What do the best leaders have in their trait toolbox? Modern leadership typically requires a proactive response. It needs the ability to be able to respond to changing situations by adapting a new leadership style to those changes when they happen. In full range leadership theory, it is suggested that the best leaders are able to take on three key leadership styles in a successful way. In doing so, a leader is able to maximize the influence that they have over their team or organization.
What Are the Three Leadership Styles of This Leadership Theory?
The leader who is practicing the full range leadership theory is going to be applying the principles of three specific styles of leadership at any given time.
1. Transformational leadership helps the full-range leader be able to stimulate their teams on an intellectual level. Through the use of charisma, motivation can be achieved. They will become the idealized center of ethics, values, and beliefs that their team can look toward as an example of what they can become.
2. Transactional leadership is also utilized so that rewards and consequences can be implemented to reinforce or modify behavior respectively. They will manage actively when necessary and manage passively when appropriate.
3. Laissez-Faire leadership is included because there will be times when the full range leader needs to step back and do nothing because their team is fully capable of doing the work on their own.
In order to effectively implement the appropriate leadership style to any given situation, the leader must be able well-practiced at observing a changing environment. They only way to really do this effectively is to be involved within that environment on a regular basis. In doing so, they will be able to anticipate future trends, react to current ones, and always be in a place to effectively lead their team.
Why Do Full Range Leaders Sometimes Do Nothing?
Sometimes a leader is brought into a team that has decades of experience in a certain field. The leader might not have the same level of experience, but they do have the ability to effectively lead. In this kind of situation, the leader might look like they are doing nothing to expect results from their team, but they are actually relying on the extensive experience of their team to find success. The best full range leaders will look to supplement the experience of their team with even more skills so that everyone can experience progress.
This is effective because an experienced team will find this to be the most satisfying result. If a leader attempts to implement a transformational or transactional style, they may be viewed by their team as “inexperienced” and this could undermine the authority that they have as a leader. When that happens, no leadership style will save them.
Full range leaders inspire confidence in others because they have confidence in their abilities to evolve and adapt. The leadership theory may not work for all teams, but in most environments, the full range leader will often be the most successful.