The Different Types of Leadership Styles
There are believed to be about 12 different styles of leadership. The majority of successful business leaders do not subscribe to a single style of leadership, instead bridging the borders between the 12. However, there are five different accepted styles of leadership that most people do fall into to some degree. Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, is also known to have one of these specific styles, although he has yet to admit which one of the five it is. Let’s take a look at those five styles.
A laissez-faire type of leader does not provide her or his employees with any direct supervision. They also don’t often provide feedback to those who they manage. That may sound like a negative, but there are plenty of highly skills and experienced employees that do not require a lot of supervision, and they are best served with this style of leadership. That said, it is important to recognize the fact that many employees do need more supervision, or to at least have access to supervision as and when they require it. Some managers like this style because it is quite effortless, meaning that they can be more involved with other things they have to do. However, if used with the wrong kinds of employees, it can lead to lack of control, poor production, and, ultimately, increased costs.
The autocratic style means that managers make all the decisions, without any consultation. They have all the authority and impose their wills. An autocratic leader is never challenged. A good example of autocratic leadership is seen in North Korea, which is also a dictatorship. Interestingly, this style can work if applied properly. For instance, people who need close supervision, like parolees, tend to benefit from it. However, anyone who likes to work in collaborative groups will hate this style.
The participative or democratic leader is someone who values input from others, but they hold the ultimate responsibility of making decisions. This type of leadership is very good to boost morale, because people feel more involved in the decision making process. This means that their opinions are valued. This type of leadership is particularly beneficial when organizations are going through change, as it ensures employees know that they were able to direct change themselves.
Transactional leadership is used by those who provide rewards or punishments to their members of staff depending on how they perform. For this to work, specific goals have to be set strategically, and employees need to have great clarity about what is expected of them, as well as agreeing to go in that direction. A transactional manager can review results, provide training, and give rewards to those who achieve what is expected.
Lastly, there is the transformational style of leadership. Here, managers need to communicate heavily in order to reach their goals. Transformational leaders are motivators, empowering their team members to be productive and efficient and to meet goals. Transformational leaders also strongly lead by example.