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Leadership Styles for a Leader to Understand

You will take on a leadership role in some capacity at some point during your career. You might suggest identifying with or adopting a given leadership style whether you’re leading a meeting, a mission, a team, or an entire department.

Most professionals develop their own leadership style based on factors such as experience and personality, as well as their company’s and organisational culture’s specific needs. While every leader is unique, there are few common leadership styles in the workplace, which we will discuss.

What is the significance of leadership styles?

As you gain experience as a leader, you’ll possibly use a variety of processes and strategies to fulfill your employer’s goals and the needs of the people who report to you. You can use a variety of leadership styles to be successful as a manager at any given time.

By being familiar with each of these styles of leadership, you can be able to identify places where you can develop or enhance your own leadership style. You will also learn how to work with managers who have a different leadership style than yours and find other ways to lead that may better suit your current goals.

What is a leadership style?

A leader’s signature actions while directing, inspiring, guiding and handling groups of people are referred to as their leadership style. Democratic movements and social change can be sparked by great leaders. They can also inspire others to make, invent, and perform.

When you start thinking about some of the people you consider to be great leaders, you’ll notice that their leadership styles are quite vastly different. Fortunately, researchers have established various theories and frameworks that help us better recognise and comprehend these various leadership types.

Leadership Styles by Kurt Lewin

A group of researchers led by psychologist Kurt Lewin set out in 1939 to classify various leadership types.

His early study was extremely influential in establishing three main leadership styles. Kurt Lewin and his team discovered three basic leadership types in 1939: authoritarian (autocratic), participative (democratic), and delegative (Laissez-Faire). They tested these three leadership styles on a group of school children tasked with completing a craft project in order to see how they reacted to them.

Though more research has since recognised more distinct types of leadership which have served as a springboard for more developed leadership theories.

In Lewin’s experiment, students were divided into three classes, each led by an authoritarian, democratic, or laissez-faire leader. The children were then guided through an arts and crafts project while researchers studied their actions in response to various leadership styles. The researchers discovered that democratic leadership was the most successful at motivating followers to do their best.

Leadership Styles: What Are They and How Do They Function?

Leaders ought not all to have the same personality or point of view. As suggested earlier, few leaders use the carrot approach and only a few use the stick approach. As a result, not all leaders get things done in the same way. Their fashion sense differs. The type of people with whom the leader communicates and works influences his or her leadership style. A perfect/standard leadership style aids a leader in getting the most out of those who follow him.

In the commercial world, we see five distinct leadership types. The following is a list of them:

1. Laissez-Faire leadership style (French phrase that means “let loose.”)

Employees are not directly supervised by a laissez-faire boss, and those under his supervision are not given daily updates. The laissez-faire leadership style is characterised by highly skilled and educated workers who need little supervision.

However, not all workers have these characteristics. This leadership style prevents workers who need supervision from producing. Managerial attempts at leadership and oversight are absent in the laissez-faire model, which can result in inadequate performance, a lack of control, and increased costs.

2. Autocratic leadership style

Managers with an autocratic leadership style will make decisions without consulting others. Managers have complete control over their staff and may enforce their will on them. No one condemns autocratic leaders’ decisions. Autocratic leadership is seen in countries such as Cuba and North Korea.

Many that need direct oversight benefit from this leadership style. Employees who engage in community functions who are creative despise this leadership style.

3. Participative leadership style

This is often referred to as democratic leadership. It acknowledges the opinions of team members and colleagues, but it is up to the participative leader to make the final decision. Employee morale is boosted by participative leadership because workers are involved in the decision-making process. It reflects a sense that their views are valued.

When a company has to make changes internally, the participative leadership model makes it easier for workers to consider changes by including them in the process. When businesses must make a decision in a limited period of time, this leadership style is tested.

4. Transactional leadership style

The idea of reward and punishment shapes the transactional leadership style. Transactional leaders agree that these two factors have a full impact on an employee’s success. When employees are encouraged, they put in their best effort, and the incentive is usually monetary. They are given a negative evaluation if they do not meet the set goal.

Transactional leaders pay more attention to their workers’ physical and security needs.

5. Transformational leadership style

In the returns that the company receives in the form of human capital gains, transformational leadership has the potential to influence employee expectations. By introducing knowledge management systems, promoting interpersonal contact among employees, and cultivating a healthy organisational culture, these leaders will reap greater rewards.

It promotes organisational creativity by fostering a collaborative environment or community. It fosters an atmosphere in which workers feel free to talk openly about their experiences and expertise.

Transformational leaders have been shown to be more creative than transactional and laissez-faire leaders.

We’ll go through each of these styles in-depth as we go along. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are types of leadership styles?

The following are the various forms of leadership styles:

  1. Laissez-Faire leadership style
  2. Autocratic Leadership style
  3. Participative Leadership style
  4. Transactional leadership style
  5. Transformational leadership style

Define Autocratic leadership style and how do they make decisions?

Managers who lead in an autocratic leadership style can make decisions without consulting anybody. Managers have full power over their employees and can compel them to do what they want.

How does a participative leader make decisions?

The participative leader often respects the views of team members and colleagues, but the ultimate decision is made by the participative leader.

What are the beliefs of a transactional leader?

Two factors, according to transactional leaders, have a significant effect on an employee’s productivity. Employees who are encouraged put in their best efforts, and the reward is generally monetary. If they do not achieve the set target, they receive a negative rating. Transactional leaders are more concerned with their employees’ physical and security needs.

What is Transformational leadership style?

Employee expectations will be influenced by transformational leadership. These leaders will reap greater rewards by introducing knowledge management, encouraging interpersonal interaction among employees, and maintaining a healthy organisational culture.

What is the attitude of a Laissez-faire leader?

Laissez-faire leaders have a trusting and reliant mentality toward their workers. They do not micromanage or become too involved, and they do not provide excessive instruction or direction.