Trends In Leadership

Executive summary

Leadership plays a key role in organization success as it enhances the cohesiveness and coherency of people within the organization. The basic types of leadership are Autocratic leadership, Laissez-Faire leadership, Participative leadership, Transactional leadership, and transformational leadership. Currently, the most commonly practices leadership style that has proven to bring positive result is the transformational leadership. The future leadership is believed to enhance collectivity and will depend on the web and internet to enhance interaction.

Trends in leadership

Leadership is defined as the process in which an individual also referred to as a leader influences the followers or supporters to undertake a specified task and complete it accordingly. Leadership plays a key role in organization success as it enhances the cohesiveness and coherency of people within the organization. Although leadership and management have several differences, the contemporary organization structures require management to show leadership skills. As such, there is intertwining function of management and leadership. The organizational leadership and other social leadership has been undergoing great changes resulting in contemporary state of art leadership skills.

Types of leadership styles

Basically, there are five types of leadership styles. The leadership styles have several advantages and disadvantages although there are those which are more preferable in contemporary organizations. The leadership styles are transformational leadership, autocratic or dictatorial leadership, Laissez-faire leadership, transactional leadership and participative leadership (Storey,2004,p.11).

Autocratic leadership

Autocratic leadership style is one in which the powers of decision making are concentrated or centralized in the leader. In this leadership style, the leader does not entertain any input or suggestion from the subordinates. This leadership style is imperative to motivate the management or top leadership of an organization. Further , it enables quick decision making processes as it does not involve many individual in discussion .However, this form of leadership is not the best in the contemporary business setting because it does not involve the input of the employees and might not motivate them, which is detrimental for organization success in the competitive environment(Rothwell, Prescott &Taylor,2008,p.92).

Laissez-Faire leadership

Laissez-Faire leadership style is one in which the subordinate have a free hand in developing and deciding their own methods and policies. In this leadership style, there is practice of democracy where each one is given a chance to choose what he or she wants thus giving thus motivating the subordinates to be innovative and creative. However, not all employees have the ability of supervising themselves and so this type of leadership may result in lack of control and poor or low production (Giuliani & Kurson,2002,p.84).

Participative leadership

Participative leadership, which is also referred to as the democratic leadership is one in which the top management or top organization leadership takes into consideration the input of the subordinates but the final decisions on organization matters remains with the leader. In this case, the leadership enhances the morale of the subordinates or employee’s morale by allowing them to make important and positive contributions to the processes of decision making. When an organization intends to make major restructuring or changes within the organization, the participative leader enables employees to provide their opinion and leads them to accept changes. As such, there is minimal resentment and employees seek motivation. This type of leadership is essential for the development of current organizations (Stippler,2011,p.49).

Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership is where a leader utilizes the punishments and rewards to gain respect, compliance and following of the subordinates. This form of leadership tends to be action oriented, follows strictly the culture of the organization, and is directive. This is not the type of the contemporary leadership style in an organization because the driving forces of employees to productivity are either to avoid punishment or receive rewards. Employees cannot make their own initiative out of the reward and punishment spheres (Rothwell, Prescott &Taylor,2008,p.12).

Transformational leadership and the current leadership trends

Although participative, Laissez-Faire and in some cases transactional leadership are utilized in the modern organizations, transformational leadership has been proven to be the ideal and practical leadership style that enhances motivation of the employees, guides them to make apt decision in productivity and promotes the general performance of the organization.

Transformational leadership, which is imperative and most favored in the contemporary environment, is a form of leadership where the management or leadership of the organization enhances the performance, motivation, aspirations and Morales of the subordinates by employing several mechanisms that include a leader being a self model, challenge the subordinates to be responsible for their work and lives within the organization, understanding the weaknesses of the subordinates and using the weakness to be their strength, can identify with the employees and make them part of the leadership and assist them to be interested in fulfilling the goals of the organization(Stippler,2011,p.39).

There are four elements that make transformational leadership an essential aspect of current leadership trend. The elements are intellectual simulation, individual consideration, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation.

Intellectual Simulation

In this case, the leaders do not only challenge the status quo, which was important and valued in past organizations, but they encourage creativity among the employees or subordinates and enables them to explore new opportunities and ways of doing things. Microsoft inc is an example of organizations that encourages workers to be creative and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas that have catapulted the business into a top global organization (Storey,2004,p.84).

Idealized influence

In this case, the leadership attends to the needs of each follower by acting as the role model, mentor and listener to the concerns of each follower. As such, the subordinates and employees build trust in their leadership, a factor that enables them to accept the new ideas and enable improved productivity (Storey,2004,p.84).

Individualized consideration

This is a case where a leader in the organization context or any other leadership position offers encouragement and support to individuals to the subordinates. The aim of this element is to enhance communication, foster supportive relationship and recognizes the creativity and distinct contribution exhibited by each individual within the organization (Storey,2004,p.84).

Inspirational motivation

This is a case in which the organization leadership articulates motivational visions that enables employees to experience a similar motivation and passion to fulfill the goals of leadership. The goal of achieving and fulfilling a specified vision is accompanies by ardent communication skills that is vital in building the employee’s trust, enhances performance and creates optimal satisfaction. The contemporary leadership style has been vital for the good leadership and employees’ motivation experiences at the moment. Since leadership style is an evolving factor, there is a high likelihood of emerging innovative leadership styles in the future (Storey,2004,p.84).

Future trends of leadership

The current modern leadership trend is transformational leadership. It is based on the fact that the development of leadership is learned, it is result oriented, motivates and creates satisfaction among employees and enhances respect in the relationship between leadership and the subordinates. With the current information age and advance in technology, there is high possibility that future trends of leadership will change tremendously. One of the main future trends is the use of virtual leadership to enhance communication, motivation, create brands and enhance team interaction. Another future trend is the development of collective leadership tactic other than the conventional individual based leadership tactic. As such, the web and technology will play an influential role in driving leadership style changes that embrace collectivity in leadership. Although currently, the leadership embraces horizontal development, there is high possibility that the future leadership will take both vertical and horizontal development. In this case, each individual within the organization will own leadership development and everyone will be included in the leadership strategies. The most essential leadership quality that are likely to be adopted in future are self awareness, new networking thinking, boundary spanning, adaptability, and collaboration (Storey,2004,p.94).


Leadership is an important aspect of any organization or political and social spheres. A leader motivates the subordinates to achieve a certain set direction. Leadership has been evolving and new and innovative strategies have been developed to enhance performance of the organization and promote the satisfaction of the employees. The current leadership style that is highly practices is the transformational leadership. However, in future, there are likely to be major changes in leadership styles which are controlled by the internet and web. The future skills that are likely to be adopted in leadership are self awareness, new networking thinking, boundary spanning, adaptability, and collaboration.


Storey, J. (2004). Leadership in organizations: Current issues and key trends. London: Routledge.

Stippler, M. (2011). Leadership: Approaches, developments, trends. Gütersloh, Germany: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Rothwell, W. J., Prescott, R. K., & Taylor, M. W. (2008). Human resource transformation: Demonstrating strategic leadership in the face of future trends. Mountain View, Calif: Davies-Black Pub.

Giuliani, R. W., & Kurson, K. (2002). Leadership. New York: Hyperion.

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