What Kind of Leader Are You? 8 Common Leadership Styles (and Their Pros and Cons)
A leadership style is a leader's approach to leading people. It determines how a leader interacts with and influences followers. It can be adapted to different situations and different team dynamics. There are many different leadership styles, but the most common are:
1. Autocratic Leadership
The autocratic leadership style is when the leader makes all the decisions and the team just follows orders. This can be effective in situations where quick decisions need to be made and there is no time for discussion. However, it can also lead to resentment and a feeling of powerlessness among team members.
2. Laissez-Faire Leadership
The laissez-faire leadership style is when the leader steps back and lets the team members make their own decisions. This can be effective in situations where the team is highly skilled and motivated and doesn't need much direction. However, it can also lead to chaos and confusion if the team is not used to working independently.
3. Democratic or Participative Leadership
The participative leadership style is when the leader involves the team in decision-making. This can be effective in situations where all team members need to feel invested in the project. However, it can also lead to delays if team members can't agree on a course of action.
4. Transactional Leadership Style
The transactional leadership style is when the leader sets goals and rewards team members for meeting those goals. This can be effective in situations where there is a clear goal that needs to be met and team members are motivated by tangible rewards. However, it can also lead to a feeling of being micromanaged and not being appreciated for individual contributions.
5. Visionary Leadership
The visionary leadership style is when the leader has a clear vision for the future and inspires team members to work towards that vision. This can be effective in situations where there is a need for long-term planning and team members are motivated by the leader's vision. However, it can also lead to frustration if team members feel like they're not making progress or the vision seems unattainable.
6. Servant Leadership
The servant leadership style is when the leader puts the needs of the team above their own. This can be effective in situations where the team is struggling and needs support. However, it can also lead to the leader being taken for granted and not respected as an authority figure.
7. Charismatic Leadership Style
The charismatic leadership style is when the leader is able to inspire team members with their personality. This can be effective in situations where the team is struggling to be motivated. However, it can also lead to the leader being seen as a "showman" and not taken seriously.
8. Transformational Leadership
The transformational leadership style is when the leader inspires and motivates team members to achieve more than they thought possible. This can be effective in situations where team members are struggling to see the value in what they're doing. However, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment if team members can't meet the leader's high standards.
The importance of developing your leadership style
Leadership styles are not one size fits all. The best way to find out what works best for you is by doing some research and trying out different styles. You should also take into account your personality type and the team dynamics.
Leadership styles should be adapted to the situation at hand and the type of team that the leader is working with. The most important thing for leaders to keep in mind when developing their leadership style is that they should be authentic and true to themselves.
Leaders should also be aware of the pros and cons of each leadership style so that they can adapt their style as needed.
Some tips for developing a leadership style include:
-Observing other leaders and taking note of what works and what doesn't
-Reading books on leadership and listening to podcasts or attending seminars
-Asking for feedback from team members
-Practicing different leadership styles to see what fits best
What Is this Leadership Style?
Leadership has been described as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task" (Northouse, 2013, p. 5).
Leaders exert influence over followers by providing direction, inspiration, and motivation. In return, followers often exhibit loyalty and commitment to the leader and the leader's vision.
The word "leadership" can be used in many different ways. When most people think of leadership, they think of someone in a position of power or authority. But leadership is more than just a title or a position. Anyone can be a leader, regardless of their title or position.
Leadership is about influence. It's about inspiring and motivating others to achieve a common goal. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no one "right" way to lead. The best leaders are those who are able to adapt their style to fit the situation and the people they are leading.
There are many different theories and schools of thought when it comes to leadership. Some believe that leaders are born, not made. Others believe that anyone can learn to be a leader. And still others believe that leadership is not about individual leaders, but about the collective action of a group of people.
No matter what your beliefs are, there is one thing that all leadership theories have in common: the idea that leadership is about influencing others. So, the next time you find yourself in a leadership role, remember that your influence is your most powerful tool. Use it wisely, and you can achieve great things.
Autocratic Leadership Styles with Examples - Pros and Cons
The autocratic leadership style is one where the leader has complete control over the group and makes all the decisions. This type of leader does not take input from others and typically does not allow for much creativity or input from group members. An autocratic leader is often someone who is very task-oriented and wants things done a certain way.
Practical Example of Autocratic leadership
One practical example of autocratic leadership would be a military leader. This type of leader would need to make quick decisions in a high-pressure environment and would not have time to take input from others.
The Pros of Autocratic Leadership Style
-The leader has complete control and can get things done quickly
-There is no need for consensus or agreement from the group
The Cons of Autocratic Leadership Style
-The leader can make decisions that the group does not agree with
-There is no input from others so the leader may not be making the best decisions
-This style of leadership can often lead to conflict
Laissez-Faire Leadership Style - Pros and Cons
The Laissez-Faire leadership style is a hands-off approach where the leader provides little to no direction and instead allows the team to work independently. This style can be effective in situations where the team is highly skilled and motivated, and the leader is confident in their ability to get the job done.
However, it can also lead to a lack of accountability and poor performance if the team is not properly managed.
Practical Example of Laissez-Faire leadership style
One example of Laissez-Faire leadership is the "Google way" of management, where employees are given a great deal of freedom to work on whatever projects they choose. This approach has been successful for Google, as it has allowed them to attract and retain top talent. However, it is important to note that this style of leadership only works with a highly skilled and motivated team.
The Pros of Laissez-Faire Leadership Style
- Allows for creativity and independence
- Can be effective with a highly skilled and motivated team
The Cons of Laissez-Faire Leadership Style
- Can lead to a lack of accountability
- Poor performance if the team is not properly managed
Participative Leadership Styles with examples
Participative leadership is a style of leadership in which the leader includes the group members in the decision-making process. This type of leader allows the group to have a say in what goes on and makes sure that everyone is on the same page.
Practical Examples of Participative Leadership Style
Former President Barack Obama was known for his participative leadership style. He was often seen as a leader who consulted with others and got input from different perspectives before making decisions. Obama was also known for his ability to build trust and relationships with others, which helped him to be an effective leader.
Mahatma Gandhi is another example of a leader who used participative leadership style. He was known for his ability to bring people together and get them to work toward a common goal. Gandhi was also known for his charisma and his ability to inspire others.
Pros of Participative Leadership Style
1. Group members feel like they are part of the team and have a say in what goes on.
2. This leadership style can help to build trust within the group.
3. Participative leaders are usually good at delegating tasks and responsibilities.
Cons of the Participative Leadership Style
1. This leadership style can sometimes lead to indecision if there are too many people involved in the decision-making process.
2. Participative leaders may have difficulty making decisions on their own if they are used to consulting with others all the time.
3. This leadership style may not be appropriate in all situations, such as when quick decisions need to be made.
Transactional Leadership Style
The Transactional leadership style is based on the leader maintaining the status quo and rewarding employees for meeting preset goals. The leader sets clear expectations and provides rewards when these expectations are met. This style of leadership can work well in stable environments where there is little need for change.
Practical Examples of Transactional Leadership Style
-A manager at a retail store who offers employees a bonus for meeting sales targets
-A teacher who offers students extra credit for completing all of their homework assignments
-A project manager who offers a team bonus for completing a project on time and under budget
Pros of the Transactional Leadership Style:
-Clear expectations are set for employees
-Employees are motivated by rewards
-This style can work well in stable environments
Cons of Transactional Leadership Style:
-This style can stifle creativity and innovation
-There is little room for employee input or involvement
-The leader may become too focused on maintaining the status quo
Visionary Leadership Style
The visionary leadership style is all about setting a direction for the future and motivating others to follow. This type of leader is often seen as a visionary or a pioneer, someone who has a clear vision of what they want to achieve and is able to inspire others to join them on the journey.
Practical Examples of Visionary Leadership Style
One of the most famous examples of visionary leadership is Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple and is widely credited with turning it into the world’s most valuable company. Jobs was known for his single-minded focus and his ability to see the potential in new technologies and products. He was also known for his charismatic style of leadership, which was able to motivate others to achieve incredible things.
The Pros of Visionary Leadership Style
The main advantage of this style of leadership is that it can be very effective in achieving results. A visionary leader is able to set a clear direction and then inspire others to follow. This can lead to a high level of motivation and a strong sense of purpose within the team.
Another advantage of this style is that it can help to promote innovation. A leader with a clear vision is more likely to be open to new ideas and willing to take risks. This can create an environment where new and innovative ideas are encouraged.
The Cons of Visionary Leadership Style
One of the main disadvantages of this style is that it can be difficult to maintain over a long period of time. A leader who is constantly setting new goals and trying to motivate others can become exhausted and may eventually lose the support of their team.
Another potential downside of this style is that it can lead to a feeling of insecurity within the team. If team members feel that they are constantly being asked to achieve more and more, they may start to feel like they can never meet the leader’s expectations.
Overall, the visionary leadership style can be an effective way to achieve results in the short-term. However, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of this style and to make sure that it is used in a way that is sustainable in the long-term.
Servant Leadership Style
The term “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said:
“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”
A servant leader is someone who puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and grow. The servant leader is a servant first, and a leader second.
Practical Examples of Servant Leadership Style
Some of the most famous historical figures were servant leaders. Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. are all examples of servant leaders.
More recent examples of servant leaders include Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Bill Gates.
The Pros of Servant Leadership Style
• Servant leaders are more likely to create a motivated and loyal team.
• Servant leaders are more likely to develop long-term relationships with their followers.
• Servant leaders are more likely to be effective in times of crisis.
• Servant leaders are more likely to be seen as trustworthy and ethical.
• Servant leaders are more likely to create a positive work environment.
The Cons of Servant Leadership Style
• Servant leaders can be taken advantage of by their followers.
• Servant leaders can become too focused on serving their followers and neglect their own needs.
• Servant leaders can become too involved in the lives of their followers and not give them enough space to grow.
• Servant leaders can become overly dependent on their followers for affirmation and approval. Practical Examples of Servant Leadership Style
Charismatic Leadership Style
A charismatic leader is someone who can influence and inspire others by his or her personality and actions. This type of leader is not afraid to take risks and is often very optimistic. Charismatic leaders often have a strong vision for the future and are able to get others to buy into their vision. They are also very good at communicating their vision to others and motivating them to achieve it.
Practical Examples of Charismatic Leadership Style
One of the most famous charismatic leaders was Mahatma Gandhi. He was able to inspire the Indian people to fight for their independence from the British Empire. He did this by using his charisma and his ability to communicate his vision to the people.
Pros of Charismatic Leadership Style
1. Charismatic leaders are often very passionate about their vision and can inspire others to buy into it.
2. They are often very good communicators and can motivate others to achieve their goals.
3. They are not afraid to take risks, which can sometimes lead to great successes.
Cons of Charismatic Leadership Style
1. Charismatic leaders can sometimes be too optimistic and might not realistic about the risks involved in achieving their vision.
2. They can also be very persuasive and might use their charisma to get others to do things that they might not otherwise do.
3. Some people might find it difficult to follow a charismatic leader because they can be very demanding.
Transformational Leadership Style
The Transformational Leadership Style is a style of leadership where the leader is focused on leading change within an organization. The leader is focused on motivating, inspiring and empowering their followers to achieve the organization's goals. The leader is also focused on helping their followers to develop and grow as individuals.
Some of the key characteristics of the Transformational Leadership Style are:
- The leader is focused on the future and is able to develop a vision for the organization.
- The leader is able to inspire and motivate their followers.
- The leader is able to develop relationships of trust and respect with their followers.
- The leader is able to provide guidance and support to their followers.
- The leader is able to challenge their followers to think outside the box and to push themselves to achieve more.
Practical Examples of Transformational Leadership Style
One practical example of the Transformational Leadership Style is when a leader is focused on leading change within an organization. The leader is focused on motivating, inspiring and empowering their followers to achieve the organization's goals. The leader is also focused on helping their followers to develop and grow as individuals.
Another practical example of the Transformational Leadership Style is when a leader is focused on developing a vision for the future and is able to inspire and motivate their followers to achieve this vision. The leader is also focused on developing relationships of trust and respect with their followers and providing them with guidance and support.
Pros of Transformational Leadership Style
Some of the pros of the Transformational Leadership Style are that it can lead to higher levels of employee engagement and motivation, as well as increased levels of productivity and innovation. Additionally, this style of leadership can also help to develop strong relationships between leaders and followers.
Cons of Transformational Leadership Style
Some of the cons of the Transformational Leadership Style are that it can be time-consuming, and it can also be challenging to maintain the high levels of energy and enthusiasm required to sustain this style of leadership over the long-term. Additionally, this style of leadership may not be appropriate for all situations and all types of organizations.