5 Top Leadership Styles And How To Discover Yours
Is leadership something you are born with, or is it something you are made with? This is a philosophical question, but a more practical question now is: How do you lead? Being part of the management or owner of a start-up business requires leadership skills. Different situations, organizations (or their stages), and the personalities of leaders and members require different approaches.
See below for real-life applications of five common leadership styles.
Autocratic or “do as I say” leadership styles
Leaders with an authoritarian style tend to make their own decisions with little or no consideration for the views of their subordinates; they believe they know more than their subordinates and are therefore reluctant to listen to them.
When does it work best: his approach works when the leader is faced with a complex situation and needs to make a decisive decision. This assumes that the leader has the best understanding of the situation and can make tough decisions for everyone.
When is it not effective: In the long run, not listening to subordinates and lack of team communication can lead to inefficiency as well as possible difficulties in the workplace. In the presence of an authoritarian leader, members are unable to offer their ideas, even if they have the knowledge or skills to do so, and can greatly reduce members’ motivation to work.
Authoritative or “follow me” leadership
The authoritative leadership style emphasizes visionary goals and calls on employees to work towards them. An authoritative leader is a visionary who knows how to motivate employees by making it clear that their work is part of the organization’s visionary goals. The authoritative leader also keeps employees fully engaged in the organization’s goals and strategies.
When does it work best: An authoritative style of leadership keeps employees fully engaged in the organization’s goals and strategies. They set individual employee tasks within the framework of the company’s visionary goals and set standards of action based on such visionary goals Authoritative leaders emphasize the ultimate goal, but they do not ask employees how they are going to achieve it, instead of giving them the opportunity to express themselves fully. In this free space, employees can be practical, innovative, and cautiously adventurous.
When is it not effective: While there are differences between authoritarian and authoritative leaders, the control aspect is there. Authoritative leaders may announce the direction of discussions, assign special tasks to members, and make decisions without asking the rest of the team for advice. The authoritative leader may exercise too much control, and when the leader becomes arrogant and bossy by seeking too much authority, he undermines the team spirit.
Democratic or “what do you think” leaders
Democratic leadership is one of the types of leadership styles. A leadership style is in which the leader initiates discussion among subordinates, discusses together, brainstorms, and then makes decisions. It requires rapport between the top and bottom and working in cooperation and agreement. It is expressed in the democratic consultative and democratic participative styles.
When does it work best: The distinguishing characteristic of democratic leadership is consensus through participation. A leader who adopts this style involves employees in decisions that affect their work; calls frequent meetings to listen to employees; and rewards positive performance so that leaders can earn the trust, respect, and support of others and increase employee buy-in to work goals.
When is it not effective: Endless meetings where ideas are exchanged over and over again without results, or worse, these democratic leaders delay decisions on the pretext that there is a disagreement. As a result, employees feel confused and disoriented, and the democratic leadership style can even exacerbate conflicts.
The laissez-faire or “go with the flow” style of leadership
Laissez-faire leaders and their hands-off approach are opposed to authoritarian leaders and their dictatorial style. In a laissez-faire style of management, the leader delegates tasks without intervening during the process and leaves members to their own devices.
When does it work best: Staff autonomy plays a key role, as leaders trust their people to work with little supervision, adopting a go-along-to-get-along approach and completing tasks with quality and quantity even without supervision.
When is it not effective: Laissez-faire leaders stay involved. Still, the success of the system depends on members who are self-motivated and know exactly what they need to do; a lack of supervision can lead to chaos, poor performance, etc.
Servant or”people-centered” leadership
Service is at the heart of this leadership style, where the leader considers the interests of others first and then their own. People-oriented leaders focus on group members, pursue a people relations approach and strive to maintain friendly, supportive relationships with their followers. Accompanying the relational orientation is usually a sense of trust in the ministry and less of a perceived need to control them, much less closely supervise them.
When does it work best: People-centred leaders focus on the human element, train their people, consult them, give honest feedback and prefer teamwork. People-centered leaders focus on: team building, training, giving back.
When is it not effective: Servant leaders want to improve employee morale, build trust in the workplace, and other efforts that take time to achieve. Servant leadership is more of a long-term model rather than a situation-specific technique. It is also important to note that servant leaders may face burnout, or be overwhelmed by responsibility.
What Kind of Leader Are You?
Your brand of leadership can be a mix of many styles and techniques, as noted above. There’s no textbook to teach you everything about being a leader, and sometimes you have to experience it first to learn.
Notwithstanding the many challenges that come with being responsible for your team, be the leader worth emulating.
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