Motivation can be defined as a process which pushes an individual to take action, be controlled and consistent or change certain behavior based on the same. In leadership styles, one is either a relationship-motivated leader or a task motivated leader among other leadership styles.
Relationship motivated leadership
A relationship-motivated leader is concerned with the feelings of an individual and ensures there is a good relationship between him and the subordinate staff.
He appreciates his subordinates’ efforts and respects their ideas as well as puts into consideration their contributions. In other words, the relationship-motivated leader will work towards ensuring that the emotional welfare of the employees is well taken care of in order to have a good work environment. This type of leadership works best where control is moderate according to Chemers (1997).
A task motivated leader is a person, whose main concern is performance, execution of plans and goal setting as well as achievement of these objectives. He should plan on how to achieve the set goals, assign duties and do assessment of performance as well as report on the same. A task motivated leader performs the best in very high control levels or extremely low control levels according to Fiedler (Chemers, 1997, p.37&38).
From Hersey-Blanchard’s model, the approach a leader takes is determined by the situation he is in, hence different leadership styles should be applied in various situations. The maturity levels should determine the extent to which task-leadership or relationship leadership is to be exercised.
From the facts discussed above, as favorable as relationship-leadership may be for the individuals in a firm or group, the leader needs to establish the level of maturity of the individuals to ensure that the group achieves its ultimate goals as the individual attains its personal aims. With this done, the organization should grow with moderate levels of supervision.
Transformational leadership and transactional leadership
Transformation and transactional kinds of leadership are two other approaches of managing people. Transactional leadership is where the relationship between a leader and his follower is a reward. For each action a subordinate takes, there are consequences which are either positive or negative.
An employee yielding the desired results may get an increment in his salary or be promoted while failure of an employee to perform accordingly can result in demotion at his place of work or loss of a job. The employer will aim at utilizing the employee’s ability to obtain the desired result by use of threats or rewards. In most cases, a transactional leader pays no attention to the individuals’ needs or emotions but instead, he focuses on results achieved by a person.
Transformational leadership, however, differs from the transactional leadership in that the leader bears in mind the needs of the employee and ensures that the employee exploits his potential to achieve his individual goals as well as the objectives of the organization. The transformation leader aims at changing the organization for the better and making the individuals accept the change and grow. The transformation leader takes the time to understand the individuals so as to best help them transfer from one phase to another.
In this form of leadership, the leader is an element of change (Hacker & Roberts, 2003) and very passionate about what he sets to do. He works towards getting the rest of his team on board. Transformational leadership has been observed to result in better productivity since the individuals are highly motivated and willing to exploit their full potential to achieve personal and collective goals of the organization. Transformational leaders are a part and parcel of the individuals in the team as well as the process of change taking place.
Comparing both the leadership styles, transformational leadership is better than transactional one. Transformation leadership creates a favorable work and growth environment as opposed to an environment in which you feel threatened and job security is non-existent.
As much as transactional and transformation leadership may differ, the two can be combined to yield great results according to Bass (Achua & Lussier, 2009). Different situations call for different measures and as such, the appropriate leadership style can be adopted for individual situations. It can, therefore, be concluded that a person can be a transformational or transactional leader from time to time.
Application of task-motivated and relationship motivated leadership
Task-motivated leadership and relationship motivated leadership are two different leadership methods which will yield different results under different circumstances. However, they can be used together to maximize on productivity. Used together, they can be complementary and, as a result, very successful.
Task-motivated leaders strategize and work on division and specialization of labor while the relationship- motivated leaders ensure that the tasks assigned to individuals are best suited for them based on their characters and individual capability.
The leaders do not have to be different; one person can act as both the task-motivated and the relationship-motivated leader. Most leaders combine dominant leadership style based on their work environment as well as personal traits, hence they have to work a bit harder to bring out the less conspicuous style into use for better results.
In conclusion, leadership styles may vary but can be used to complement each other by picking on the positive of each method and putting into consideration the situation at hand.
Achua, F. C., & Lussier, N. R. (2009). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development (4th Ed.). Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Chemers, M. M. (1997). An integrative theory of leadership. Mahwah, USA: Routledge.
Hacker, S., & Roberts, T. (2003).Transformational leadership: Creating organizations of meaning. Wisconsin: ASQ Quality Press.