Explain the concept of leadership

Leadership: – Concept, Styles and Types

Explain the concept of leadership.

Explain 3 styles of leadership with advantages and disadvantages of each.


The term leadership is derived from the word leader, which means to lead. The responsibility of smooth functioning of any organization rests on the shoulders of the leader.

Concept of Leadership

Most of the 300 definitions of the term “leadership” include the keywords “influence, “goal” and “group” So leadership boils down to exerting some influence on a group to work and achieve its goals.

Qualities of Leadership

1) Executive

2) Planner

3) Policy Maker quality

4) Expert

5) Representative of the Group

6) Master

7) Judge

8) Model

9) Symbol of the Group

10) Ideologist

11) Agent of Social Change

12) Surrogator of Responsibility


Styles of Leadership

Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez-faire

A) Autocracy (Authoritarian)

Power is centralized and the leader is the sole decision-maker and an authoritarian who does not care about his subordinates’ views for feelings. Eg. Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin.

Merits of Autocracy

1) The leader continuously keeps a watchful eye on progress of the work so productivity increases.

2) He has a very clear vision and philosophy as to his goals.

3) Quick decision-making as he is the sole decision-maker.

4) Workers are generally obedient and follow directions.

Demerits of Autocracy

1) Feelings of sub-ordinates are not considered.

2) They harbor dissent and are de-motivated.

3) The leader can be partial and biased.

4) His personal ambitions come above group welfare.

5) Absence or fall of the leader can result in chaos.

B) Democracy (Participative)

A decentralized and positive system of power, here, the leader allows his sub-ordinates a say in all matters. They can air their views. So we-feeling and team spirit is developed. Eg. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela. Merits and demerits of democracy are as below –

Merits of democracy

1) Sub-ordinates can participate in discussions and air their views and opinions.

2) Work environment is co-operative, healthy and friendly.

3) Goals and objectives are for the benefit of all.

4) Differences are sorted amicably.

5) Welfare of the majority is considered.

Demerits of democracy

Some of the drawbacks of democracy is as follows –

1) Slow decision-making as many opinions are involved.

2) Tasks take longer to complete as all work at their own pace.

3) Differences of opinions may cause issues and delays.

4) Middlemen and corruption can set into this system.

5) All members cannot be kept happy and that may cause turmoil. Eg. Partition of India.

6) Some will always harbor jealousy towards a good leader. Eg. Assassinations

C) Laissez-faire (Delegative)

In this style, the leader is like an Umpire who only watches while all decisions are made by the subordinates.

Merits of Laissez-faire

1) No work for the leader.

2) Sub-ordinates work without interference from the leader.

3) Decisions can be taken on the spot while working as no approval is required.

Demerits of Laissez-faire

1) Procrastination of work.

2) All might not work at proper pace as no one is monitoring.

3) Less likelihood of goals being achieved on time.

4) Groupism may result in discord and lack of unity.


Thus leadership refers to a group effort and a good leader will give proper direction to his workers and then give them free rein to work while keeping a watchful eye.

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