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8 Common Leadership Styles: Which Is Right for You?

Posted on 03/08/22 By Guest Contributor


If you were asked to describe what a great leader is, what would you say? There may be as many responses to this question as there are respondents.

Leadership is a highly subjective practice. Nonetheless, leadership is essential to the realization of organizational goals. We will sneak a peek into eight major leadership styles, their pros and cons, and where you lie.

1. Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leaders are essentially dictators who arrive at decisions without consulting members of the teams they lead. Moreover, they define the nitty-gritty of how tasks will be accomplished. Autocratic leaders do not like to be criticized by their teams. This makes team members feel unvalued. 

The main benefit of autocratic leadership is that decisions are made fast. Besides, there is a thorough follow-up on the team's performance.

2. Participative Leadership

Participative leadership, also referred to as democratic leadership, is the exact opposite of autocratic leadership. Democratic leadership canvasses opinions from the group. The group then brainstorms each idea raised before making a decision. The collaborative leadership approach boosts morale and improves workplace engagement because teams feel that their idea is valid. 

The downside of democratic leadership lies in the difficulty of reaching a consensus before formulating an action plan.

3. Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire Leadership is essentially a hands-off type of leadership where the leader provides the resources needed to accomplish a task. The leader then steps back. The team comes up with ways to solve the problem, implement the plan, and present the solution to the leader. This leadership style is the reverse of micromanagement. 

Groups have the wiggle room to come up with innovative solutions to problems. However, this type of leadership can produce chaotic results if the teams are not properly organized.

4. Servant Leadership

Servant leadership involves helping others achieve their objectives first. The philosophy behind servant leadership is that the fulfillment of team members translates to productivity. 

Servant leaders always position the needs of others above their own. Servant leadership produces highly motivated employees, enhanced performance, and a likable work culture. 

The greatest challenge with servant leadership is being a servant leader.

5. Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership rewards performance while meting out punishment for non-performance. The leader clearly defines performance parameters. Transactional leadership can help you meet targets in work environments with KPIs that are easily measurable. 

The disadvantage of transactional leadership is it leads to a "life-less" work environment.

6. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders work at transforming the organization as a whole by empowering workers. Instead of focusing on single tasks, they see the organization in its entirety and focus on business-wide growth.

Transformational leadership offers employees room to experiment with new processes. Consequently, teams are empowered and inspired to rally around a common goal. 

The main issue is when some people are uncomfortable with the change in the status quo.

7. Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leaders have a magnetic personality that rallies people around a common goal. These leaders articulate their vision eloquently and charge up members to pursue it.

The main challenge with charismatic leadership is when the leader is propelled by their own biases and focuses on a narrow course of action, excluding other options that may be better.

8. Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic leadership is keen on adhering to the laid-down procedure in an organization. These leaders stick to the script and are great at ensuring standards are maintained. 

Bureaucratic leadership is useful in highly regulated workplaces.

What's the Right Leadership Type for You?

It's likely that you have already identified your dominant leadership style. The default leadership style you adopt is mainly determined by your unique personality, organizational needs, and the type of team you are leading.

Traditional leadership styles are still relevant in the 21st-century workplace. However, you need to remain agile and ready to adjust from one leadership style to another for continued progress in your business.

Building leadership capacity through professional training is one of the ways of enhancing the agility of your leadership. Take our leadership training programs and improve your leadership skills. Contact us for more insightful information and inquiries about leadership.

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