Saturday, January 23, 2010

Relation between the Leadership Style and Motivation

Leadership and motivation are synonymous to one another. In organizations, where managers behave like managers, they have workers to work with. Whatever they say by virtue of their authority vested in them by the organization, the workers are bound to obey. This approach as has been discussed in one of my earlier posts “Difference between Managers and Leaders.” 

The difference amply highlights that a leader is not someone designated as such, it is something which is God gifted and resides inside a manager, whom we call good manager. Such people effect the motivation of their colleagues and workers according to their “style” of leadership. Remember, all leaders are not able to lead effectively. It is just a handful of people who can do that.

So there is a strong correlation between the leadership style and the motivation. Let us see how these two correlate and what are the corresponding effects on productivity and efficiency of an organization.

When a leader really trusts his team mates, he exerts minimum or no supervision at all, after giving them general guidelines and guidance. This has a corresponding positive effect on the team, who become self motivated and this self motivation in turns triggers their creativity to come up with different approaches to solve a problem freely. In such a case, not only the workers will work more diligently, but would also try to come up with different solutions to increase the productivity.

On the contrary, a manager-leader who has less faith in his subordinates or knows much more than the team, may not delegate responsibilities and may keep the entire control to himself (the authoritarian style). Such managers get the things done little by act of motivation and more by the carrot and stick technique. Coercion, pressurizing, manipulating and harassing. In such an eventuality, the motivation slips to its lowest degrees and workers work out of fear of losing jobs and cuts in salaries.


Then there is a mid stream style – using plus points of both styles listed above. The motivation in this case would be Goal motivated (based on opportunities), Reward motivated (materialistic approach) and Recognition motivated (social status).  The level of motivation of the team or the co-workers would in this case would largely depend on the personality type of the leader and efficiency would depend on leader's skill and / or the work environment he creates. Normally this style is the best suited as it is not always possible to be following a draconian style or letting everyone free on their own.

But remember, no style could be taken as a model – each style has it own pros and cons on the level of motivation and thus cannot be sustained over a period of time suiting all situations. Rather, a manager cum leader has to continuously adjusting his style vis-à-vis the situation at hand and the kind of team he has.


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