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Leadership Models, Part 1

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Leadership models help us to understand what makes leaders act the way they do. Please, leaders don’t just act the way they act in a vacuum – something in them causes it. The idea is not for you as a leader to lock yourself into a type of behavior discussed in the model, but to realize that every situation calls for a different approach or behaviour to be taken in your career as a leader. Two models will be discussed, namely the Four Framework Approach [as model 1] and the Managerial Grid [as model 2].

Leadership Model 1: Four Framework Approach of Leadership

In the Four Framework Approach, a study conducted by Bolman and Deal in 1991 suggested hence highlights that leaders display leadership behaviors in one of four types of frameworks: Structural, Human Resource, Political, or Symbolic.

The style can either be effective or ineffective, depending upon the chosen behaviour in certain situations. [So, I will be looking at it from effective and ineffective angles]. Please follow keenly: this leadership capacity development! For brevity [remember this is not LIVE training that takes sessions], let us look at these frameworks:

i. Structural Framework

In an effective leadership situation, the leader is a social architect whose leadership style is analysis and design, while in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a petty tyrant whose leadership style is details.

Structural Leaders focus on structure, strategy, environment, implementation, experimentation, and adaptation.

Can you connect this with leaders you know in your workplace, team, or group?

ii. Human Resource Framework

In an effective leadership situation, the leader is a catalyst and servant whose leadership style is support, advocate, and empowerment, while in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a pushover, whose leadership style is abdication and fraud.

Human Resource Leaders believe in people and communicate that belief; they are visible and accessible; they empower, increase participation, support, share information, and move decision-making down into the organization.

iii. Political Framework

In an effective leadership situation, the leader is an advocate, whose leadership style is coalition and building, while in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a hustler, whose leadership style is manipulation. Do you know some politicians like that?

Political leaders clarify what they want and what they can get; they assess the distribution of power and interests [very key]; they build linkages to other stakeholders, use persuasion first, and then use negotiation and coercion only if necessary.

the generous leader
the generous leader

iv. Symbolic Framework

In an effective leadership situation, the leader is a prophet, whose leadership style is inspiration, while in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a fanatic or fool, whose leadership style is smoke and mirrors.

Symbolic leaders view organizations as a stage or theater to play certain roles and give impressions; these leaders use symbols to capture attention; they try to frame experiences by providing plausible interpretations of experiences; they discover and communicate a vision. Are you seeing people in mirrors of your hearts?

This model suggests that leaders can be put into one of these four categories and there are times when one approach is appropriate and times when it would not be. Any one of these approaches alone would be inadequate, thus we should strive to be conscious of all four approaches, and not just rely on one or two. For example, during a major organizational change, a structural leadership style may be more effective than a visionary leadership style; while during a period when strong growth is needed, the visionary approach may be better.

We also need to understand ourselves as each of us tends to have a preferred approach. We need to be conscious of this at all times and be aware of the limitations of favoring just one approach.

See you in part 2: Leadership Model 2 – Managerial Grid.

Mike Ihezuo has been at the cutting edge of helping leaders and organizations succeed and achieve goals maximally. He can help you and yours profoundly. Kindly reach him at 081-8282-4949, 080-6232-8080, email, or Contact Us.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…

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