Leadership Styles - Which One Works Best?
Three main types of leadership style are globally recognised in the workplace that we have reviewed below at both ends of the spectrum of task management.
There are also four new types of leadership identified in the modern office environment that perhaps a new breed of manager now follows. All will work in the right circumstances or project to get things done quickly or to motivate a workforce and staffing over a longer period of time.
The Three Classic Styles of Leadership
There are three leadership styles developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin that are considered to be among the "classic" methodologies used by business leaders. Each has its strengths and drawbacks - here are more details on each of them:
1. Laissez-Faire Leadership
This type is the largely hands-off with minimal direction and supervision from the manager to the staff. The key to using this method is having well trained and efficient directors who can work as intermediaries between you and your employees.
2. Autocratic Leadership
This is a leadership style that has become something of a relic in today's business environment. The reason is that most employees work better without the overbearing presence of their boss around at all times. However, there are some who would argue that the Autocratic methods are still as effective as they were in Feudal Europe - but only if properly balanced with feedback and face time.
3. Participative Leadership
The third approach is to find a happy medium between the above two methods. These managers back-off more to allow people to tap their creativity and think independently using their own initiative, while still maintaining enough control to guide the overall vision of teams without imposing their own vision on their decisions. In short, you're giving them a much greater lead and will need to be more trusting of decisions made by your directors.
These three leadership types form the foundation of most styles used by corporate leaders today. However, they do not necessarily encompass every philosophy on the nature of a business and how leadership skills should be developed.
Other Leadership Styles
Other leadership styles that are popular in a number of fields, or that have been popular in the past include:
4. Situational Leadership
This has leaders using their leadership skills in different methods depending on if the situation calls for task or relationship oriented decisions.
5. Transactional Leadership
This technique has you getting things done within the current methods accepted by the industry. Many people refer to this method as a "by the book" management style.
6. Transformational Leadership
The opposite of Transactional, Transformational Leadership revolves around breeding change in as many ways as possible.
7. Strategic Leadership
Many large corporations, as well as the armed forces, use this leadership style - essentially working to outwit an opponent at every step.
Leadership is a management area that's critical to improve staff morale and productivity. Everyone needs to find the leadership style that works best for themselves and their subordinates. What works for your superiors may not work for you and your team. However, if you take some time and analyse different leadership styles and how they work for different personality types, you stand a much better chance of success as a leader.
Leadership is not something to be stepped into lightly, and if it does not come to you naturally, as is the case for many new managers or business owners, it's important to spend some time determining which method of leadership will work best as part of your personal development plan.
If you know the culture of your particular business well, this may be easier, as you only need to adjust to the needs of your employees. However, if you're moving into a new industry or an established corporation, making the right leadership decisions can be hard when you're unaware of current practices.