A leadership style refers to key characteristics and behavior exhibited by a leader when directing, guiding, motivating, and managing people. Great leaders inspire their teams and motivate them to perform, create, and innovate. I first got introduced to the key concept of leadership while managing teams at towing trucks in Kissimmee. Ideally, as you start to consider some of the people you consider great leaders, you will immediately start to see some key patterns, as well as differences in the way someone leads.
The good news is that from research, some different theories and frameworks allow us to understand common leadership styles, as we are going to discuss in this guide.
Democratic leadership is commonly effective leadership. The leader makes decisions based on the contributions of each member. Although the leader makes the final call, each employee has an equal say on the decision reached. It is an effective leadership style because it permits employees from a lower rank to express the way they would like decisions reached.
This type of leadership is rarely effective. It is the inverse of democratic leadership. The leader makes decisions from taking anyone’s input. In management, employees are neither consulted or considered before deciding on anything. It is a leadership style that frankly stinks. Most organizations today can’t support this type of leadership because of diverse cultures.
This type of leadership is sometimes effective. It is the least demanding and intrusive form of leadership. In French, the term Laissez-Faire means “let them do”. Leaders who embrace this form of leadership give nearly all authority to their employees. In young startups, you may see a founder who embraces this form of leadership, by making no major office policies around work and deadlines. He might put a lot of trust in employees while focusing on the overall output of running a company.
This form of leadership is commonly effective. It sits between a company’s main operations and its growth opportunities. The leader accepts all tasks and directions from executive interests while at the same time ensuring the current working conditions normal and stable for every person. Strategic leadership supports different types of employees at the same time. The only major problem with this type of leadership is that employees can’t have their way all the time.
This form of leadership is sometimes effective. It is based on always transforming and improving the company’s policies and conventions. Employees may have a set number of tasks and goals to meet at the end of a set time, but the leader is constantly pushing them outside their comfort zone to deliver more. When starting work with leaders embracing this form of leadership, employees might get a list of tasks to work on per set deadlines. While the tasks might seem simple at first, the manager might pick up the pace and give them more challenging tasks and goals as the company grows. It is a form of leadership commonly practiced in mid and fast-growing companies.