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Four types of leadership styles

Four types of leadership styles
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Leadership style is one of the essential things to have when building a thriving business. The success of any business depends on strong leadership style, but a leader means much more than just seniority or a title. Leaders play an important role in setting the culture of a team or organization. When leaders communicate and delegate, it sets an example for their employees. The leadership style a leader takes on can benefit the team, whether it be in a positive way or a negative one.  

Each leadership style has its benefits and drawbacks. Managers that are autocratic may have high productivity levels but they could potentially create a negative work environment and lower employee morale. Leadership styles that are perceived as more collaborative may set the tone for an open-minded, creative environment where ideas can be shared freely.

They also can have their drawbacks as well, such as having lower productivity levels and less focus on deadlines.  When it comes to leadership styles, how the example is set within the organization makes all the difference in the day-to-day experience of employees within that company.

Leaders exist at all levels, providing guidance, motivation, and clarity and inspiring confidence in those around them - whether they are colleagues or not. But when we see a leader implementing their ways and methods, you might wonder what leadership style they are using. 

In today's article, we will show you four types of leadership styles. Hopefully, you will understand how these four leadership styles work and help you manage your business better. 

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Four different types of leadership styles

The leadership style factors are a lot. Business leaders today use a variety of leadership styles, but here are four of the most common:

Autocratic Leadership 

Democratic Leadership 

Laissez-faire Leadership 

Transformational Leadership 

Autocratic Leadership 

This kind of leadership style is where the leader is in charge, and everything goes as they say. You will have to do as you are told as it’s ‘their way or the highway’.  An authoritarian leader does not focus on collaboration with others in their circle, does not respond to feedback, and prefers to control everything. This leadership style's quality is that autocratic leaders often possess qualities that subordinates admire, such as decisiveness, self-confidence, and a steadfast, focused commitment. There are moments when this kind of leadership works, usually in those super hectic and chaotic environments where a strong sense of control seems necessary.

On the other hand, all the cons of this kind of leadership style rain on the employees. This can negatively impact their performance and harm their creativity within the workplace. Furthermore, this will make them too dependent and incapable of making a decision. 

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Democratic Leadership 

In this leadership style, everybody has a say in the decision-making process. Democratic leaders are still the decision-makers, but they allow others to feel involved and have a say in the decision. Democratic leaders inspire creativity in their teams, and the contributions of all parties enrich projects. Examples of democratic leaders include Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, and Walt Disney, president of The Walt Disney Company.

Leaders of democratic parties possess a curiosity that drives them to seek information from everybody.  Their desire for a participatory environment makes them great communicators, so the team can easily approach them. Leadership that is democratic yields positive results when the group feels part of the solution. Different leadership styles lead to different results. As a result, more creative input is generated, and employee morale is often elevated. However, the democratic approach does not work for every leader. Their ideas or solutions that were not chosen will inevitably leave some employees feeling left out. In addition, trusting a group with solutions can be problematic if the group lacks the necessary skills or training. Participative leadership or democratic leadership. Participatory or democratic leadership decentralizes authority. Plans and policies are formulated in consultation with subordinates. Participation in decision-making is encouraged by him. Also, if everyone votes on something different you may create a sense of confusion among the team by lacking a strong guiding principle.

Laissez-faire Leadership 

You might be unfamiliar with this term, but it is a more carefree kind of leadership. Instead of being controlling, it is giving your workers the freedom to complete the task at hand without much interference or continual questioning.  Laissez-faire managers allow their staff members to make decisions while remaining accessible to give constructive feedback when required.

Laissez-faire leaders excel at delegating and inspiring trust in their staff by giving them autonomy over responsibilities. They can offer helpful criticism when necessary, and because they freely give staff responsibility, they are frequently viewed as trusting. Allowing the team to make a faster decision when facing a difficulty, they do not have to worry about their leader's approval which sometimes takes a long time. This is very effective in creating a team for sound decision-making skills, because instead of relying on others to tell them what to do they are building up their intuition and decision-making muscles.

This kind of leadership style is not always preferable, especially if your team is new. To reach that level of confidence and knowledge it requires years. Otherwise, it is very risky.

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Transformational Leadership 

The process of employing transformational leadership is creating an all-important vision and organizing your team around it. This approach encourages the team to grow personally and professionally to accomplish the overarching overall objective. Teams working under a transformational leader are united for a single goal and ready to devote their effort, time, and energy to the business when the company and its employees align. Under transformational leadership, employees can clearly perceive the organization's vision and goals and continue to be devoted and productive as they strive to fulfill their mission. Since everyone collaborates and there is constant communication between the staff and the leadership, transformational leadership fosters peace in the workplace.

Every leader wants a totally devoted and engaged team, yet transformational leadership has a history of causing burnout as staff members work nonstop to accomplish objectives. The employees must constantly communicate with the leadership and provide feedback. Over time this can get pretty overwhelming for employees following the same line of rules over and over again. Most people mix this one with transactional leadership which is not the case here. Every team member needs to be informed for such cases. This does depend of the company culture. There are companies that support the coaching leadership, for ensuring that in the future they will have an effective and visionary leader. This will impact the future decision making process.

Main characteristics of leadership styles

The aforementioned types of leadership styles do affect your business in both some good and some bad ways. Finding the main types of leadership styles would help you a lot in the long run of your business. Luckily for you, we have gathered the top qualities of all the already mentioned leadership styles to see which matches you best. The authoritarian leaders avoid working with others. They usually leave this on the management style and the management motivate employees.

But what makes good leaders and great leaders? Are those the ones that build strong relationships with other team members? Styles of leadership vary from one to another depending on what works best for the company.

Cultures, companies, and leaders can change a lot over time. Therefore, while there are trends and patterns in leadership, they don’t always apply universally.

1. Charismatic

Charismatic leaders are inspiring, charismatic, and energetic. They are able to motivate employees using their skills of public speaking and their personal charisma. Charismatic leaders inspire employees who find it exciting to follow someone they look up to.

2. Consultative

A consultative leader prefers to discuss issues with his or her team before making decisions or taking action. This allows individuals to understand the reasoning behind decisions and the expected outcomes. A consultative leader will listen to the ideas of the team before making a decision, as he respects their opinions and values their views.

3. Commanding

A commanding leader acts in a very direct way and expects members of the team to follow his/her orders as is. These leaders are very direct and give orders without considering the feelings of others. This can make employees feel disrespected, unappreciated, or disregarded by their leader.

4. Participative

Participative leaders appreciate individual opinions and value the opinions of their team members. They often get input from their team members before making decisions and utilize those ideas to help others understand why those decisions were made. This can lead to an increased sense of responsibility in the team as well as increased trust between coworkers.

Transformational Leadership 

  • Knowing what changes were needed
  • Ability to spark intellectual interest
  • Ability to motivate engagement
  • Genuine communication skill
  • Devotion
  • Keen awareness of the broader picture
  • Having strong values
  • A clear vision of the future

Laissez-faire Leadership 

  • Ability to delegate
  • Not worried about everything done “your way”
  • Trusting in other’s abilities and experience
  • Wanting to ‘move quickly and break things’
  • Not letting the perfect get in the way of the good
  • Trusting your team to grow into their responsibilities

Democratic Leadership 

  • Cares about all points of view equally
  • Believes in the “wisdom of the crowd.”
  • Worries that the best ideas are hidden
  • Values diversity more than average
  • Thinks that group brainstorming & consensus is key
  • Doesn’t want to appear overbearing

Autocratic Leadership 

  • Wants complete control
  • Has more experience than most people
  • Believes people work best when given clear guidance
  • Has a strong vision of the future
  • Enjoys diving into the messy details
  • Very confident
  • Decisive in the face of tough decisions

Leadership In The Workplace Importance Conclusion

We at Incognito for Slack believe every person has the potential to be a great leader. The key is to understand your leadership style and how to bring out the leadership in you and your team. This article explores the four different types of leadership styles that you can use when managing your team and making decisions. Improving your leadership abilities will not only help you to become more effective and efficient, but it will also give you the chance to inspire others and be an example to everyone around you.

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