ESD LT- Leadership Theories, Styles & Models

Day two of the week in leadership training started off with Ilka Stein talking of how today’s training will be like trying to cross a bridge and about bridging the gaps (she was inspired by her bicycle journey to Stratum Lounge) but it was also stated that the focus of the session would be on leading within organizations. First though she reviewed the work compiled yesterday on the traits of a manager/leader

Participants studying the St Gallen model for Management

Michael Zillach then introduced the topic of leadership styles. He encouraged the participants to think about their own styles  as there are various approaches to leadership and it cannot be said that one style is right or wrong. Michael firstly discussed traditional leadership styles and the work done by Max Weber on ‘ruling’ approaches. This included his different aspects of ‘traditional’, ‘charismatic’ and ‘bureaucratic’ ruling which the group then discussed with each other. This lead onto a discussion of the later work by Kurt Lewin on ‘autocratic’, ‘Cooperative’ and ‘laisser-faire’ styles of leadership. These styles have since been studied and further elaborated on and the group then did some work on this. The facilitators set out in a sequence, the elaborated styles of Kurt Lewin and asked the group to stand around the type of leadership they felt their organization belonged to. They then had to do the same but for how they felt most organizations would lead in their home country. This exercise was finished by the group discussing where they felt certain types of organization would stand on this scale which again created a lot of debate.

This lead onto the topic of leadership theories. Before this could start the group had to reach a decision of whether  they wanted this topic to feature in the weeks training or whether they wanted to skip it. They then decided that it would be worth looking in to. They were then set a task based on reading material on 5 types of theory and reflecting on these in small groups. The headline question for this task was ‘what works?’ but also included a lot of smaller issues within it which the participants then had to analyse and present their findings. It was found that the participants were very happy to have taken the decision to learn about these theories and were appreciative to be given the choice as they felt they were able to make the right decision out of it.

After the theories work the group were to move along from leadership towards management (as it could be seen on the leadership triangle). The trainers provided a three step approach to the topic of the ‘St. Gallen model of management’ , firstly by teaching the model itself, secondly by applying the model to the organisations of a number of participants and finally by reflecting on the model in it’s application within ESD in schools.  A presentation was given by Michael who also gave the group a handout/manual. They then had to split into groups where four members would have their organisations analysed. This was Nadine, Mareike, Nakampe and Giovanni who all worked in various types of company. The results from the task were then placed upon the wall in the style of a gallery which will then be presented in tomorrows session.

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