What is a leadership style?
Leadership style refers to the approach that a leader or manager uses in motivating, directing and coordinating the inputs of employees or team members. A good leader must ensure that the strength of each member of the team is leveraged efficiently while the weaknesses are dimmed as much as possible.
What are the 4 leadership styles?
There are four main styles in which leaders lead. While they all want to achieve the same results, leaders tend to approach their teams differently.
Authoritarian/Autocratic leadership: This style is characterized by focusing on the leader. There is a clear chain of command and division between the leader and the team members. The authoritarian leader makes independent decisions, gives orders directly and expects strict compliance. They take no suggestions and tolerate no laxity.
Participative/Democratic leadership: This leadership style focuses on welcoming the inputs of all members of the team. Contributions and objections are considered by the democratic leader.
Transformational Leadership: This leadership style is displayed when the leader positions themself as the model to follow. They set clear goals and aims high while towing the path as an example. The focus here is on the vision, goal or joint challenge.
Laissez-Faire Leadership: This style is displayed in the leader's minimal participation in the team. It shows a leader who expects the team to come up with solutions and means to achieve the said solutions. The Laissez-Faire leader believes they are building a formidable team by allowing them to self-direct.
How to find your leadership style?
While each leadership style can be implemented depending on the task at hand and the kind of team, most leaders already fall under a style by default. By identifying your values, you discover what leadership style you're likely to adopt.
- Do you value relationships and freedom of choice?
- Do you value meeting goals and clear structure?
- Do you prefer quick decision-making to well-thought-out decisions?
These questions will help you see your approach to leading a team.