When it comes to leadership styles, each individual has a style suited best to them. Of the seven main leadership styles, most leaders have a combination of styles that mesh together and form their managerial role. To understand the intricacies of leadership styles it is important to delve into the styles themselves.
- Democratic leadership – A commonly effective leadership style where the leader makes decisions after receiving input from each member of the team before ultimately making the final call. While this is one of the most effective styles, it teaches all members of the team regardless of their level within the team the ability to learn how to exercise authority wisely for future positions.
- Autocratic leadership – A rarely effective method that is the complete opposite of democratic leadership. In this method, leaders never seek out nor consider any opinions of any team members and therefore make decisions in a void that leaves employees feeling unappreciated and often discredited.
- Laisses-Faire leadership – This somewhat effective style literally translates from the French term “laissez faire” to “let them do” meaning this leadership style allows for the fill authority of employees to work however they’d like. While it can be effective with some employees, this leadership style can cause missed opportunities for growth and development in employees as well as critical business growth. Leaders who tend toward this style need to be aware that balance needs to be struck to keep the team growing and thriving.
- Strategic leadership – This commonly effective style is seen in managers who can balance the executive interests of the company with the overall working conditions for the employees. While this style is often sought by companies, it can be difficult for a manager to maintain as the perception is they can support everyone at once while steering in the right direction for the company at all times. This multitasking management style can lead to undue stress if the leader is not transparent about their abilities to juggle their tasks.
- Transformational leadership – A somewhat effective leadership style where the leader is constantly improving or transforming. This leader is always pushing employees to move outside of their comfort zone. While this is a good method to improve skillsets of employees, these leaders can sometimes lose sight of each individuals goals and learning curves and therefore make employees uncertain of their job requirements and abilities to keep up with them.
- Transactional leadership – This somewhat effective leadership style is common. These leaders reward their employees for the work they do on a regular scheduled basis like a bonus program for achieving certain specified goals quarterly. While it ensures a solid understanding of roles and responsibilities, it encourages bare-minimum work oftentimes.
- Bureaucratic leadership – This rarely effective leadership style is used by leaders who operate solely by the letter of the law. While these leaders may consider team input, they tend to reject it if it conflicts with past practices or company policy resulting in less innovation and slower growth and employee development.
As mentioned, most leaders have a combination of these styles that have meshed to become their unique style. There are many ways to discover a leader’s particular blend. One such method can be through Action Inquiry as researched and taught by Rooke, Torbert, and Fisher in their book, Personal and Organizational Transformations. Through discovering their particular slant on leadership, a leader can learn more about themselves and their strengths as well as their weaknesses. In making these discoveries, leaders gain the opportunity to grow and advance their skills to become stronger and more effective leaders.
Understanding the leadership style of your management team is important to foster an environment for growth and success in any organization. To learn more about how management styles can impact your business, contact Front Line Leadership’s Robert Winter at 832-483-5535 or contact us. Impactful strategies for successful leaders start at Front Line.