Top 11 Leadership Styles
A critical factor driving success in your career in the corporate world is strong leadership. Even in the most challenging environments, a great leader can coach, guide, manage, inspire, and maintain team spirit and decisions. Strong leadership is especially crucial in fast-paced or dynamic organizational environments.
Whether you lead a group, team members, mission, department, or an entire company or government, identify and embrace a specific leadership style while also balancing it with a combination of other complimentary leadership styles. To succeed in leadership or management, you will need to develop a solid understanding of styles of leadership that are common in many organizations today.
Knowledge of the different types of leadership will help you in determining your current leadership aptitude. Once you have this awareness, you may adapt your style to fit the requirements of your current and future leadership roles. Keep in mind that you do not need to choose just one of the types of leadership to follow. I suggest that you choose one leadership style and then choose other styles of leadership that compliment your preferred style. For example, if you favor transformational leadership, you may be missing elements that will make it easier for you and your team members to get the work done. Getting the work done often requires a more delegative approach that is typically present in transactional leadership, autocratic leaders, and task-oriented leadership styles to ensure that work management completes appropriately.
The following is an introduction to the top 11 leadership styles that you can choose.
1. Autocratic Leadership
An autocratic leader makes decisions by themselves without taking any feedback. They generally don’t take advice from subordinates and expect them to conform to their choices. Autocratic leadership is in stark contrast to the democratic leadership style, which values participation from most stakeholders and constituents. Autocratic leaders can get the work done best by combining it with task-oriented, facilitative, charismatic, and transactional leadership to help manage decisions and get the job done.
2. Charismatic Leadership
People with this leadership style can be invaluable to a company looking to grow or face a business crisis. This is because they can quickly turn things in their favor by developing a deep understanding of the people around them. This type of leader can be especially effective when matching transactional leadership styles because followers are more likely to follow charismatic leaders who can show empathy and achieve high trust levels.
3. Laissez Faire Leadership
Laissez-faire leadership grants complete freedom to subordinates or followers to function how they want and with what they want; a laissez-faire leader leaves followers with as many roles and choices as possible. This leadership style also uses the delegative leadership style, which involves delegating work to competent, trustworthy, and known to execute flawlessly.
4. Participative Leadership
Participative leadership can often be a sluggish form of decision-making. Still, it has many benefits that can make it the best type of leadership in specific organizations or environments that foster more open and collaborative decision-making with individual contributors with specialized business expertise.
5. Servant Leadership
Servant leaders share authority and decision-making power with those under them. They lead the company based on the team’s interests. Servant leadership and transactional leadership is often be combined to get the work done.
6. Directive Leadership
The Directive Leader can provide guidance, create goals, and establish timelines and criteria for business success. However, if the situation warrants, a directive leader can adapt and display supportive conduct as well. Directive leadership is excellent for combining management with leadership because it allows the leader to get closer to the work, and provide input that may be critical to the success of a project.
7. Facilitative Leadership
Facilitative and transactional leaders are complementary leadership styles. A facilitative leader facilitates the execution of work to make things easier for subordinates. A variety of exercises help the team reach a consensus and encourage commitment to collective decisions. Facilitative leaders see the big picture, while transactional leaders focus on values achievement and execution and get the job done together.
8. Transformational Leadership
This style often encourages trust and transparency amongst team members. This leadership style can be very effective in organizations with a creative workforce that excels in interactive environments. This style of leadership is in contrast to transactional leadership. Transactional leadership is focused on structure, process and execution whereas transformational leadership focuses on a more visionary, relationship-oriented decision making process that promotes collaborative decision making.
9. Task-Oriented Leadership
Task-oriented leaders have many attributes that help ensure that things carry out in a professional and timely way. Typically, these leaders develop simple, easy-to-follow work plans with specific timelines and requirements to confirm this. Transactional and task-oriented leadership complement each other because both styles can provide structure and direction – and reduce time to completion metrics.
10. Transactional Leadership
Transactional leaders typically run large operational enterprises that require fast decisions. This type of leadership typically requires a shorter rapid decision-making time; thus, direct orders are necessary. Large military organizations with a transparent chain of command make decisions rapidly often use the transactional leadership approach.
11. Democratic Leadership
Democratic leadership is a leadership style used primarily for government, school systems, non-profit organizations, or other social systems that require majority ownership over decision-making. This type of leadership is sometimes slow and bureaucratic because it requires the input of a majority of constituents before making a final business decision. Democratic leaders must lead within the boundaries of their different decision-making structures and checks and balances.
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