Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Eleven major styles of leadership

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It is normal for your personality and experience to affect your leadership style. While there is no single right way to lead, identifying your leadership style can help you grow your skills and support your team. In this article, we describe 11 different types of leadership, along with their pros and cons depending on the situation.

What do Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison have in common? Both are exceptional leaders. One is changing the landscape of the tech industry, while the other faces the challenges of retailing every day. Both have forward-looking ideas, have a vision of their work, and are compelling enough to grab the public’s attention. 

There is no single style of leadership that works for all people. Each leader has a personality and a wealth of experiences that influence their leadership style, which can change over time. It is possible that you are a different leader today than you will be in the future. 

To help you better understand your current leadership style and how you can use it to motivate your team to make an impact, we’ve analyzed the eleven most common leadership styles and theories. 

1. Authoritarian (autocratic) leadership

Authoritarian leaders, also called autocrats, clearly have command and control over their peers. Decisions are made centrally, meaning only one person makes the important decisions. An authoritarian leader has a clear view of the big picture, but involves the rest of the team only for certain activities or only when needed. 

An authoritarian leader will praise or criticize in a personal way, but will clearly distance himself from the group. Even if an authoritarian leader is supposed to be an unpleasant person, this is usually not true. He rarely becomes hostile and is generally friendly or, at times, impersonal. 

An authoritarian leader could recognize himself in these phrases

  • My learning takes priority over that of the team.

  • When there are differences within the company, my point of view is usually the right one.

  • If there are too many people wanting to have their say, we can’t get the job done. 

  • I ignore people who have opinions contrary to mine when it comes to projects that I personally manage.

Pros of authoritarian leadership

  • Authoritarian leaders have the ability to complete projects in a short time. 

  • This style is useful when decisive action is needed.

  • Autocratic leadership is successful when the leader is the most informed member of the group.

Cons of authoritarian leadership

  • It does not promote creativity. 

  • Leaders can be viewed negatively and as overbearing or dominant.

  • They struggle to try another leadership style and are usually inflexible. 

2. Participatory (democratic) leadership

Participatory or democratic leaders welcome everyone’s views and encourage collaboration. Even if they have the final say, they distribute the decision-making responsibility to everyone.  

Participatory leaders are part of the team. They invest time and energy in the growth of colleagues because they know that this will help them achieve the ultimate goal. If you excel in collaborative environments, it could be your leadership style.

Participatory leaders might recognize themselves in these phrases

  • If I prioritize the group’s learning, it will benefit my role. 

  • When there are differences within the company, we should listen to everyone’s views and come to a solution. 

  • The more people work on a project, the better the end result. 

  • I accept people who have different opinions from mine because they will make the final product better. 

Pros of participatory leadership

  • It is the most effective leadership style, according to Lewin’s study. 

  • Participatory leadership leads to higher quality contributions. 

  • Group members are more creative and feel more engaged. 

  • Everyone understands the big picture and is motivated to achieve the end result.

    3. Delegative leadership 

    The third style studied by Lewin is delegative leadership or laissez-faire. Delegative leaders give little guidance to the group and total freedom in decision making.

    The delegative leaders distance themselves from the group and decide not to participate or not to interrupt the progress of a project. Their comments are infrequent, and members of the group may even have forgotten the leader’s features when they come to the end of the project. 

    Leaders might recognize themselves in these phrases

    • The group can decide what works best, but I expect an excellent final product. 

    • When there are differences within the company, others can make decisions without my contribution. 

    • I will distribute resources to my team. At that point, I want enterprising members who understand for themselves how to proceed.

    • Those with different opinions can try their methods on an individual level. 

    Pros of delegative leadership

    • Delegative leadership can have advantages if all members of the group are qualified experts.

    • People who like to work independently will be very satisfied with this leadership.

    • A goal can be achieved when both the leader and the team work in the same direction. Goal tracking software can be used to track progress.

    Cons of delegative leadership

    • Teams with laissez-faire leadership are the least productive, according to Lewin’s study. 

    • With a delegative leader, the roles and responsibilities are unclear.

    • This style can lead team members to blame each other and not take responsibility.

    Now that you know Lewin’s three leadership styles, we can take a different approach and analyze the theory of emotional leadership. This approach will help you use your emotional intelligence to understand who you are in front of and adopt the correct style. 

    4. Leadership visionaria

    Visionary leadership is comparable to Lewin’s authoritarian leadership. Visionary leaders have a clear, long-term vision and are able to inspire and motivate other people. 

    This type of leadership is suitable when there are major changes within the company or when clear direction is needed. In this case, people are looking for a reliable person to follow into the unknown. 

    It is less effective when other team members are experts who have different ideas and opinions than the leader, as they will not blindly follow a leader with whom they have differences of thought.

    Read: How to develop professional skills (and become a better leader)

    Pros of visionary leadership

    • Organization members feel inspired and understand their role. 

    • Temporary problems do not discourage the leader because he always has the ultimate goal in mind. 

    • Visionary leaders are able to create contingency plans to address obstacles caused by external factors, such as political or international events.

    Cons of visionary leadership

    • There is a lack of short-term vision from the teams. 

    • The vision can be lost if it is too tied to the leader’s personality. 

    • Visionary leaders may reject the ideas of other group members. 

    5. Leadership da coach

    A leader coach is able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of other team members and help them improve, as well as link these skills to business goals.

    Coach leadership works when the leader is creative, willing to collaborate, and able to provide concrete feedback. It is also important that the leader coach knows when to step back and let the person work independently. 

    If you’ve ever had a bad coach, you know this leadership style isn’t for everyone. When poorly practiced, coach leadership can be seen as micromanaging. 

    Pros of coaching leadership

    • Coaching leadership can create a motivating environment that is appreciated by its members.

    • Clear expectations that allow team members to develop their skills.

    • This leadership style gives companies a competitive edge, as it leads to skilled individuals who are productive and willing to help improve other people.

    Cons of coaching leadership

    • Coach leadership takes time and patience.

    • It only works if others are willing to accept this type of leadership. 

    • Lead coaches rely too heavily on relationships, which can be difficult if the team lacks harmony. 

    6. Leadership affiliate

    Affiliate leadership is based on relationships: the intention is to create harmony. The charismatic leader is committed to building and developing relationships within the workplace, which will lead to a more positive and collaborative environment.

    Affiliate leadership is helpful when building a new team or in a time of crisis, situations where trust is needed. This leadership style can be harmful when a leader focuses too much on being a friend and doesn’t care about productivity and business goals. 

    Pros of an affiliate leader

    • Keeps team morale high thanks to constructive and positive feedback.

    • Interpersonal conflicts are quickly stopped. 

    • Team members feel important and less stressed.

    • Affiliate leadership creates tight-knit teams that are motivated to help each other. 

    Cons of an affiliate leader

    • The performance of some team members may drop without anyone noticing. A lack of clarity in roles can lead to social laziness. 

    • Affiliate leaders prefer not to give negative feedback that doesn’t help people grow.

    • The goals of the organization are often forgotten. 

    • Team members become emotionally dependent on the leader. If the leader changes team or leaves, the rest of the team will feel lost.

    7. Democratic leadership

    Democratic leadership is based on the same concept as Lewin’s participatory leadership. All team members are encouraged to participate and share their ideas. As a result, the team feels encouraged even if the leader has the final say on everything. 

    Democratic leadership works very well in teams of highly skilled people who can make fruitful contributions. This works less with teams made up of junior members who don’t have much experience or knowledge of the subject. It should not be used in situations that require immediate action. 

    For a democratic leader

    • Collaboration brings creativity and innovation.

    • High levels of employee participation and trust. 

    • Common goals foster accountability and increase productivity.

    Cons of a democratic leader

    • It takes time to collaborate.

    • Team members can lose confidence if the leader makes a decision without consulting them. 

    • Democratic leadership doesn’t work if team members aren’t experts.

    8. Leadership tread

    A tread leader will set an example of high productivity, performance and quality. Team members must follow in his footsteps, and if they can’t keep up, the tread leader will complete the task for them. 

    Leadership leadership works when the leader sets clear requirements and motivates team members to meet deadlines. It doesn’t work if team members lose faith in the leader and start to become stressed, overworked, or if they lose motivation. 

    Pro of a tread leader

    • Tread leaders are able to achieve business goals by the deadline. 

    • Teams can be exploited in their entirety. 

    • Progress reports allow you to quickly identify problems. 

    Cons of a tread leader

    • Leadership can lead to stressed, unmotivated and low morale team members. 

    • Team members can lose confidence if the leader watches and corrects their every move.

    • Focusing on results and deadlines can lead to a drop in creativity. 

    • Limited feedback is given. 

    9. Demanding leadership

    Demanding leadership is comparable to directive or coercive leadership. In this style, the leader has clear goals that he communicates to the team and expects other people to follow him. They put in place procedures and provisions to give structure. 

    Demanding leadership is usually used when other team members lack the skills or experience. In this situation, members need a structured approach to knowing how to complete their activities. It is also useful in emergency situations where there is no time to discuss. This leadership style should be used in conjunction with others, if used at all. 

    Pros of demanding leadership

    • Clear expectations that can improve job performance. 

    • Useful in times of crisis where decisions must be made quickly.

    • Demanding leadership can be useful for groups of workers with few skills or experience.

    • Demanding leaders can quickly identify which team members are falling behind.

    Cons of demanding leadership

    • If the leader isn’t the most experienced person in the group, this style won’t work. 

    • Lack of collaboration, which represses creativity.

    • Team morale can drop and employees don’t feel very engaged.

    • There is a high dependence on the leader, which causes a bottleneck. 

    • A demanding leader can easily turn into an autocratic leader.

    Emotional leadership theory can be easily applied to daily work. First, identify the type of team you work with, then consider which of the leadership styles is best suited for the tasks. At this point, choose the emotional leadership style that best suits the scenarios that arise. With a little practice, this theory could transform your approach to leadership.

    10. Transformational leadership

    In addition to Lewin’s theory of leadership and that of emotional leadership, there are two other leadership styles: transformational and transactional. 

    Both styles were documented by Bernard M. Bass, an American psychologist who specializes in organizational behavior and leadership. Even if you didn’t know they were called that, you’ve probably seen them applied in the workplace. 

    Bernard M. Bass’s best-known theory is transformational leadership, also known as the theory of the four I. It is a theory that is based on the concept presented by James MacGregor Burns in 1978, in which he explains that “leaders and followers help each other. one another to reach a higher level of morale and motivation “. 

    In this leadership style, transformative leaders effectively earn the trust and respect of other people who want to follow them. The four I’s of transformational leadership are: individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence. The four I’s are used to measure how transformational a leader is. 

    Pros of transformational leadership

    • Transformational leaders use coaching and motivation techniques to encourage the team. 

    • Team members are seen as unique individuals, so that they can effectively use all their skills. 

    • Teams are united in a common cause that leads to business growth.

    • Individuals have freedom. 

    Cons of transformational leadership

    • Smaller tasks are easily forgotten, making it difficult to realize the vision.

    • Constant involvement of a leader can lead to pressure and cause burnout. 

    • The leader’s goals must be aligned with those of the company, otherwise the situation can become risky. 

    • All team members must respect the leader and agree with his approach. 

    11. Transactional Leadership

    Transactional leadership was first conceptualized by sociologist Max Weber. Bernard M. Bass then developed it as the opposite of transformational leadership. 

    Transactional leadership uses a system of rewards and punishments to motivate team members. This type of leader believes that a clear chain of command will lead to better performance. Team members must follow instructions and are closely monitored by the leader. 

    Pros of transactional leadership

    • Transactional leadership is useful in situations that have a clear problem. 

    • This leadership style can be useful in a crisis, as each person has a well-defined role.

    • Group members know what is expected of them.  

    Cons of transactional leadership

    • The transactional leadership style represses the creativity of team members. 

    • Transactional leaders do not take into consideration the emotional needs of team members. 

    • This type of leader does not reward individual initiative. 

    • This leadership role does not lead to long-term success, as it focuses on short-term goals. 

    Leadership and management compared

    The words leadership and management are often used interchangeably, although they have two different meanings.

    A leader uses his vision to move a company forward and inspire the team at the same time. He also has a positive social influence and is able to use it for the benefit of the organization. On the other hand, managers have an operational role and keep projects under control using a specific management style. 

    A manager has an operational role: he must set and evaluate priorities, adopt, abandon and counterbalance decisions and other similar responsibilities. A leader is more of a coach or even a spiritual guide. She has to maintain the energy and motivation of the team, help them grow and make sure everyone is on the same page. A leader must be a point of reference in times of change. “

    —Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO, Asana

    You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader. Being a leader does not depend on the role you have in the company and is not reserved only for top executives. If you are working to improve as a leader in your role, it is important to understand the pros and cons of your leadership style and find out what other types of leadership you can aim to embody. 

    We will then analyze in depth the various leadership styles and theories to help you understand your style. You may even adopt new strategies along the way.

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