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What do you think when you hear the word “leadership”? Why do we need leadership in our lives? What kind of leadership styles should a person use in order to lead a team to work effectively and productively? These are the questions we will discuss is this weeks column.
Leadership is the ability to mobilise people to develop and achieve a team’s vision. Chheng Kimlong, who is the lecturer of business administration at the University of Cambodia, said that leadership is the ability to develop and communicate a vision to a group of people that will allow that vision to become a reality.

In our daily lives, we need leadership or else we will never attain our team’s goal. In order to make a team work effectively, cooperatively, and collaboratively, the leader has to realise what style of leadership works in what situation.

Phy Nidona, who is currently the vice president of the Incoming Exchange (ICX) Team of the AIESEC based at IFL, received an award from the AIESEC National Team because of his great achievement in leading the ICX Team to be the best in Cambodia. He said he used two styles of leadership, the democratic and autocratic style, in order to make his team work successfully.

“When preparing a project, I don’t plan it alone although I am the leader. I tell the whole team what the goal of our team is and after they know what it is, all members realise what they have to do. In contrast, if my members do not do their job, I will find the reasons why they don’t do those tasks. Then, I will talk to them.” Phy Nidona said.

Chheng Kimlong said that there are three styles of leadership: authoritarian, participatory and laissez-faire.

Autocratic leadership is an extreme form where the leader exerts high levels of power over his or her employees or team members. Members within the team have few opportunities to share ideas or make suggestions. Participatory leadership is a form that leaders use to encourage and motivate members in the team to contribute to the decision-making process. Laissez-faire leadership is where the leader allows his or her colleagues to get on with their work and just monitors what their colleagues are doing.

“There is no exact prescription that informs a leader which style he should utilise. A leader should take everything into account, including who are their followers, what is their situation, who is the leader, what is the nature of task, and what are the benefits for all involved, Kimlong advised.

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