There are many forms of leadership, and each leader is unique. What all business leaders have in common is the purpose of their position: to unite skills around the completion of a project, but also to ensure that a team is able to overcome hardships or challenges (Valldeneu, Tarrats and Ferràs).
What distinguishes different leaders are the concrete methods they use, consciously or unconsciously, to achieve their goal. The processes used by a leader necessarily reflect his personal values, his conception of work and his relationship with others.
The forms of leadership are not always subject to theoretical reflection, and many leaders achieve excellent results without questioning the way they coach, lead and manage their subordinates. Nevertheless, a conscious approach to the leader's role can point out the strengths and weaknesses of the different existing methods.
Far from being a simple manager, the leader must instill a vision in the group he/she is managing. But what does this vision consist of? Where does it come from, what faces does it take on and how does the leader transmit his or her perspective to his or her followers? The answers to these questions have evolved significantly in the second half of the twentieth century and since the beginning of the third millennium.
Leadership is a key concept for all companies, institutions and associations. Whatever the field of activity or size of an organization, the style adopted by its leader greatly influences its success.
Leadership is a multi-faceted concept that refers to both a hierarchical dynamic (with respect to a group) and a quality that is intrinsic to certain actors in the professional world. In everyday language, the term "leadership" is used to describe the ability of an individual to positively influence those around him. This leadership is independent of any hierarchical relationship and can manifest itself in any manager or employee.
More commonly, leadership refers to the process by which a leader (or manager) leads employees to achieve a common goal (Valldeneu, Tarrats and Ferràs, "Leadership Styles and Organizational Outcomes: A Study Across International Hubs.”
Before comparing different forms of leadership, social science researchers must establish a list of reliable criteria. Indeed, beyond simple productivity indicators, many elements must be taken into account when comparing professional practices with the greatest possible relevance.
First, we will see how qualitative and quantitative studies devoted to the evaluation of leadership styles often rely on the same parameters and the same questionnaires.
We will then present the three pillars of the FRLM (full range leadership model) paradigm, which are: the transformational leader, the transactional leader and the passive leader. This typology was introduced in 1991 by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio in an article entitled "The Full Range Leadership Development Programs: Basic and Advanced Manuals". The two researchers then developed it in their famous books "Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership" (1994) and "Full range leadership development: Manual for the multifactor leadership questionnaire" (1997). Since then, the FRLM classification has become a reference in leadership and management.
Each of these three leaders (transformational, transactional and passive) embodies a work philosophy and is characterized by particular attitudes. These attitudes have a strong influence on the life of a company (or institution), the cohesion of teams, their motivation and the decision-making process within them.
Next, we will describe an emerging figure: the servant leader. Although the concept of servant leadership was theorized as early as 1970 by the American Robert K. Greenleaf (in the essay "The Servant As Leader"), it still appears disruptive compared to the majority practices in the business world. We will describe, in particular, how ethics and personal values influence this type of leadership.
Discover more in our White Paper and the new faces of leadership and their impact on organizational performance. You will identify which leader you are on a daily basis, and what your leadership reflects in your conception of work. You may also see ways to improve your leadership skills and become more agile in your practice.