Ian Pearson, Negosetro | A true leader is much more than just a person in high, powerful position. A leader needs to be an example to everybody else, know how to inspire and motivate the people that are following him and most importantly to know how to inspire loyalty in others and not the fear. All of that can be achieved in many different ways and these skills and traits will not fit every leader and its style of leadership. All companies operate differently and so do leaders who run them. However, having an understanding of various leadership styles can help out executives to choose appropriate management that will lead the company in the direction they want. Here are some examples of variant leadership styles you can encounter, their characteristics and benefits they bring to the table:
Transformational leadership is one of the most desirable leadership styles that inspires the rest of your employees by having effective and open communication and creating the environment that is intellectually stimulating. They focus on individual and team growth by helping every element of the company grow in sense of productivity and efficiency. But they have disadvantages as well and in case of transformational leaders, they lack attention to details.
Servant (Team) leadership
Servant, or better said team leadership is a power-sharing model of authority where the needs of the team are a priority and this style of leadership encourages collective decision-making. A well-organized team can assure a very productive and efficient workplace. Team building exercises are not enough for that to happen, a powerful team leader plays a key role in company’s organisational development. Research done on this leadership style showed that it can improve the diversity and boost the morale of the team for a more productive workday. On the other hand, servant leaders can lack authority and can encounter a conflict of interest by putting his team ahead of business objectives.
Opposite of team leadership is the autocratic leadership where a leader has a significant control and authority over staff and seldom considers the suggestions of the employees. Power is all his and he is not willing to share it. This type of leadership is not really appreciated by the staff and that can lead to conflicts and other problems such as lack of creativity since every decision comes from a single point of view. This kind of leader is the best fit for a company where jobs require limited skills and routine work is done, or where authority is very much needed, such as in military organization.
Democratic leadership means that leaders often gives the team to share their ideas before making a final decision leading up to more creative resolutions and a higher level of satisfaction among the employees and that can definitely benefit the company. Decisions made in this way affect the entire company and that is why this type of leadership is considered both fair and efficient. Democratic leaders easily gain trust and loyalty from the employees and while still maintaining authority and that results in higher productivity and providing your team with a sense of intrinsic motivation which maybe is the best form of motivation. Democratic leadership style can have a downside in companies where quick decision-making is of crucial matter.
Bureaucratic leadership is most often found in very regulated administrative environments where following the rules and respecting a hierarchy is the of the biggest importance. The bureaucratic leader makes sure that everybody is following the rules and does everything by the book, leaving little to no place for creativity and improvisation. In health and safety departments this type of leadership can be very effective.
There is a certain amount of similarity between transformational and charismatic leadership style. They both rely on charm and positive personality of the leader. A charismatic leader is considered likable and trustworthy and those traits can help in leading the team efficiently.
Situational leadership, developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in 1969, means that best leaders can use a range of variant leaderships styles depending on the work environment, types of employees, the complexity of tasks and more. These leaders can adjust their leadership styles for any given situation and switch from one style to another when the certain situation necessitates.
In order to become an effective and great leader that will be respected and trusted, you need to have an understanding of all these leadership styles listed above. You need to gain charisma, strong communication skills and definitely find the way to inspire and motivate your employees in order to maintain a healthy and productive work environment. You also need to know when to be an autocratic and when a democratic leader, depending on the situation and company you in. You don’t need to put fear in your employees to maintain authority, there are plenty other ways to achieve discipline and effective work environment. Also if you are an executive that needs to hire a person to lead and manage your company, having an understanding of these leadership styles will ease your hiring process and you will be able to find the right person that will fit your company’s style and lead it to the top.