Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

Which personal style should managers adopt to ensure success? What is the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates? These questions have been extensively researched and debated over century, and while the general consensus has moved away from ‘command and control’ to management and leadership towards more consultative and participative approaches, there is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics (CMI 2013).

Leadership_Skills_vs_Management-_SkillsThere is a lot of misunderstanding about the connection between leadership and management. Several people use the terms interchangeably whereas as others see them as different (Council 2011). Many articles propose that leadership and management are dissimilar but suggest inappropriate reasons, such as: leadership inspires, management plans; leaders ask queries, managers give instructions; etc. Nevertheless, the qualities frequently attributed to leadership can likewise apply to managers (Alliance 2012).

  • Leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow, i.e. a leader is the spearhead for that new direction. WHERE Management is to controls or directs people/resources in a group according to principles or values that have been established.

For many years, there have being researches on leadership and management theories. With the theories, they have helped to better understand the differences and similarities of leadership and management.

leadership      Leadership Theories

Leadership theories are divided into four groups. Behavioural theories focus on a leader’s activities, such as whether to take a authoritarian or a team effort method to achieving organizational purposes. Contingency theories emphasis on the situation rather than the leading by predicting the leadership style that works best for the issue at hand. Trait theories claim that leaders share mutual characteristics and personal characteristics that form the basis of leadership. Power and influence theories observe several ways leaders use inspire and authority to get outcomes (Grace 2014).

management-word-cloud-19209387          Theory X-Y

Douglas McGregor a social psychologist explained X and Y management theory where Theory X adopts the strict view that people usually dislike working so they must be forced to work with punishment looming as the result for failing to meet the objective. It further explains that employees in fact prefer to be directed and lack drive. Theory Y adopts the participative management style, which functions on the evidence employees are intrinsically motivated to work if they find work satisfying. Giving employees a pleasant working environment, a leader makes it potential for them to learn new things, be creative, take accountability and become fruitful (Grace 2014).

Are there any similarities or  differences between Management & Leadership??


  • wheel-management-leadLeadership-and-ManagementBoth management and leadership concentrate on achieving the same goals of the organisation even though they do it differently.
  • They work with integrity and respect the employees work and achievements
  • Both of them work with discipline and ethics with the employees. They train workers to obey rules or a code of behaviour.
  • Lastly they are heard accountable for the results of their teams or overall work performance of the employees.


CE Leadership vs Managementleadership_quiz (1)











The most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates

Leadership-VideoIn my point of views the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates is the contingency approach to leadership whereby personality and individual make up predict patterns of leadership and responses to given situations over time. Contingency approach is beneficial to organisations because of the potential for learning from specific situations and using these lessons to influence future management of the same or similar situations. The ability to adapt to external pressures and changes is also an advantage. Contingency approach may also produce more experienced leaders who are able to develop their skills in multiple areas (Vonderach 2014).


CMI stated in 2013; “There is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics.

I agree to the statement made by CMI, The contingency theory stresses the significance of both the leader’s character and the situation in which that leader functions. Fiedler studied leaders in a range of contexts but regularly in military setting (Virkus 2009). They outline two styles of leadership:

  • Task motivated
  • Relationship motivated.

Task refers to task accomplishment, and relationship motivation refers to interpersonal relationships.


Fiedler measurements showed; the leaders scoring high on this scale are relationship motivated and those scoring low are tasking motivated. Essential to contingency theory is concept of the situation, which is categorized by three features:

  • Leader-member relations – related to overall atmosphere of the individual and the feelings such as belief, trustworthiness and self-confidence that the group has for its leader.
  • Task structure – is associated to task clarity and the means to task accomplishment.
  • The position power – relates to the amount of reward-punishment authority the leader has over members of the group

Examples of successful Leaders 

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected President of South Africa. He was the leader and the face of the Anti- Apartheid movement and all through his life, he relentlessly fought against racial discrimination. For his actions, he served a long prison sentence but even that did not deter him. He came out as a hero and led the country into a free, equal future. His determination, focus and will-power were tremendous that even after serving almost 30 years in jail, he got out and worked again for what was right (Samat 2014).



Angela Ahrendts is a huge advocate of the power of positive energy and the benefits of team working. She believes in leading by example and being a role model for the values of an organisation. For example, she openly attributes much of Burberry’s success to chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, who will take over her CEO role. She believes in “over-communicating consistently” to create a united team around a shared goal and humility (Little 2013).



Alliance, A. (2012) Leadership And Management.

Cohen, H. (2014) Benefits Of Leadership [online] available from <http://www.leadershipexpert.co.uk/benefits-leadership.html&gt; [5 September 2014]

Council, C. (2011) ‘Leadership And Management’. Cornwall Council

Duggan, T. (2014) How Organization Theories Explain The Dynamic Of The Diverse Workplace [online] available from <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/organization-theories-explain-dynamic-diverse-workplace-16662.html&gt; [1 September 2014]

Grace, N. (2014) The Theory & Practice Of Leadership And Management Styles [online] available from <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/theory-practice-leadership-management-styles-34147.html&gt; [6 September 2014]

Little, N. (2013) What Will Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts Bring To Apple? [online] available from <http://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2013/oct/18/angela-ahrendts-burberry-apple&gt; [7 September 2014]

Samat, S. (2014) Top 15 Greatest Leaders Of All Time – Listovative [online] available from <http://listovative.com/top-15-greatest-history-leaders-of-all-time/&gt; [7 September 2014]

Sedlacek, H., Sapienza, A. and Eid, V. (n.d.) ‘Leadership And Management’. Ways to Successful Strategies in Drug Research and Development 127—143

Virkus, S. (2009) Contingency Theory [online] available from <http://www.tlu.ee/~sirvir/IKM/Leadership%20Models/contingency_theory.html&gt; [7 September 2014]

Vonderach, E. (2014) Contingency Approach Of Management: Definition, Example & Quiz Video – Lesson And Example | Education Portal [online] available from <http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/contingency-approach-of-management-definition-example-quiz.html#lesson&gt; [7 September 2014]



7 thoughts on “Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

  1. A very interesting topic when come to managing staff OR leading them (if they accept new ideas). I agree with your view on contingency approach. And with my subordinate, I apply all the 3 theories to manage them, depending on the situation/case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jazsmine, thank you for your good comments. I accept what you are saying in fact, applying change in many organisation has been a huge problem. And this is because some people don’t like change and on the other hand managers do not take steps in applying change management accordingly (step by step) but leaders do by trying to understand peoples views personality and so on.


  2. Leardership is a learned behaviour and unconsious and automatic in due time. In my point of view, democratic leadership is the best style to use as one of its characteristics is that it allows feedback amongst leader and employees and also it encourages employees which will enable them to perform their work with pride and recognition. Usually, most succesful leders are instinctual decision makers.


    • Hello Andrea! Thank you for your comment. I do agree with what you are saying, democratic leadership will very well help with change management as employees will be playing a big part during the change process.


  3. Managers should adopt an inclusive and participatory style to ensure success. This focuses on enabling the teams to be part of creating solutions for the organisation allowing them to be creative and challenge themselves towards crafting solutions.

    The most effective approach on managing the work of subordinates is ensuring that there is a clear understanding on what is to be done allowing subordinates to come up with solutions towards tasks given but not forgetting that one needs to hive directions towards the task. Moreover also ensuring agreed deadlines and timelines are met. Also sharing the greater picture what does the task being undertaken mean for the bank and department as a whole. Lastly recognize achievements and successes done by subordinate always goes a long way.


    • Thank you for your thoughts Haika. we are all in the same page that managers should include employees in the change process, as in the end it help both the employees and organisation as whole.


  4. As we all know there a various principles and theories associated with leadership and management, in other to achieves successful in business organisations managers should be able to be good leaders with great determination, focus and will-power as well as being role models representing the values of their distinct organisations, all of which are clearly highlighted in this blog with examples of great leaders and their impacts in society.
    Good read.


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