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Contemporary Leadership

Thesis: There are numerous contemporary leadership styles that important in the management of various organizational and societal aspects, and ranges from participative to autocratic leadership styles.    

  1. Participative leadership style
  2. A managerial leadership style that entail inviting input from every individual before making any major decision.
  3. Participative leadership style tends to incorporate a democratic perspective in modern management, which has initially been centralized.   
  4. Situational leadership style
  5. Under this leadership style, managers are obliged to adjust their respective leadership styles to fit the aspirations and plans of the team they are aiming to influence.
  6. The style such leaders adapt must match those of their personnel or subordinates      
  7. Contingency style of leadership
  8. This leadership style is based on the ability of a leader to match to the prevailing circumstances.
  9. Major decisions are dependent (contingent) upon the inherent internal and external situation of a company or society 
  10. Transactional leadership theory
  11. This entails increasing individual employee’s level of motivation and providing direction on the best course of action.
  12. A transactional leader appeals to the self-interest of employees and believes in motivating their performances through various incentives.   
  13. Transformational leadership style
  14. This entails the identification of the areas that need to be changed, and creating a clear vision to help the company go through the change.
  15. A leader and servant inspire and motivate each other to increase productivity 
  16. Charismatic leadership theory
  17. This type of leadership entail being charming and persuasive as a leader, with an inner drive and conviction to perform.
  18. Charismatic leaders influence performance through their personalities and charm without exerting any form of authority and power.     
  19. Servant leadership theory
  20. This entails placing the needs of others in high regard, is more committed and values their employees.
  21. Servant leaders can be described as determined, appealing and positive 
  22. Autocratic leadership style
  23. A leader dictates and control every aspect and decision made in an organization, and is used to dictate policies and procedures
  24. An autocratic leader has absolute control over a work area, and rarely accepts advice from subordinates. 


This paper deals with various approaches to present leadership based on various dimensions and literature. This includes an explicit analysis of different styles of leadership, and critical examination of their respective strengths and weaknesses. These leadership styles can be ascertained as some of the most practical strategies requisites in attaining various organizational and societal goals and objectives. As such, this paper gives various definitions and insight of these leadership styles. Some of the contemporary leadership styles discussed in this document includes situational, contingency, transformational and charismatic leadership styles among others. These leadership styles are explained based on various leadership theories described in this paper. The primary focus is on the specific behavior of a particular leader, and the inherent ability to make certain natural decisions. The article further discusses leadership styles, such as autocratic, transactional and servant leadership styles and theories among others. The advantages, weak points, and implications in the management of various organizational and societal facets are also given in this document.

Executive Summary

In any viable setting, instituting a strong leadership arrangement is a necessary condition, especially in attaining set organizational objectives and purposes. The significance of real leadership, therefore, cannot be ignored whatsoever. Consequently, based on the various contemporary leadership styles discussed in this document, the performance of a leader will determine the success of set aims. Essentially, real leadership will in most cases influence the efficacy of team performances (James and Goldman 421). This is because, based on these contemporary leadership styles, an individual can easily deliberate and change interactive procedures. Being a leader, according to most proponents, entails guaranteeing the subjects possible success through the various initiatives put in place (James and Goldman 422).

Description of Contemporary Leadership Theories

Participative leadership style

According to most advocates, this leadership style is presently common in the modern societal setting. It involves the inherent ability of a particular leader to make extensive consultation on numerous issues before making any major decision (James and Goldman 424). Under this type of leadership, the primary objective is to act as a figurehead while encouraging the subjects to be more free and accurate in giving out their thoughts and ideas.

The major advantage of this leadership style is that it allows leaders to thrive given that they can make decisions based on different advice and considerations from the team members. This, however, requires the head to be keener and determined when listening to the idea of the various people before making any final decision (James and Goldman 425). However, most advocates assert that participative leadership style as a contemporary practice makes it impossible for a leader to make independent decisions, which may be detrimental to the overall performance of an organization. This can be accredited to the diverse opinions that are frequently postulated and the increased probability of the leader to accept individual thoughts and ideas (James and Goldman 426).

As a contemporary leadership practice, participative leadership aims at taking into consideration every input and advice from the team members before making any serious deliberation on the appropriate course of action. As such, the group is made responsible for the possible outcome of a particular process without necessarily putting the blame entirely on the leader (James and Goldman 427). This is because the leader initially engages the whole team in making deliberations, and this can create an active level of commitment and determination.

Situational leadership style

This type of leadership style is based on the degree of maturity and understanding of a particular group of people. Here, a leader is responsible for giving directions to the team, offering different support, and to some extent delegates certain responsibilities to other members (James and Goldman 428). Notably, such decisions are made based on the present situation of the team or organization, and there are no specific considerations given to possible future cases. The argument is that the future will sort itself, and that the present should serve as a benchmark for the future (Winkler 77). Situational leaders are generally more flexible, according to this document, and this can be attributed to their inherent abilities to blend into any situation and come up with formidable solutions. Critics to this leadership style base their argument on the fact that situational leaders often fail to clearly outline relevant procedures necessary in solving present organizational or societal hurdles (James and Goldman 429).

The argument is that sometimes it can be extremely difficult to transform and adapt to spontaneous policies and procedures without prior plan of the appropriate course of action. However, in any serious management scenario, situational leaders can be very efficient, especially when faced with unexpected challenges that require quick actions (Winkler 79). This is a modern leadership style standard in most societal and institutional settings, and is in most cases necessary to getting the best out of the team members. As such, the decisions made by a situational leader are entirely based on the underlying situation, and heavily rely on the goodwill and trust of the subjects.

Contingency style of leadership

Under this leadership style, the primary assumption is that a leader cannot provide every single decision on relevant matters, and that serious decisions are in most cases made when faced with challenging situations. As such, based on this leadership style, a leader should first analyze every option available before settling on the appropriate and relevant course of action (Winkler 80). This entails conducting a thorough background check on the situation to establish the best strategies that are consistent in sorting out the mess.

This contemporary leadership style asserts that certain individuals can best produce when tasked with making important decisions, as this makes them come out of their cocoon and explore every single option and idea. When faced with such, a contingency leader will settle on the best strategy depending on the inherent situation and the magnitude of the problem (Winkler 82). One advantage of this leadership style is that a leader is in a position to make individual decisions based on innate human characteristics and thoughts. This entails refocusing and aligning one’s thinking to that of an ordinary man, making it possible for a leader to exercise potentials in the best way possible (Winkler 83).

Such leaders have increased the likelihood of being more expressive in their thoughts, particularly when the subjects seem to be more receptive to their diverse ideas (Harold, Tinley and Berman 213). However, critics of this leadership style base their arguments on the inability to establish the best course of action when faced with certain stressful situations that require quick and appropriate action plan. This is because, according to this document, sometimes leaders find it increasingly hard to establish a favorable decision, especially when the leader is known to be strict and unpredictable.

In such cases, there is a high probability that a leader may lack the creativity and credibility to form a collaborative team approach to challenging situations (Harold, Tinley and Berman 218). In essence, this type of leadership style puts more emphasis on the implication of the decision made by a leader based on the circumstance. The contingency leader is in a position to do a thorough analysis of the situation to establish whether the decision they will ultimately make will best suit the event.

Transactional leadership theory

This contemporary leadership style stresses on the existence of various interactions between a leader and followers. Under this type of leadership, the successful achievement of underlying goal and objectives will heavily rely on the extent of these interactions (Harold, Tinley and Berman 223). According to proponents, the rapport between the leader and subjects should largely be mutual and productive. This will in the long run help in propagating valuable attainment of set objectives and aspirations (Harold, Tinley and Berman 231). This leadership style is most preferred in the contemporary settings because it allows an individual to maximize aptitude, and inculcate desirable experiences. The primary objective of such leaders is to form a formidable alliance with such persons considered to have high cognitive abilities to increase their proficiency at individual levels.

However, critics base their point on the inability to possess all motivational values necessary in forming rapports and positive relationships with the subjects (Harold, Tinley and Berman 233). In contemporary management practices, however, this type of leadership is crucial in developing healthy relationships and helping a leader to communicate certain thoughts and ideas that would be otherwise impossible under other contemporary leadership styles (Harold, Tinley and Berman 236). For example, a football team manager should have a transactional leadership relationship with the players to help in deriving the best performances out of individual team member based on a well-stipulated and comprehensive relationship. The performances are in most cases driven by trust and the desire to impress the leader (Harold, Tinley and Berman 241).

Transformational leadership style

This type of leadership style stresses the importance of individual interaction with other members of the society or team (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 328). The primary aim of this leadership style is to create a formidable relationship with the members of a team, and to inculcate the spirit of trust and deep understanding. The interaction between individual members aims at increasing performances and building trust and understanding. According to advocates, transformational leadership is in a position to explicitly lead the change, especially in the behavior of individual subjects. Such leaders will want to increase team motivation by offering numerous motivational messages to the subordinates, and increasing the percentage of trust among team members (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 329).

The success of transformational leaders is based entirely on the flexibility of the set rules, and the ability of a leader to convince the subjects that their varied views with definitely make a big difference. Proponents of this leadership style argue that transformational leaders are able to institute viable changes in the organization based on the ability to inspire performances. Both the leader and the followers under this type of leadership are portrayed as to be having high moral and ethical standards necessary to achieve set organizational goals and objectives.

However, critics of this leadership style argue that the possibility of divergent opinions occasionally arising, making it possible for a transformational leader to help the team achieve any meaningful success. This paper further point that transformational leaders are directly responsible for the potential failures or success of the group, and this makes it increasingly hard to lead effectively (Yoram and Neumann 23). When there is an incentive to work, most individuals will in most cases feel more encouraged and motivated to increase performances, and attain set objectives (Yoram and Neumann 26). The main aim is to achieve the final reward, which in most cases sounds lucrative compared to the current challenges. As such, a transformational leader must be willing to lead the group in instituting any form of change that in the long run will become productive and efficient, as long as the ultimate goal of the institution is successfully achieved.

Charismatic leadership theory

This type of leadership is very common in the contemporary societal settings, and in most cases is based on the inherent abilities of the particular leaders (Yoram and Neumann 29). The primary emphasis is on the devotion and exceptional character of a leader in question. According to most advocates, a charismatic leader should possess certain personal characteristics that can be described as efficient and desirable. Such characteristics are what makes a leader compelling and increases confidence, especially among the subjects. Such a leader will get essential support from employees ready and willing to sacrifice for the ultimate achievement of set aims and purposes.

Proponents of this leadership style base their thoughts on the inherent ability of a charismatic leader to inspire loyalty and commitment among subjects (Yoram and Neumann 31). Such a leader, according to proponents, encourages and inspires devotion and heroism among the followers as requisite conditions in the achievement of set organizational objectives. However, critics point to the fact that charismatic leaders can easily disorient a team. This is because when such a leader is absent, and given that, they are solely responsible for the motivation and increase in the performances, individual employees become disoriented and ineffective.

The influence of charismatic leadership style in many aspects of the contemporary societal practices cannot be ignored whatsoever (Yoram and Neumann 33). Most of the attributes associated with this type of leadership style are necessary for encouraging positive performances among the current crop of citizens. The inherent ability to inspire and motivate is mostly related to this kind of leadership. The objective is to nurture individual skills and encourage self-belief in innate abilities. As such, a charismatic leader will in most cases exhibit a higher level of commitment to successfully execute assigned tasks based on the essential skills of employees (Yoram and Neumann 35). A charismatic leader is only responsible for instilling mutual trust and rapport, collecting all the resources, and directing them towards the success of the organization or societal undertakings.

Servant leadership theory

This is yet another characteristic leadership style in the contemporary society that mostly puts more emphasis on the importance of the subjects towards the success of an initiative (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 335). The goal of a servant is mostly to inspire the followers to contribute positively towards the specified undertaking. The leader pays particular attention to the diverse needs and wants of the subjects, and bases their inspirational tactics and messages on these. A servant leader, according to most scholars, will listen with intent, be more empathetic, and give directions when needed. The success of such leaders is further glued on the ability to persuade, hypothesize, and commit to the attainment of set purposes and aims.

A servant leader is mostly concerned with the growth and development of the team members, particularly when faced with inherently difficult situations. One advantage of this leadership style is that a servant leader is well placed to develop active and unique relationships with the subject (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 343). This is because of the leader’s ability to encourage freethinking and spread optimism and self-belief. The paper further argues that a servant leader will in most cases increase commitment and passion, given their ability to help subjects attain individual aptitudes and performance levels. However, according to critics of this type of leadership, it is fundamentally difficult to institute trust and ethical interactions in most institutional and societal settings.

This makes it difficult for servant leaders to freely express their thoughts and influence the performances of other individuals. Servant leadership in the contemporary society has many implications that have in the past proved necessary. For example, when a leader is ready to delegate certain responsibilities in decision-making processes, the result will be an increase in self- belief among team members (Van Eeden, Frans and Vasi 255). As such, servant leadership enhances individual growth and development given the interactive nature of this leadership style. A servant leader will also feel more responsible for the outcome of the process, and will ensure that every decision will be in line with individual ideas and aspirations of other members.

Autocratic leadership style

Though largely considered to be old-fashioned because of its authoritarian nature, autocratic leadership style is still common in the contemporary society (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 348). This leadership style puts more emphasis on the ability of a particular leader to make quick decisions that cannot be challenged. This is because the leader viewed to be in absolute control of the relevant decision-making processes, and in most instances works well despite the isolated cases of minor errors. The autocratic leader is the central authority, and gets power and control of valuable rewards and resources (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 349). Such a leader exerts full authority in exercising absolute power, the development of requisite policies, and making relevant decisions. According to advocates of this theory, autocratic leader holds absolute power and control, responsibility, and pride in the achievement of set objectives.

When an authoritarian leader delegates certain responsibilities, he or she in most cases expects precise results, which must align with their strong beliefs (Abbasiyannejad and Silong 351). According to most proponents of this leadership style, autocratic leaders can come up with realistic solutions with their directional style of management (Van Eeden, Frans and Vasi 256). This type of leadership style is mostly common in departments that are production-centered with a quick need to achieve immediate results. This kind of leadership applies in particular to organizations with increased incompetency and inexperience, especially among the personnel.

 Such situations will warrant an autocratic leader to be more active, and dominate decision-making processes Van Eeden, Frans and Vasi 259). Critics of this leadership style argue that it makes it difficult for other members to gain valuable experience in their personal career development. This is because the subjects are not allowed to learn from their mistakes or to exercise their individual abilities. In addition, this leadership style results in low morale among subordinates who depend on the discretion of the autocratic leader.


In essence, the paper discusses numerous contemporary leadership theories that are captivating and critical in offering significant insight into the reasons why most leaders make the type of decisions they occasionally make. The theories focus on different leadership styles that people may employ in different aspects of management and leadership. Such styles include participative, situational, contingency, transactional, transformational, charismatic leadership theory, servant leadership theory as well as autocratic leadership style among others.  These contemporary leadership styles are discussed in detail, their implications and weak points.  

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