Continuing our series of webinars with Follow the Leader, we met Distinguished Senior Lecturer Julian Hoseason for his insights on modern leadership characteristics, and how LSBF’s online master’s programmes can enhance your qualities as a leader.
What are some common leadership styles we can identify?
‘Classical Leadership’ primarily falls into the following four core theory groups:
- Trait theories – these focus on characteristics such as empathy and good decision-making.
- Behavioural theories – including the autocratic leader, democratic leader, and laissez-faire leader.
- Contingency theories – the differences between task-oriented and people-oriented leadership styles, covering supportive leadership, directive leadership, participative leadership, and achievement leadership.
- Power and Influence theories – this looks at positional and personal power, as covered by French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power.
Positional power includes legitimacy, reward, and coercive power, whilst personal power includes expert or ‘referent’ power, or the appeal/charm factor of the leader. The theory suggests that using personal power is the better alternative, as expert power should be built on, even if it is the most legitimate power. This group includes transactional and transformational leadership styles which have dominated leadership and management thinking in recent years.
However, in response to corporate excess and dishonesty, Ethical Leadership became a force to realign corporate values with stakeholders and wider demands from society. Currently, some business leaders and academics are looking at Sustainable Leadership as a model. This model focuses on those behaviours, practices, and systems that create enduring value for all stakeholders of organisations – including investors, the environment, other species, future generations, and the community. This definition shifts the focus of the mission and vision, and should have an impact on strategic planning. This should not be confused with sustainable business plans, which are something quite different.
What is the difference between leadership and management?
Although contentious and open for debate, William Aruda writing for Forbes in 2015 suggested the differences are:
- Leaders create a vision; managers create goals
- Leaders are change agents; managers maintain the status quo
- Leaders are unique; managers copy
- Leaders take risks; managers control risk
- Leaders are in it for the long haul; managers think short term
- Leaders grow personally; managers rely on existing, proven skills
- Leaders build relationships; managers build systems and processes
- Leaders coach; managers direct
- Leaders create fans; managers have employees
What do you see as the key characteristics to successful modern leadership in business?
The Triple Bottom Line – ‘People, Planet, and Profit’ or 3BL for short – has been extended into identifying social bottom line, environmental bottom line, and economic bottom line. It moves toward environmental economics as an alternative economic philosophy, where the true cost including waste, recycling, or reverse logistics is included in costs and profits as full cost accounting. Businesses are under pressure to perform and incorporate these pillars, to ensure the stakeholders are satisfied with their vision and practices.
What is Emotional Intelligence and how can its mastery benefit leaders?
Daniel Goleman explains that effective leadership is relational, and comes from tapping into people’s emotions. On an instinctual level, people pick up on a leader’s mood and Goleman points out that there is a direct correlation between positive mood and great performance. Leadership of others begins by leading yourself first, through self-awareness.
Can you give us an example of a modern leader you admire?
This is a tough question to answer, but whilst there are many leaders I admire, there are many whose personal life overshadows their being chosen as it raised many moral or ethical issues in how their private life was handled.
Can leaders be taught to be ethical?
There is no need to be formally ‘taught’ as such. It should come from education, experiencing ethical practices in all walks of life, and having the individual and collective courage to stand up to unethical practices. This means corporations and individuals are seen to practice this.
Are leaders born or made?
This question is an old ‘chestnut’! I do believe some people are genetically programmed to lead, however I do also believe that with the right encouragement, education, and aspiration, people can become leaders. Many modules cover aspects of knowledge development, and support personal development in learning to become leaders.
You can register to watch a recording of the full Follow the Leader webinar with Julian here.