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Contingency Approach to Leadership

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Last updated date: 17th Jul 2024
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‘Leader’ is a popularly used term that we are quite familiar with. In simple terms, a leader is an individual that guides and takes control over others. However, the term is quite complex in different contexts. For instance, when you define a leader in the field of management, it is an individual who possesses certain qualities of managing and guiding a group of people for accomplishing a specific objective. A leader can train these individuals and help them reach one step closer to their objectives and goals. There is a myriad of organizing and guiding elements in the forms of distinguishing leadership theories and models. Let’s discover everything you need to know about the contingency approach to leadership. 

An Overview on Contingency Theory of Leadership 

The contingency theory of leadership is a distinctive and impressive approach to defining the success of a leader. It suggests that every leader doesn’t necessarily need to be dependent on his capabilities to succeed entirely. There is a wide range of aspects concerning the company culture, work environment, and even employees that maximally influence a manager’s potential to succeed while leading a group of people. Contingency theories thus define an individual’s ability to succeed in his role. This model was introduced by Fiedler. Thus, the name originated as ‘Fiedler Contingency Model of Leadership’. 

Contingency Model Of Leadership- Looking back at the History 

The contingency approach to leadership was first introduced in 1958 by Fred Fielder. He believes that success isn’t directly interlinked with an individual’s abilities. It is correlated with two essential factors- a manager’s skill sets and the control of a circumstance. He thus suggested that the skills and capabilities of a manager are always constant while the situation keeps altering. Therefore, the potential is contingent on the manager’s skills linking the situation and not adapting to it. A leader will thus boost his potential and work much more efficiently if his skills and abilities match the situation and work environment. 

Characteristics of Contingency Theory 

Let’s discover some prime characteristics of contingency theory to learn more about the contingency model of leadership. 

  • Leadership takes into account the existence of a team of followers as it is the very necessity for the working of a leader. Leadership cannot be practised without this set of followers. 

  • The form of leadership differs from the end objective and the situations of the work environment. 

  • Leadership is defined as the mere ability that can be enhanced with expertise and experience. 

  • Leadership impacts the beliefs, behaviour, and even the nature of the employees. 

  • Leadership is encountered when trying to accomplish the same goal with several subordinates or a group of people that help through the process.

Qualities that Shape a Leader 

Every leader should possess certain skills to excel in the contingency theory of leadership. Now that you’ve understood what is contingency theory of leadership, here are some qualities that can help you become a successful leader. 

  • Uprightness and Honor 

A leader should be honest and possess integrity for his followers to respect and follow him. Subordinates will not follow you if you aren’t honest with them. Leaders should carry pride in following their core beliefs. You must thus undergo a moral path while working and leading their employees. 

  • Physical Endurance 

Additionally, leaders should also possess enough stamina. Along with the ability to be honest with your employees, you should also have the stamina to work. The leader should also be physically stable and fit. He should have the physical endurance to deal with things in the workplace. This accounts as an essential quality for boosting the performance of you and your employees. 

  • Brainpower 

Expertise and experience are two prime factors that a leader should possess. He should understand the core objectives of your company’s project and should have the intelligence to take further measures on it. Knowledge and intelligence can thus help improve the expertise of your employees as well as become more efficient. 

  • Empathy 

A leader should be empathetic towards his subordinates. He should ensure establishing a healthy and empathetic relationship with his subordinates. Your subordinates will thus be courageous and even dedicated to following you. 

  • Confidence

A very vital quality that every leader must possess is confidence. A leader should have the ability to gain the respect of his employees. He should be able to accomplish trust, among others. The leader should possess essential skills of confidence and efficiency so that they can showcase to their employees why they are the ideal leaders. 

  • Communication Skills 

A leader should essentially have the ability to engage with his subordinates. He should be able to communicate with his subordinates and help them understand what their project model is. He should have the ability to share the techniques and strategies that will help your team come one step closer to accomplishing their end objective. 

FAQs on Contingency Approach to Leadership

1. What are Some Contingency Theory Real Life Examples?

To understand what is contingency leadership, you must learn more about some contingency theory real life examples. One example that is popularly discussed is that of an individual that possesses relevant qualifications, skills, and qualities for selling books. If this person does have all the above-mentioned qualities and qualifications, he will be a successful leader in the industry of book marketing and not laptop productions. Thus, in a nutshell, having relevant skills for your respective field and understanding how to regulate the situation play a fundamental role in the success of your leadership skills.

2. What is the Contingency Theory Model Given by Fiedler?

Contingency theory of leadership examples has helped understand the contingency model introduced by Fiedler better. According to this model, a leader is not someone who can adapt to a circumstance but someone whose skills match the goal. For making this theory more efficient and easy to understand, a leader must take their time out to understand what his style is. Your style of form or skill sets are essential for learning how well you can handle and guide your subordinates. Moreover, these skills can also help you analyze how much success you can bring to your subordinates or how fast you can accomplish your end goal.