The key factors for a 21st century organizational leader

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The key factors for a 21st century organizational leader

A. Leadership Styles

According to Mullins (2002), there are several different leadership styles that can be identified within each of the following techniques.

- The autocratic leader dominates team-members, using unilateralism to achieve a singular objective. This approach to leadership generally results in passive resistance from team-members and requires continual pressure and direction from the leader in order to get things done.

- The Laissez-Faire manager exercises little control over his group, leaving them to sort out their roles and tackle their work, without participating in this process himself. In general, this approach leaves the team floundering with little direction or motivation.

- The democratic leader makes decisions by consulting his team, whilst still maintaining control of the group. The democratic leader allows his team to decide how the task will be tackled and who will perform which task.

Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages and each uses leadership in a different way.

Thus, the most important matter is how to use each technique depending on each circumstance and the organization culture. Situations may call for urgent action, and in these cases the autocratic style of leadership may be best. The Laissez-Faire technique is likely to be appropriate when leading a team of highly motivated and skilled people, who have produced excellent work in the past. Leadership styles require flexibility, thus leaders have to adjust their leadership style occasionally. However, the inconsistency in leadership styles can lead to frustrations and low morale in employees (Hersey et al, 1996). Therefore, it is essential for the leaders to understand each specific condition and have the appropriate approach in leadership style accordantly.

B. Technology Challenges

Rapid development in technologies brings on new challenges, especially, the revolution in information technology which has become a...