Evaluating the use of effective leadership styles can be important, to identify the areas for improvement and develop your effective leadership skills faster. Also preventing dangers and consequences. We will evaluate two cases, identify effective leadership styles that were used, look at the advantages and disadvantages and make conclusions.
Case: Counter-terror police arrest four men over alleged plot
The case study
In west London and High Wycombe counter-terrorism police arrested four men for potentially planning terrorist attacks. The suspects are aged between 19 and 27. They are all taken to police stations in central London. Because there was a possibility that suspects could be armed, firearms officers assisted with arrests, but no shots were fired and nobody got injured.
As the tensions in Islamic States are high, police forces have to be aware and very careful with the potential attack or plot planning. The Metropolitan Police said that a number of homes around the area where suspects been arrested were searched and some of the items that can have information related to the terrorism like laptops and memory drives were confiscated for further investigations. In August, the UK national terror threat level was raised from substantial to severe and this will be the reason for increased arrests for potential terrorist attacks.
Local witnesses said that there been a lot of police officers arresting the suspects. This indicates that the team of officers were big and the situation was urgent, because suspects were on the move. Best type of leadership style to suite this situation and lead officers would be authoritarian.
One factor would be the urgency – officer team had to be accurate and precise even when they didn’t have a time to prepare for all the challenges they might need to confront, because even one minute could result in losing the suspects and the potential terrorist attack could be executed resulting in loss of innocent people lives. The plot was planned to be executed on Remembrance Sunday.
Second factor would be danger – officers couldn’t predict if the suspects will be armed or not, but they had to execute orders given by the unit leader no matter what, because public, officers or property could be put in danger and one of the goals for police was to arrest the suspects without any loss or damage. In operations like this leader expects no questions from his team when doing the tasks, because there is no time to discuss it.
Third factor that determined leadership style was size of the team. The witnesses saw a lot of officers involved into the operation and a lot of officers mean that for leader it is crucial to send direct and straight forward commands which go under the authoritarian leadership style. Leader would not expect any confrontation from team members in serious operation like this and if he did – consequences for the officer would follow.
In this case there are no disadvantages for use of authoritarian leadership, because it was chosen particularly because of the situation. No other leadership style could suit this operation more than the authoritarian, not people oriented styles for sure. When applying leadership style – leaders always look at the situation and mostly have to adapt instead of choosing the style for themselves. But if it happens and leader has a chance to choose it, is most likely that he will chose style that has most advantages and least disadvantages for particular situation. Not a single of these six styles are perfect, but you have to use at least one of them and it is up to the leader what he will chose. This situation could have several steps of the leading, but with the information provided authoritarian leadership stands out the most. Other steps could include briefing, planning and gathering information about the operation which would have different leadership displayed from the leader. He might have been used transactional leadership to motivate his police team with bonuses if they complete mission successfully or the leader discussed the planning with the team, because they are highly trained specialists and this is something they could have their input in – which would be more democratic approach.
Coach uses two leadership styles. First of all he notices that there is lack of confidence in the team, because opponent team is strong and his team have doubts about their performance. Coach has a strong vision in his mind and wants his team to succeed in the games. To put the influence to the whole players he sets a task for one leading player of a team to do exercise when blindfolded, so he will not see how much of the distance he crawled. This exercise can be counted as punishment for the player that has the most influence on the team. Coach selected that particular player, because people intend to follow strong leaders and if that player sees that sometimes everything is in the mind-set he will transfer that mind set for majority of the team members. During the time that player crawls he also receives plenty of encouragement from the coach that helps him to carry on the task even though it is really hard. In the end, the player achieved a really long distance and coaches goal was achieved – to show players that they can achieve beyond the limits, but first – appropriate mind-set has to be in place.
Transformational leadership that was used by the coach was the energy and influence that he could give to the players. He motivated and inspired them with his vision to win the games. And he made them to believe his vision. That is a good example of transformational leadership.
He also used method of transactional leadership by giving a punishment for one of the players that has most influence upon the team, by that extracting the most motivation and potential from the whole team.
In this situation coach had opportunity to apply almost any style. There were factors like size of the team that he had to put influence to and it was quite big. That’s why one of the styles he used was from task oriented category which is more direct leadership than people oriented. The other style he used was from people oriented category, because it is important that players believe that they can win. Coach can force them to do push ups or death crawl, but he can’t make players believe that they can win that’s why this approach has been used. Time here was not a factor and this allowed leader to be more relaxed, but still giving enough influence to convince team that they can win the game. The leadership styles picked for this situation worked well, because in the end the player and the whole team felt motivated and we can tell it by the way they looked.