Regardless of the role played in an organization, a leader should have the relevant emotional intelligence skills or competency in order to influence others towards the achievement of results. The strength of a leader lies in their ability to influence others and to achieve positive results. According to DuBrin, leadership may be described as the “ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals”. A leader differs from a manager in that whereas a manager focuses on productivity in terms of the output, a leader seeks to inspire people and urging them to produce the results. Indeed, a manager should also be a leader in order to achieve results, since one can be a good manager but fail to be a good leader.
A leader is always faced with various leadership styles that are available for use. The common leadership styles include participatory, authoritarian, and delegative, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses. According to the trait theory of personality, a leader will apply any of the leadership styles depending on their personality. Successful leaders are always capable of using all the leadership styles depending on the situation at hand. In addition, Marques suggests that a successful leader will apply any of the leadership styles at the right time, in the right situation and to the right people.
Since situations differ, a leader may use authoritarian leadership when dealing with new employees as they will still be learning their roles; delegative leadership when the leader has less knowledge of a job or situation than their juniors/peer; and participative leadership style when all the members have a clear knowledge of their roles, where sharing ideas becomes paramount. A leader will have one dominant leadership style but must be capable of adjusting to situations and people and applying different leadership styles when such situations demand.