolism – Identifies “heroes”, offers special rewards, holds ceremonies to celebrate achievements  
  • Empowerment – Helps others develop, removes obstacles, shares responsibilities, delegates challenging work
  • Intellectual stimulation – Creates awareness of problems, stirs imagination to create high-quality solutions
  • Integrity – Honest, credible, acts out of personal conviction, follows through on commitments


Current Issues in Leadership Development

  • Emotional Intelligence (EI)
    • The ability of people to manage themselves and their relationships effectively is an important influence on leader’s effectiveness, particularly in more senior management positions (Goleman)


  • Five critical components of emotional intelligence:
    1. Self-awareness – Ability to understand our own moods and emotions, and understand their impact on our work and others
    2. Self-regulation – Ability to think before we act, and to control disruptive impulses
    3. Motivation – Ability to work hard with persistence, and for reasons other than money or status
    4. Empathy – Ability to understand emotions of others, and use this to better relate to them
    5. Social skill – Ability to establish rapport with others, and build good relations and networks


  • Gender and leadership
    • Question of whether gender influences leadership styles and/or effectiveness
    • Both women and men can be effective leaders, however, they may tend toward differing leadership styles (Vroom)
    • Women tend to:
      • Be more democratic and participative
      • Use interactive leadership: Focus on building of consensus and good interpersonal relations through communication and involvement (transformational leadership behaviors)
  • Men tend to:
  • Use a transactional leadership approach
  • Rely more on directive and assertive behaviours
  • Use authority in the more traditional “command and control” sense
  • Gender issues aside, future leadership success for anyone will depend more on a person’s capacity to lead through openness, positive relationships, support and empowerment than through detachment and formal authority


  • Drucker’s “old-fashioned” leadership
    • Leadership is more than charisma; it is a good “old-fashioned” view of the plain hard work it takes to be a successful leader:
      • Define and establish a sense of mission – Set goals, priorities and standards; keep them all clear and visible; maintain them
      • Accept leadership as responsibility rather than rank – Surround yourself with talented people; develop strong and capable subordinates; don’t blame others when things go wrong
      • Earn and keep the trust of others – Mean what you say; demonstrate actions consistent with these statements


  • Moral Leadership
    • Society today is demanding that organizations are run with ethical leadership, leadership that is “good” and “right”
    • Crucial for transformational leadership and good old-fashioned leadership is the concept of integrity: The leader’s honesty, credibility, and consistency in putting values into action
    • Leaders have a moral obligation (Gardner) to awaken people’s potential. Moral leaders have a true commitment to people; they instill ownership by truly respecting others and helping them to do their best
    • Authentic leadership (Luthans & Avolio) activates performance through positive psychological statesconfidence, hope, optimism, and resilience to achieve self-awareness, self-development, and self-regulation