These leaders can have both positive and negative influences on their subordinates and it is possible that one or more individuals may be conflicted in their leaders role in their organization while other co-workers may get along well with that leader and take instructions easily. So both contingency theories that demonstrate the effectiveness of a leader as related to his or her ability to adapt to different personal styles of their followers is important, as well as trait theories in realizing that a leader does not always have to formally lead. For these reasons, a leader can relax, be more informal, and have a happier staff with common goals.
Many leaders may believe that formal management of staff is always necessary if they have failed to adapt to meet the demands of differing personalities at the workplace. Contingency theory proposes that this adaptation is extremely important in work settings. If a leader has had negative experiences with others and has not properly gauged the importance of changing his or her style to constantly changing work environments, these negative relationships and actions may cause the manager to be more strict and uniform with all subordinates in his or her charge. This can create a hostile work environment, where the leader/manager gauges only negative outcomes and relationships with others and does not take the time to reshape thinking and improve morale.
At this point, a more relaxed and adaptable leader would need to step in and help employees to feel more comfortable and capable. In a simple sense, the leaders role in contingency theory, is to help reshape the work environment to demonstrate that the leader believes the best of his or her subordinates. This will create more loyalty and support from followers to their leader and help get the tasks at hand handled more efficiently. This example demonstrates how strict and formal leadership can have negative consequences, but how an adaptable and personable leader can manage less and more informally with a staff willing to be loyal to him or her and complete goals as a happier team.
Similarly, leaders that subscribe to McGregors Theory X will focus more on control and delegation and not take the time to realize the ambitions of his or her subordinates. This style of always formally leading can have many negative consequences on morale, especially if this leader is harsh with punishments and slow with praise. This type of leader would, most likely, not likely be very rewarding, in that Theory X followers believe that workers are inherently lazy, will only do what they are told to do, and have little sense of responsibility.
This is the opposite of what is needed for a healthy team environment, one which a Theory Y proponent would encourage. The Theory Y type of leader would not constantly, formally manage and would, instead work very hard in helping subordinates realize their worth and potential in the work team. In this way, human potential can flourish naturally and responsibilities for ones own actions can be noted. This less formal style on the part of the leader and more autonomous direction of the worker is very beneficial to morale, team-building, and achieving organizational goals.
In conclusion, it is not always best to formally lead others in a managerial sense. In looking at these two important leadership theories, it can be said that employees are usually much happier when they have the feeling that their leader believes in them and their ability to positively contribute to the team. In many circumstances, leaders must be formal in order to instruct and follow-up with some individuals that may be struggling.
But, it is of the utmost importance that a leader believes that every follower will respect him or her and help see a goal to its fruition. Additionally important is the ability for the leader to recognize how to adapt to different people and different sets of circumstances. Loyalty from subordinates will follow if this leader recognizes when to be informal and when to step in and formally guide. If a leader yields to all of this then morale will be high, the manager can relax more, and goals will be met.