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There are four types of leadership out there: supportive leadership, directive leadership, participative leadership, and achievement oriented leadership. What they all have in common is that they are all part of what we call the path goal leadership theory. Today, we are going to learn more about this theory, and focus on the achievement oriented leadership. In this respect, we are going to find out what it means, what it entails, and how you can practice it in sport to obtain performance. Let’s begin!
The Path Goal Leadership Theory
The path goal leadership theory was first introduced in 1970, and further developed in 1971. It refers to the type of leadership style that best works in a certain work environment. Its goal is to help both the employer and employee achieve their goals. However, it is destined more for people in charge. It teaches them how they can motivate their employees to become their best self, so as to benefit the organization.
The leadership theory basically entails a process through which the employer chooses the best tactics and behaviors that apply to their employee’s needs. That way, they will guide them through the path of reaching their goals. This is where the name of the theory also comes from. The employer can choose from 4 different types of leadership: directive, participative, supportive, and achievement oriented.
The directive type of leadership is based on you assigning clear tasks and establishing goals and expectations. In the participative type of leadership, the employees get full support from the employer, in a process of mutual participation. The supportive type of leadership is based a lot on the relationship that forms between the employer and the employee. Finally, the achievement oriented leadership focuses on high standards and challenging goals.
The Achievement Oriented Leadership
Now that we’ve become acquainted with the path goal leadership theory and the 4 styles of leadership, let’s focus on the achievement oriented leadership. This type of leadership is largely uses when you want to see sustained productivity from the people you are leading. The goal is to make the employees see past the material gains. They should become passionate about what they have to do. In this respect, you have to get to know your employees better and see what motivates each of them. Then, you need to find a way to work those personal motivations into a common goal. This will be the goal of the entire team. In this type of leadership, each member of the team should establish what are his or her objectives. Furthermore, he or she should identify the steps they have to take in order to reach the final goal.
Success vs Failure
You should celebrate every success and analyze every failure.Why? In order to see what went wrong and learn from that mistake. As a leader with an achievement oriented leadership, you have to make sure your team doesn’t lose track of its goals. In order to achieve that, keep them constantly focused. Moreover, you should teach them a mentality that never looks at setbacks as if they were failures. They should regard setbacks as an opportunity to learn something new and that’s all. On the same note, you should celebrate success, but this should not spread a mentality aimed towards settling. There is always the possibility to do better next time. And not because you want to compete with someone from the outside. But that you have learned how to compete with yourself.
Another important part of the achievement oriented leadership is the ability to know when to take risks. Taking risks is a great strategy, but you have to know that there isn’t always a good time for that. Also, allow your employees to make their own decisions and show faith in their abilities. You are not only a leader, you are also a team member. Encourage them to improve themselves and give them the space they need to do that.
Achievement Oriented Leadership in Sports
After reading our detailed description of the achievement oriented leadership, you’ve probably already realized how much it can apply to sports, and how effective it can be to help athletes and sports players obtain high performance and success. For instance, if you have to coach or train a team of athletes, and you want to use the achievement oriented leadership, what do you have to do?
First of all, you have to understand that this leadership entails high expectations, constant challenges, and a high level of confidence in your team’s ability to achieve the goals that you set together. What you can do is establish a main goal. Then, think of smaller goals that the team can achieve in time. For instance, the main goal could be to win a game. The other goals can involve certain executions or tactics applied successfully. The mentality you need to instill in your team’s mind is that the smaller goals are as important as the final one. Because ultimately, if they manage to achieve that set of goals, they are one step closer to winning the game, which was the main goal to begin with.
How to Apply It?
Before starting the game, you have to clearly state the expectations that you have from your team. Do not fear that you will intimidate them, express your ideas in a confident manner and show that you fully trust them to go through with the task at hand. If you show them how much you value excellence, you will teach them to apply the same tactic, and expect more and more from themselves, both as individuals and as members of the same team. Teach them that they have to continuously improve themselves, and to do so for the benefit of the team, and not to compete with other teams.
Summing Everything Up
If after you have familiarized yourself with what the achievement oriented leadership means, you realize that this is the exact type of leadership your team needs in order to succeed, do not hesitate to try it. Remember, establish clear goals, create constant challenges, have high expectations, but also show high levels of confidence in your team’s abilities. Lead them to performance, but at the same time allow them to establish their own path, and trust that they will put the team’s interests first. There is no doubt you can create wonderful things together by using the achievement oriented leadership style.
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