The right leadership style is a critical tool in your ability to drive growth within your business.
But more importantly, to create a strong sense of purpose within your culture. Like anything you are not necessarily born a leader, but it is something that can be learned and is essential in businesses of any size.
There is no right or wrong in the style you use (unless you are abusive and unfair, then you are possibly not quite doing it right!), but you do need to be an authentic leader. Also bear in mind your leadership style will evolve as the business grows and develops.
There will be times that you are forced into personal growth situations where your leadership will take a turn, you might become more confident, stop being a pushover and become stronger, or more nurturing because your staff needs have changed. The goal of being a great leader is to work on yourself as much as those that you lead.
The list below is not definitive but are the most common leadership styles you will experience. Which one do you currently align most authentically with?
Share this Image On Your Site
1. Democratic Leadership
Democratic leaders make the final decisions, but critically they include team members in the decision-making process this means team members are often highly engaged in projects and decisions and their opinions valued.
The goal of democratic leadership is to create an environment where there is safety in team members exploring their roles and having the freedom to do so. This also allows them to develop their own leadership pathway with the support of a key decision maker by their side.
The culture of innovation also grows as the team will feel comfortable in challenging the leadership and that you can trust their reasons why.
2. Autocratic Leadership
Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership that leaves little room for team member growth even if they have a lot of value to share.
While autocratic leadership is efficient in some business models it also drives weakness within the business through a lack of loyalty to a core purpose resulting in high staff turnover.
This leadership style may work in transactional and mechanical formats but will leave your workforce unfulfilled. The short term efficiencies will quickly turn into long term costs.
3. Laissez-Faire Leadership
The main benefit of laissez-faire leadership is that giving team members so much autonomy can lead to high job satisfaction and increased productivity. From the French phrase that means “leave it be,” it is a style that works for leaders that leave staff to be autonomous and drive their own outcomes.
There may be instances where it can be seen as a lack of leadership rather than a deliberate strategy. This is where less experienced members of the team will flounder and potentially put more risk into the business.
As long as performance is managed it can be a powerful and insightful style for self-starters, but those who need direction might struggle.