Leadership style can be described as the manner in which a person with power uses it to lead others. The duties of the leader, the particular situation, and the followers are the factors that will determine the appropriate leadership style.
There are leaders who don’t feel comfortable working in situations where a lot of their followers are involved in the decision-making. And there are employers who just don’t know how to assume responsibility. Certain problems require an instant solution from the leaders without any contribution from the followers. The situation will determine the particular interaction style to be employed by the leader.
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Different Types of Leadership Styles
We have compiled 12 different types of leadership styles employed by people when leading organizations or groups of people. Different situations require different styles. You can go through the list to decide the one that works best for your situation.
1. Autocratic Leadership Style
An autocratic leadership is the type of leadership that is focused on the leader. This style of leadership involves giving the leader all the authority as well as responsibilities. The leader makes all the decisions without listening to any input from the subordinates. Once they make those decisions, they pass them on to their subordinates and expect it to be implemented immediately. There is barely any flexibility in an autocratic work environment.
This type of leadership has a lot of procedures, guidelines, and policies. Statistically, autocratic leadership style hardly ever succeeds. Examples of leaders that support this leadership style include Donald Trump (Trump Organization) and Albert J Dunlap (Sunbeam Corporation) to name a few.
2. Democratic Leadership Style
This leadership style includes subordinates in the decision-making. Unlike what is obtained in the autocratic leadership style, this leadership style encourages contributions from subordinates. Although the leader in a democratic leadership has final responsibility, however, he/she can delegate authority to others to control work projects.
The fact that communication flows freely between the leader and the followers, is a unique aspect of this style of leadership. Statistically, democratic style of leadership is the most common leadership style, and it promotes of the following: competence, fairness, intelligence, creativity, honesty, and courage.
3. Strategic Style of Leadership
Strategic leadership is a type of leadership that comprises of a leader who is in charge of an organization. This leadership style, however, is not limited to those at the apex of the organization. It spreads across a broader audience at every level and to everybody who wants to prioritize high-performance in their team or organization.
A strategic leader is one that can merge possibility with practicability through certain prescriptive habits. An efficient strategic leadership is one that can deliver when it comes to what is naturally expected from the leadership of an organization with regards to change. At least 55% of this leadership style has to do with strategic thinking.
4. Transformational Leadership Style
Unlike other styles of leadership, transformational leadership involves initiating change within a group, organization, oneself or others.
Transformational leaders have what it takes to motivate others to give their best, often doing things they didn’t even know they were capable of. Such leaders set expectations that are more challenging which helps them produce higher performance.
Statistically, the followers of this leadership style tend to be more committed and satisfied.
5. Team Leadership
Team leadership is a leadership style that creates a vivid picture of what its future should look like, thereby inspiring its followers and giving them purpose and a sense of direction.
Team leadership inspires its followers to put their hearts and mind into the job. It also recognizes the fact that teamwork might not always include trusting cooperative relationships. Its success rate is one of the most challenging features of this leadership style. According to the Harvard Business Review, poor leadership is one of the courses of team failure.
6. Cross-Cultural Leadership
This leadership style is used mainly in societies with different cultural backgrounds. Most organizations, especially international organizations prefer leaders who have the ability to adjust their style to fit into different environments. Majority of the leadership styles obtained in the U.S are cross-cultural since the country is made up of people with different cultural backgrounds.
7. Facilitative Leadership Style
Facilitative leadership style is one that is overly dependent on outcomes and measurements, rather than skill, even though it requires a lot of skill to master it. In this style, group’s effectiveness is directly connected to the efficacy of its entire process. When the group functions effectively, the facilitative leader will be light on the process.
And where the group is not functioning effectively, the facilitative leader becomes more directly involved in the group process. An effective facilitative leadership is about monitoring the dynamics of the group, offering suggestions on the process, and intervening to keep the group on track.
8. Laissez-faire Leadership Style
Laissez-faire is a leadership style that gives employees authority. The subordinates or departments are given free rein to work as they see fit with little or no interference. Research has revealed that this leadership style is the least satisfying and effective style of management.
9. Transactional Leadership Style
This leadership style seeks to maintain the status quo. It also involves a process of exchange, where followers are given immediate and tangible rewards for executing the orders of the leaders. Transactional leadership is quite basic as its primary focus is exchange.
Focusing on expectations, making yourself clear, and providing feedbacks are all essential leadership skills. According to statistics from Boundless.com, the following behaviors can be associated with transactional leadership: clarifying expectations of follower’s performance; providing a way to meet these expectations; and providing rewards that are subject to the fulfillment of those objectives.
10. Coaching Leadership
Coaching leadership has to do with the supervision and teaching of followers. A coaching leader can be very effective where there is a requirement for performance/results. This leadership style involves helping the followers enhance their skills. Apart from motivating the followers, coaching leadership also inspires and encourages them.
11. Charismatic Leadership
A charismatic leader is one that utilizes his or her revolutionary appeal. Charisma is not just about behavioral change, it involves a complete transformation of the values and beliefs of the followers.
This is what distinguishes a leader who is charismatic from a mere populist leader who might affect people’s attitudes towards certain objects, but may not be as prepared as a charismatic leader to make a complete transformation of the underlying normative orientation which structures certain behaviors.
12. Visionary Leadership
This is the type of leadership where the leaders recognize the fact that the steps, methods, and process of leadership can only be obtained through the people. All great leaders have this visionary quality.
However, it is only those who are truly visionaries that can be said to exhibit visionary leadership. Exceptional leaders will always find ways to make their visions a reality.