Becoming an effective leader

Outcome 1 

1.1 - Evaluate own ability to use a range of leadership styles, in different situations and with different types of people, to fulfil the leadership role

Leadership theory and approaches

Dispersed Leadership


Dispersed leadership is a concept that is based on the premise that, increasingly, leadership functions will be dispersed between more people for shorter periods. The idea being that circumstances will define who takes the leadership role and that it will not require deference to the formally appointed leader.


The assumption within dispersed leadership is that one individual will not necessarily have, or be expected to have, all the facets of leadership. However, these qualities, skills and attributes will be distributed throughout the team or organisation with individuals taking the lead when appropriate for the situation. This is not dissimilar to the well-debated situational leadership theory.


The difference being perhaps that it has more of a sense of being a cultural norm to rotate leadership depending on the task in hand. Critics assert though that it is only really useful for project teams and the like and that it could be problematic when deciding where responsibility lies. What dispersed leadership should do however is promote a culture where initiative in taking the lead is prominent, underpinned with a collaborative approach to strategic decision making.