The most commonly used leadership styles are the Directing (management level) and Supporting (team level) types.
Directing Leadership Style
Apart from low competency but high commitment that mostly call for this leadership type, management may also sense the fear of having their plans and policies being compromised and therefore resort to this leadership style.
This style has its own effects on team’s performance both positive and negative.
It re-enforces leadership plans and policies; where decisions are sole discretion of the leadership, subordinates are left with no option than adherence. It seeks to have the team achieving the objective of the leadership in terms of their performance. For example, in 2017, MODEC Ghana Ltd. recruited seventeen (17) employees from different disciplines with varying degree of technical-know-how. Management decision required that the 17 employees be trained in the approved skills for their offshore operations. This however, goes a long way to improve significantly on the team’s output.
Though this leadership style seems to get the right thing done, it is only in the leadership’s perspective. There are times the product or output might not be of the best practice especially on the field of work. Again, where subordinates are restraint to leadership decisions, it creates tension and stress at work. the best of employees’ selfless contributions and skills are not met. They appear as though intellectual and technical handicaps who could not add value to the output.
Delegating Leadership Style
This type is adopted where employees have shown high standard of competence and commitment and are left to work on their own.
It brings out the best of the team. It creates stress-free working environment, and members of the team see themselves to be at the helm of activities and would want to do it right and best.
In 2015 – 2016, I worked with Tullow Oil SURF (Subsea Umbilical, Riser & Flowline) Construction and Installation team on the TEN Project as trainee. Whilst my competence and commitment to work were highly developed, I was left on a night shift to monitor and ensure compliance to all facets of the installation as a company representative. I think I did the best of report together with picture and excel illustrations when I was given that opportunity.
Regardless of the positive effects of delegating leadership, it comes also with its negative effects.
It breeds complacency, and in the lack of supervision, workers tend to be doing their own thing. It gives room for compromising standards such as shortcut to task execution.
Amidst this leadership style, a team is likely to be exposed to poor coordination and indifference at work especially when the individual feels ‘is not about me’.