Leadership is different to management, in that to be a leader, one must have at least one follower. Credited with high levels of social intelligence, leaders are often resilient to change. They are considered masters of not only self-awareness but also pre-empt the actions of others.
When considering leadership examples around the world, we can see there are different ways to mobilise people, each with their own merit and drawback. The most common leadership styles are listed below.
Also known as autocratic, authoritarian leaders have a clear plan of who needs to do what and they will communicate this in a ‘top-down’ way. This leadership style is traditional in its use of control and power, which means the blindside can be arrogance or expectation. On the plus side, some people benefit from this type of strict control.
Democratic, also known as participative leaders tend to encourage group members to participate. This is seen to inspire them to feel engaged. However, usually, a participative leader will have the final say in the decision. This is an effective leadership style when applied correctly, but it can fall down if leaders override the participants too frequently.
Hands off or Laissez-Faire
Hands off leaders can be called delegative. They offer little or no guidance, expertise or insight to the rest of the team. Although this can be effective if the team is strong enough, it can lead to confusion and lack of clarity in roles and expectations.
Transformational leadership is particularly pertinent at the moment. Full of confidence, this leadership type is motivating and inspiring to followers and focuses on positives around change. They may be hired to manage a culture change and have a gift for strategy and insight.
In many ways, it could be considered that transactional leadership styles are the most democratic, since they are based on getting to understand what motivates team members and aligning this to the company’s goals and objectives. This way, everyone is a winner.
This is an adaptive and reflexive style of leadership that is suited to a range of situations. Leaders in this category are able to see what will have the best outcomes for both the business and its resources and might draw upon a mix of all of the above styles. Clear communicators and highly strategic thinkers, these leaders can tailor their style to suit the purpose.
To find out more about leadership styles and discuss which one might work best for you, contact Anthony Gregg today.