Introduction to Leadership Styles

Whether you are one or the other or somewhere in between, it is important to recognize your personal style of leadership. This style affects how others respond to you, how they respond to their work, and, in the end, how effective you are as a leader. Each of us approaches leadership with a unique set of beliefs and attitudes about the nature of people and the nature of work. This is the basis for our philosophy of leadership.

For example, some think people are basically good and will happily work if given the chance. Others think people are prone to be a bit lazy and need to be nudged to complete their work. These beliefs about people and work have a significant impact on an individual’s leadership style and probably come into play in every aspect of a person’s leadership. McGregor believed that managers need to understand their core assumptions about human nature and assess how these assumptions relate to their managerial practice.

In particular, McGregor was interested in how managers view the motivations of workers and their attitudes toward work. He believed that understanding these motivations was central to knowing how to become an effective manager. To explain the ways that managers approach workers, McGregor proposed two general theories—Theory X and Theory Y. McGregor believed each of these theories provide viewpoints on human behavior and leadership style.
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