Theories of Leadership: Negotiative Leadership

One style of Bass and Colleagues’ theories of leadership is the negotiative leadership style. I am not fond of this style of leadership, but it is generally prevalent through leadership and management circles.

A negotiative leader comes to the table with his own agenda and he seeks out his personal interest before the organization’s.

To achieve their personal goals, they leverage on their position as leaders and entice their followers to perform certain tasks with incentives and other benefits. Their followers, seeing the dangling carrot in front of them, reaches out to take it and pushes the leader further toward his own agenda.

One example would be Alexander the Great. To fulfill his ambition of ruling the known world, Alexander needed his men fight for many years without returning home. His men although tired, are constantly spurred on by the vision of the great leader, and also the promises of great riches for each of them.

As a result, Alexander managed to get his loyal soldiers to fight for over seven years for him until the edge of modern India.

Is Negotiative Leadership A Good Idea?

Everyone at some level looks out for their own interest, but a negotiative leader leverages on his position to actually pursue that personal interest and agenda.

In our modern day society, this could come in the form of a manager claiming credit for the work of the team, or a manager promising big bonus for employees if they would support him in the boardroom against other colleagues.

This form of leadership can be destructive in an organization because when everyone looks out for themselves, no one looks out for the benefit of the organization. In the end, everyone suffers because the organization fails as a whole. The house divided against itself simply cannot stand.

Alexander’s great empire fell to pieces soon after his death as his children all began to look out for their own interest. As a result, the great empire was divided into four factions but none lasted through history.

When you are searching for leaders to lead your organization, remember to look out not just for those with talent, but also those with a loyal and faithful heart. Look out for people who will put the organization before their own interests.

These are the people that can support you and run with you. And together, everyone will succeed.

Bass and Colleagues Five Styles Of Leadership

» Directive leadership style
The directive leader tells his followers what to do, and how to do it exactly. He specifics standards required of his followers and exercise firm authority over them.

» Consultative leadership style
The consultative leader seeks the counsel of the whole team before making a decision on what the team should do. He is also task oriented, but he seeks the opinion of his followers as well.

» Participative leadership style
The participative leader puts himself as a member of the team and discusses possible decisions with the team. He seeks consensus before coming to a decision and everyone is supposed to take ownership in the final decision.

» Delegative leadership style
He takes back seat toward decision making, and allows his team to take their own course of action. He only sits down together with the team to discuss possible decisions that could be adopted.

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