Leadership is an aspect which is not qualified for every person. Even the best leaders have their weaknesses, this is the reason as to why one can effectively work in a particular position in an organization but not another. For instance, one can be able to work effectively as a chief executive officer but fail as a supervision manager. For one to know which position fits them appropriately, it is advised that one be in a position to identify their leadership style. After the leadership style is identified, analyze the strengths and weakness which come with this style. After knowing this, one can choose the position which fits their style.
In this situation, the leadership style is participative or democratic leadership style. Participative leadership theories dictate that leaders should give the other employees a chance to give their ideas. Employees are involved in decisions which can lead to change in an organization. This improves the relationship between employer and employee. Since employees are involved in decision making, it is very easy to discover potential leaders and improve team spirit.
Participative leadership style has its own strengths which are in other words its advantages. It is associated with a high level of job satisfaction since employees engage in what they have contributed in developing (Rainwater, 2011). The morale of work is also high because their cries are listened to and are given a chance to give their views on what needs to be changed. Since all the employees are recognized and given the chance to speak out and be listened, participation in the work activities is high and positive. Participative leadership involves many people combining ideas to make a decision. Due to this involvement of all the employees plus the leaders, the chances of making good decisions are increased. It involves joint efforts in implementing the decisions (Rainwater, 2011). The employees have the sense of ownership since they were participants in decision making. This improves sustainability when the decisions are implemented. It helps in developing a second line of leadership because the subordinates are involved in the decision making process which helps to create a positive energy in an organization. Since all the employees are involved in decision making, the probability that the decisions are going to bring success to the organization is high. This can be explained by the fact that, when people are many, they can identify the obstacles to the implementation of the decision (Rainwater, 2011). Therefore, they can tackle them before they receive a thwart. It helps reduce surprises because employees are informed of the decisions before they are implemented.
Despite the fact that participative leadership has its strengths, it also has some weaknesses which can be termed as its disadvantages. It is considered to be very time consuming since it has been found to take a lot of time from problem to solution. This is brought about by the fact that a group of members have to discuss on the possible solutions about a problem. Unless a proper structure and guidance is developed, decision making may take a long time. Many strategies like decision tree and time driven decision tree have been developed to give participative style structure but time has remained to be an issue. It has also a weakness of being less effective with unskilled workers. It cannot be applied in all business organizations especially if they have a large work force. This is due to the fact that, it is not easy for many people to come to an agreement. Unskilled employees may delay decision making process. Therefore participative leadership has been found to work best in organizations with smaller and skilled work force. Another weakness is the information sharing. Some information is very sensitive such that it is not advisable to share it with every employee. In participative leadership, all information should be shared. This sharing of vital information may lead to information leak or conflict among the employees.
The perfect position for me as a participative/democratic leader is that of a manager. Managers are charged with the responsibility of all the activities taking place in an organization. He/she manages, conducts, trains, manipulates, directs, deals, supervises, organizes and controls resources, expenditures, an organization, and teams in an organization (Anonymous, 2011). They are charged with the responsibility supervising the staff and ensuring that high performance is achieved. They also involved in making decisions on how work is going to be done. They work hand in hand with the employees. This makes it essential for them to be democratic so that employees can feel comfortable working under them. A democratic leader will always gain the confidence and the trust of his/her employers (Anonymous, 2011). The manager is also charged with the responsibility of identifying problems and coming up with the appropriate solutions. When they are democratic, they will be able to identify the problems easily because employees will be in a position to inform them the upcoming problems. In addition, he/she will use the employees to assist in identifying the possible solutions. Employees will actively and willingly participate in decisions which they have contributed in making. The managers are also charged with the responsibility of growth and increase in organization’s finances and earnings. These can only grow if the activities of the organization are being undertaken effectively. The activities are carried out effectively only when employees are motivated and willing to work. A democratic or a participative leader increase the morale of the workers and the probability of success is increased with participative leadership.
There are different theories which tend to explain leadership. The great man theories claim that leaders are born and not made and are destined to rise to leadership whenever the need arises. Its name arises from the believe that leadership is for male (Cherry, 2011). Trait theories assume that people have inherent qualities and traits for leadership. According to this theory leaders share similar personality or behavioral characteristics. Contingency theories focus on environmental factors which determine leaders. It argues that leaders differ from one situation to another because one can be a leader in one situation and not in a different situation. Situational theories argue that leader depend on situational variables (Cherry, 2011). Styles of leadership depend on the types of decision making. Behavioral theories argue that leaders are made and not born. It focuses on the actions and not internal factors. Participative theories argue that the appropriate leadership style puts others into consideration. They focus on involving others to make contributions in decision making (Cherry, 2011). Management theories focus mostly on supervision, organization and group performance. They mostly applied in businesses majorly on rewards and punishments. Relationship theories focus on the connection between the leaders and their followers. These kinds of leaders are more concerned about group performance. They ensure that each group member attains their potential.
Great man, trait, contingency and behavioral theories of leadership emphasis on the origin of leaders. The difference between the great between great man and behavioral theories is that great man believes that if one is not born to be a leader, there is no way they can be made leaders (Cherry, 2011) . On the contrary, behavioral theories argue that even if one is not a born leader, they can be made. They argue that if one is born a leader according the great man theory or is made a leader according to behavioral theory, they are leaders under all situations. This is different from the contingency theory in that one can be a leader in one situation and not a leader under another situation. This differs from trait theories argues that leaders have same personality and behavioral characteristics. This is different from the argument of the other theories. There is a similarity between situational theories and contingency theories. This is because they both argue that leaders depend on situations.
Participative theories, management theories, and relationship theories mostly focus on the behavior and function of leaders. Participative theories focus on how the leaders involve employees in decision making while management theory focuses on how leaders or managers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the activities in an organization go as planned. Relationship theories mostly focus on the relationship which exists between leaders and followers (Cherry, 2011). For a leader to be considered effective, they should have a good relationship with his or her followers. Therefore these theories explain both the origin and the functions of the leaders. They have both similarities and differences; however all of them have some aspects which are true about leaders.
Anonymous. (2011). Managers Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://www.about-personal-growth.com/managers.html
Cherry, K. (2011). Leadership Theories – 8 Major Leadership Theories. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htm
Rainwater, D. (2011). The Advantages of Participative Leadership Theories. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://www.ehow.com/list_7417305_advantages-participative-leadership-theories.html