Over the last few decades, the definition of leadership has transformed. A creative and participate approach to leadership has replaced a classical and autocratic approach. A discovery that not everything that is old is bad and not every thing that is novel is good was made somewhere along the line. It was realized that different leadership styles suited different situations, and it is the responsibility of each and every leader to figure out when to make use of a particular leadership approach or style. The two leaders that will be examined in this assignment are Martha Stewart and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The type of leadership style that was used by Martha Stewart in building her empire was the autocratic leadership approach. Autocratic leadership can adopt a form that is more of dictatorship at its extremities since a leaders word is deemed to be a law. Most of the times, autocratic leaders act solely and fail to incorporate other people in the decision-making process. An autocratic leader may eventually resort to manipulation, force and even threats in order to achieve or accomplish the set objectives and goals. An autocratic leadership style was employed by Martha Stewart in building her empire through paying attention to even the slightest details. Moreover, she was demanding and meticulous and hence expected a lot from her subordinates (Murugan, 2007).
The use of an autocratic style of management led to the eventual success and excellence of Martha Stewarts organization. According to many industrial analysts, Martha Stewarts demanding and autocratic style of leadership is what enabled her to succeed and outsmart her competitors within the entertainment industry. However, other analysts argue that Martha would have been more successful is she had not greatly depended upon the autocratic form of leadership. Generally, this form of leadership is appropriate in situations that call for critical and immediate business actions or decisions (Gill, 2006).
The second leader is Dwight D. Eisenhower who was a military leader that employed a democratic approach to leadership. Democratic leaders tend to make collaborative decisions on the basis of effective communication. Through communication, such leaders are able to know other peoples opinions in addition to airing out their own opinions regarding various issues. A workplace that is well prepared for a democratic form of leadership, transforms into a work environment that is fun to be associated with. This is due to the fact that employees feel that their have a voice and hence become committed to attaining common objectives and goals (Gill, 2006).
Eisenhower as a military leader had a challenging task of making sure that all alliance forces had a common understanding regarding a common strategy to use. He worked extremely hard to ensure that all people worked collaboratively to a common comprehension and this became one of his key achievements (Murugan, 2007). Eisenhower succeeded in ensuring that there was a common understanding and goal. The eventual victory and success of the alliance forces also confirm the appropriateness of a democratic approach to the situation that Eisenhower faced as a military leader.
Though the two leaders succeeded in the particular leadership styles employed, it is worth noting that each of the style has some demerits. There are some demerits associated with autocratic form of leadership and one of the demerits is that employees may find it to be stressful. Moreover, with this kind of leadership, the work environment may not be a fun place to be. Due to the fact that autocratic leaders do not involve others in decision-making process, employees may feel that they do not count and this may result to demoralization (Murugan, 2007).
As for the democratic form of leadership, one demerit is that this style may be ineffective in cases where the workforce is inexperienced. This is due to the fact that majority of democratic leaders rely on the insight and knowledge of their employees or followers. Moreover, this form of leadership is time-consuming due to its collaborative nature. It takes time to get feedback regarding other peoples opinion and more time for them to understand the various views aired out (Gill, 2006).
One other style that could have been appropriate for the leaders is the transformational type of leadership. People who employ this style are termed as true leaders since they constantly inspire their team through a common future or vision. Inspirational leaders have been known to contribute to a highly motivated work environment that has employees who are willing to work towards the achievement of a common set of objectives and goals. Leaders who employ the transformational approach are often enthusiastic and this enthusiasm is often conveyed to subordinates, employees or the team members (Murugan, 2007).
In conclusion, despite all the pros and cons associated with various styles of leadership, it is recommendable for leaders and management team to choose a leadership approach that perfectly suits the situation at hand. Adopting the right and the most appropriate leadership approach is the key to organizational success.
Gill, R. (2006). Theory and practice of leadership. SAGE
Murugan, M. S. (2007). Management Principles and practices. New Age International
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