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This academic essay covers the different between leadership and influence, effective leadership and ineffective leadership, the pros and cons about the effective leadership and ineffective leadership. What is ethical leadership and advantages of it also the difference between autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire leadership. Also, the reward system and how businesses can use it to create a great working environment.


The different between leadership and influence


In recent years, the concepts of leadership and influence have become increasingly prevalent in personal and professional development discussions. At first glance, these terms may appear to be interchangeable, but upon closer examination, we can identify key distinctions between them. Leadership generally involves guiding a group or organization to achieve common goals, applying strategic vision, and fostering cooperation among followers. Leadership is the ability to guide and motivate a group or team towards a common goal while establishing an environment in which individuals can thrive. Influence, on the other hand, relates to the capacity to affect the actions, behaviours, and opinions of others without necessarily having an established authority. influence can be thought of as the ability to affect the thoughts, actions, or opinions of others, which can be exerted by individuals both in and out of traditional leadership roles. A great leader may have significant influence, but one can still be influential without necessarily holding a formal leadership position. Understanding these distinctions enables us to recognize the importance of both leadership and influence in the dynamic structures of modern organizations. (Parr, S. 2023)


In essence, while both leadership and influence enable change and progress, the underlying methods and relationships differ between the two concepts. By understanding the distinction between leadership and influence, we can better discern the roles and expectations of various individuals within an organizational hierarchy.

A great leader may have significant influence, but one can still be influential without necessarily holding a formal leadership position. Understanding these distinctions enables us to recognize the importance of both leadership and influence in the dynamic structures of modern organizations. (Parr, S. 2023)

Effective leader and an ineffective leader


An effective leader and an ineffective leader can be distinguished by several key traits that ultimately impact the success of their team and organization. Effective leaders possess strong communication skills, adaptability, and the ability to empower others, emotional intelligence, and the ability to delegate tasks, whereas ineffective leaders may lack these qualities, leading to confusion and disengagement among team members. Moreover, effective leaders maintain a clear vision and consistently strive for improvement, inspiring those around them to do the same, supports their team, consistently seeking ways to improve and achieve desired outcomes. In contrast, an ineffective leader may struggle to articulate their goals and may not demonstrate a growth mindset, resulting in a stagnant or deteriorating work environment. (Balogh,L. 2015)

An effective leader and an ineffective leader can be differentiated by certain key attributes that set them apart. Effective leadership is characterized by the ability to build strong teams that work cohesively to reach common goals. Those who excel in leadership roles are active listeners, able to understand and address the needs and concerns of their team members. By fostering open dialogue and creating a sense of unity, effective leaders encourage collaboration and productivity, ultimately driving their organization’s success. On the other hand, ineffective leaders often lack the essential skills required to create a sense of unity and collaboration within their teams. These individuals tend to focus more on their personal ambitions rather than genuinely seeking the growth and betterment of the people they lead. As a result, team morale suffers, and achieving goals becomes a challenging task. Effective leadership, therefore, hinges on striking the right balance between promoting individual growth and nurturing a supportive, goal-oriented team environment. (Parr, S. 2023)

Effective leadership is characterized by the ability to build strong teams that work cohesively to reach common goals. A key aspect of this success is viewing team members, such as followers, employees, and staff, with optimism and confidence in their abilities. By fostering a positive and supportive environment, leaders can encourage their team members to collaborate efficiently and overcome challenges together. This approach ultimately results in higher productivity, increased motivation, and a unified vision among team members. (Parr, S. 2023)

Ineffective leaders often exhibit a concerning lack of essential qualities, thereby fostering confusion and disengagement within their teams. Immaturity, aggression, and impoliteness characterize these individuals, resulting in strained relationships and diminished team morale. Instead of inspiring trust and collaboration, these characteristics can give rise to a toxic work environment. Consequently, employees may become disenchanted with their roles, hampering overall productivity and organizational success. Additionally, aggressiveness can alienate subordinates, creating tension and resentment within the group. Furthermore, impolite leaders who utilize harsh language or demeaning comments can erode trust and foster a negative work environment. (Indeed Editorial Team, 2022)



Ethical leadership


Ethical leadership is a vital component of effective organizational management. It involves the practice of displaying strong moral principles and upholding the highest ethical standards in all decision-making processes.

Ethical leadership is a management approach that centres on fostering an environment of honesty, integrity, and fairness in the workplace. Leaders who practice ethical leadership demonstrate a commitment to making decisions based on ethical principles and promoting these values among their team members. This form of leadership not only establishes trust between leaders and employees, but also contributes to the overall success and sustainability of an organization. By integrating ethical principles into daily practices and decision-making processes, leaders can effectively navigate complex situations and cultivate a culture that prioritizes the greater good. (wgu, 2020)

Ethical leadership undoubtedly brings numerous advantages to organizations across various sectors. A strong adherence to ethical practices significantly improves a company’s brand image and reputation, positioning it as a responsible and trustworthy entity in the market. Moreover, ethical leadership fosters employee morale and loyalty, while simultaneously attracting new talent and investment opportunities. This holistic approach in turn nurtures customer loyalty and contributes to the organization’s long-term success and sustainability. (HR BLOG, 2022)

Different leadership styles entail diverse communication approaches, which can significantly influence a team’s performance and overall work environment. One common style is the directive communication, where a leader provides clear instructions and sets specific expectations for their subordinates. Another is the supportive style, which emphasizes empathy and creating strong relationships within the team, often resulting in a more collaborative and open atmosphere. Third, the aggressive communication style, typically discouraged in most situations, can be effective when urgent decisions are required, or in high-stress environments. Lastly, the participative communication style encourages team members to share their ideas and actively engage in decision-making processes, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment among the team. (Vries.  R.E.D, Bakker-Pieper. A & Oostenveld. W, 2009)

By employing a variety of methods such as listening, coaching, teaching, directing, advising, and motivating, leaders can tailor their approach according to individual needs and preferences. Listening helps leaders understand their team’s concerns and suggestions, leading to better decision-making. Coaching and teaching styles allow leaders to mentor and develop their team members’ skills and knowledge, while directing, advising, and motivating styles ensure that everyone stays focused on the organization’s goals. These diverse communication styles contribute to a harmonious work environment and promote overall success for both the employees and the company. (Bojic. A, 2022)




  Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. Often, this desire for harmony and conformity can lead to irrational decisions, as individuals suppress their own opinions and critical thinking to avoid conflict. This phenomenon can occur in various settings, such as in corporate board rooms or political platforms, where the pressure to maintain a unified front may override the importance of thorough debate and consideration of alternative viewpoints. Understanding and addressing the potential for groupthink is essential for fostering a healthy group dynamic that encourages constructive discussions and well-informed decision-making. (Cherry. K, 2022)

Groupthink may not be immediately evident but can be identified through various symptoms. Direct pressure within the group discourages dissenting opinions, leading individuals to conform to the majority’s view. Rationalizing is another sign, wherein the group justifies its decisions, ignoring any potential flaws or negative consequences. Stereotyping of outside opinions may occur, as well as self-censorship and illusions of invulnerability, which prevent individuals from voicing concerns and creates an overconfidence in the group’s decisions. By being aware of these signs, it is possible for individuals and organizations to mitigate the potential negative consequences of groupthink. Ultimately, fostering a culture of open communication and independent thinking can lead to better decision-making and creative problem-solving within a group. (Cherry. K, 2022)

These factors related to groupthink can contribute to flawed decision-making processes, as they impede the consideration of diverse perspectives and thorough evaluations of potential consequences. Moreover, such an environment may discourage members from proposing innovative solutions or critically assessing the group’s conclusions. To mitigate these issues in group decision-making, leaders and members must actively promote open dialogue, actively seek opposing views, and ensure that minority opinions are given due consideration. Encouraging this type of communication can significantly enhance the group’s overall decision-making effectiveness and help to avoid the pitfalls associated with groupthink. By fostering an environment where opposing viewpoints are actively encouraged, and critical thinking is valued, groups can mitigate the negative impacts of groupthink and improve the overall decision-making process. Ultimately, understanding and addressing the root causes of groupthink encourages more productive collaboration, which can lead to stronger and more innovative outcomes. (Cherry. K, 2022)


Autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire leadership


Autocratic leadership, also known as authoritarian leadership, is a leadership style characterized by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members. This leadership style can exacerbate groupthink as it discourages open communication and suppresses dissenting opinions, thus limiting the freedom of group members to contribute their diverse ideas and perspectives. In worst-case scenarios, autocratic leadership can result in a toxic environment where individuals fear expressing conflicting viewpoints. Fostering an environment that encourages open communication and values diverse opinions is essential to mitigating the negative effects of both groupthink and autocratic leadership styles. Therefore, to foster a more effective group decision-making process, it is crucial to adopt a leadership style that encourages active participation and diverse contributions from all group members. (Cherry. K, 2022)

In order to understand the implications of autocratic leadership, it is essential to examine its primary characteristics. Autocratic leaders allow little or no input from group members, make most of the decisions themselves, and dictate work methods and processes. Autocratic leaders tend to create highly structured, rigid environments that prioritize adherence to rules and procedures, potentially stifling innovation and adaptability. This leadership style also discourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, as the emphasis is placed on maintaining control and enforcing established systems. Furthermore, autocratic leaders are known to establish rules and demonstrate a strong inclination towards their strict enforcement, which may contribute to an atmosphere of constraint and unease among team members. While this style can be useful in certain situations, particularly where fast decision-making is required, it is important to balance it with opportunities for open dialogue and collaboration to foster a productive organizational environment and minimize the risks inherent in groupthink. (Cherry. K, 2022)

In contrast, democratic leadership embraces the value and potential of each group member, fostering a sense of inclusion and collaboration. This leadership style encourages open communication and active participation from all, promoting a sense of collective ownership over decisions, solutions, and goals. By valuing diverse perspectives and prioritizing shared decision-making, democratic leadership cultivates a supportive and empowered environment for both individual growth and overall success. Ultimately, this approach seeks to harness the full potential of every group member, leading to more innovative and effective outcomes. Some of the primary characteristics of democratic leadership include collaboration, engagement, and creativity. These traits stem from leaders who actively involve their team members in decision-making processes and entrust them with the execution of essential tasks. By doing so, democratic leaders foster a sense of shared responsibility, empowerment, and heightened morale within their teams. (Cherry. K, 2022)

Because group members are encouraged to share their thoughts, democratic leadership can lead to better ideas and more creative solutions to problems. This inclusive approach not only fosters a sense of ownership and increases job satisfaction among team members, but also contributes to more effective decision-making by drawing on a wide array of ideas and experiences. Additionally, democratic leadership facilitates the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills within the team, as members are actively encouraged to think critically and contribute to the decision-making process. Ultimately, these many benefits culminate in a more engaged, productive, and innovative team that is better equipped to adapt to the dynamic nature of today’s business environment. (Cherry. K, 2022)

Laissez-faire leadership, a concept derived from the French term meaning “let do” or “let go,” is characterized by a hands-off approach to management. Leaders who adopt this style trust their employees to autonomously carry out their tasks, fostering an environment of creativity and independence. By allowing team members to make their decisions and manage their workload, laissez-faire leaders encourage individual growth within the workplace. Often seen in creative and innovative industries, laissez-faire leadership encourages employee autonomy and fosters an environment where individuals can thrive and exhibit their full potential. When applied effectively, this leadership style can lead to increased job satisfaction, enhanced creativity, and a strong sense of individual ownership in organizational success. (WGU, 2020)

In order to function effectively in this environment, employees are given access to a wide array of resources and tools to help them resolve problems on their own. Constructive criticism is provided by leaders, when necessary, yet the emphasis remains on fostering self-reliance and autonomy within the team. This results in a culture of independence and problem-solving abilities, driving innovation and empowering individuals in the workplace. (WGU, 2020)


Reward system


Reward systems in leadership play a crucial role in the laissez-faire approach, providing the formal power for leaders to offer rewards to their employees. These incentives can further enhance employee motivation and dedication towards their tasks. By fostering a positive environment through recognition and the reinforcement of positive behaviours, innovation and productivity can thrive. Ultimately, a well-designed reward system serves as an invaluable resource under the laissez-faire leadership style, promoting both individual and organizational success. A well-constructed reward system offers several advantages to both employees and organizations alike. Higher attendance rates can be achieved, as employees are more motivated to come to work when their efforts are recognized and rewarded. With better work quality, a positive ripple effect is created within the organization, leading to greater job satisfaction and increased loyalty among employees. Moreover, the implementation of a rewarding system can significantly contribute to faster project completion, as it fosters a more collaborative and driven environment where every team member works at their optimum level to achieve collective success. (Indeed editorial team, 2023)

While there are several ways to reward employees, one can categorize them into four main groups: monetary, non-monetary, assistance, and recognition. Monetary rewards include salary increases, bonuses, and commissions, which provide a direct financial incentive for improved performance. Non-monetary rewards, on the other hand, focus on intrinsic motivation, such as offering flexible working hours, additional vacation time, or opportunities for personal and professional growth. Assistance rewards involve providing support for employees’ individual needs, such as childcare or health benefits, while recognition rewards work to acknowledge and celebrate achievements, either through formal award ceremonies or casual recognition from management and peers. (Indeed editorial team, 2023)

To successfully implement an effective reward system, there are several strategies to consider. First, make the rewards realistic and achievable to encourage engagement and motivation. Second, create group rewards to promote teamwork and collaboration within the workplace. Additionally, request feedback from employees to fine-tune the system and adapt it to their needs, and lastly, change the rewards periodically to maintain interest and excitement for ongoing participation. (Indeed editorial team, 2023)










Balogh,L. January 2019. ‘’sport culture’’. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-comparison-of-effective-and-ineffective-leaders-on-the-basis-of-Likerts-work-Klein_fig15_288835900. Read on 24 February 2023.


Bojic. A, 07 July 2022. ‘’Best communication styles for effective leaders’’. https://pumble.com/blog/communication-styles-for-leaders/. Read on 26 February 2023.


Cherry. K. 08 November 2022. ‘’what is democratic leadership?’’. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-democratic-leadership-2795315#:~:text=Democratic%20leadership%2C%20also%20known%20as,to%20schools%20to%20the%20government. Read on 26 February 2023.


Cherry. K. 27 February 2023. ‘’what is autocratic leadership? Characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of autocratic leadership’’. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-autocratic-leadership-2795314. Read on 26 February 2023.


HR blog. 01 December 2022. ‘’what is ethical leadership? Attributes, traits, & examples’’. https://www.thomas.co/resources/type/hr-blog/what-ethical-leadership-attributes-traits-examples. Read on 25 February 2023.


Indeed editorial team. 11 march 2023. ‘’What is reward system? ( plus types and tips to use)’’. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/reward-systems. Read on 17 March 2023.


https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/about-usIndeed editorial team. 25 August 2022. ‘’20 traits of an ineffective leader’’. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/ineffective-leaders. Read on 25 February 2023.


Parr, S. 2023. ‘’Four difference in effective and ineffective leaders’’. https://steveparr.net/four-differences-in-effective-and-ineffective-leaders/. Read on 24 February 2023.


Vries. R.E.D, Bakker-Pieper. A & Oostenveld. W. 04 octomber 2009. ‘’Leadership = Communication? The Relations of Leaders’ Communication Styles with Leadership Styles, Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes’’. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-009-9140-2. Read on 25 February 2023.


WGU. 29 June 2020. ‘’What is laissez-faire leadership?’’. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-laissez-faire-leadership2006.html. Read on 26 February 2023.


WGU. 30 January 2020. ‘’What is ethical leadership?’’. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-is-ethical-leadership2001.html#close. Read on 25 February 2023.

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