The Evolution of Leadership: Classical Vs. Contemporary Leadership Styles
Leadership simply means a process or activity of a person to influence a group of people to work or think in a particular way. Leaders are valuable assets of an organization, because they can make or break the organization through their positive or negative influence. Again, it is a process or activity in which large numbers of employees in the organization are involved that is driven by a change.
So, top management of an organization needs to focus on the leadership style that is critical to the work culture of the organization. On an individual level, developing the leadership capacity of an employee is important as it helps him or her to be more effective individual, and group member, one who is able to think creatively and initiate required essential changes in the organization.
Classical and Contemporary Leadership Styles
Among various leadership styles, classical and contemporary leadership styles are mostly in discussion over the centuries. In fact, in the majority of organizations today, either of these two styles of leadership could be found active.
1. Classical Leadership style: It is almost an autocratic leadership style. In this style, the leader takes the leading role and works from the front. It was the most prevalent leadership style during the 1960s to 1980s. The leader is motivated by his own ego and determines a future plan of action himself. He takes less advice from the peers or juniors, and tries to influence the employees through motivational speech, and providing fringe benefits. In this leadership style, the leader keeps little confidence on the subordinates and only likes to direct them as per his own plan.
2. Contemporary Leadership style: It is the most sought after leadership style these days. There are many organizations that value their employees’ goals and prefer to align the organizational goal with the goals of the employees. This helps the management to motivate their employees more easily, and leaders don’t have to work hard and micromanage day-to-day organizational activities.
There are several theories are in use in the workplace. Leadership is much like parenting the children at home or teaching the students in a school. No particular style of leadership is superior or inferior than another. In fact, the nature of leadership style that perfectly fits in a company or organization is reliant on the organizational culture, the method in which employees and leaders in an organization interact with one another, and the functional aspects of the organization.
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