- Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic Leadership)
- Democratic Leadership
- Laissez-Faire Leadership
Leadership styles are the different approaches or techniques that leaders use to guide their organizations or teams. The following are some of them:
Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic Leadership)
Leaders command, followers obey.
This connects to the earlier ideas of leadership wherein leaders are dominant people who impose their will upon the members of their organization. These types of leaders makes decisions with hardly any or absolutely no input from their members.
While this might sound rather harsh, it is an effective form of leadership when quick decisions are required or when the leader’s knowledge is indisputably the best in the group. Of course, as you might imagine, this type of leadership can also be disadvantageous as the actions of the leader might be disagreeable to the group. That could result in hostilities not only between the leader and their members, but among the members themselves as well.
In this type of autocratic leadership, leaders dictate what they want and punish those who do not obey.
This style of leadership is not explicitly autocratic. Leaders, instead of directly imposing their will, cause their members to believe that their singular decisions and actions will work best for the team.
As the name implies, in this form of leadership, leaders take on the role of the patriarchs or matriarchs who operates their teams as a large extended family.
Also called organizational leadership, this type of leadership is extremely formalized and decidedly inflexible. This is because this style of leadership is based on a system of rules, procedures, and hierarches along with a definite chain of command.
This style of leadership is said to be the most effective as it is a type of leadership that engages the members, thereby empowering and motivating them. It sits between imposing the leader’s will upon the team and letting the team act according to their will.
In this style, leaders ask for the opinions and thoughts of their team.
In this style, leaders and members are all active members of the decision-making process.
Under this style, leaders create an open forum where ideas can be discussed before making a decision based on the rule of the majority.
This leadership style is focused on revolutionizing organizations by inspiring its members to keep pushing their limits and reaching goalposts which they never thought attainable.
Coach leaders think of their members as part of a team, as in a sports team. They are able to recognize their team member’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop all members so that they can better contribute to the team.
Instead of directing the members, coach leaders assist their members in goal-setting and provide regular feedback through challenging projects. They create positive and motivating environments while setting clear expectations for growth.
While this type of leadership is extremely beneficial to both the members of the organization and the organization itself, not many leaders utilize this style because it is incredibly time-consuming as it requires almost complete personal attention to every member of the organization.
As the name implies, this style of leadership is focused upon the idea of serving one’s followers or members. That means the top priority of servant leaders are the welfare and growth of the team members. These types of leaders can work well in any type of organization but are frequently found in nonprofits where they build morale and engagement upon members.
These types of leaders govern their teams according to a set of rewards and punishments. That is, members are given prizes and benefits on good performance, but they can also be given sanctions for poor performance. It is also called managerial leadership.
While this type of leadership can work well for organizations with specific key performance indicators (KPI’s), such as financial numbers and social media engagement, it works poorly when creativity and innovation is required.
This style is most effective when speedy results are required. That is because pacesetters like their teams moving fast and high-performing. It is almost a laissez-faire style of leadership as, while it is hands-on in setting the pace of work, it is hands-off when it comes to the work itself. That is, pacesetters will provide their teams with deadlines, goals, and checkpoints, but will not supply the means through which these KPI’s could be met.
As mentioned briefly in the previous style, laissez-faire is a hands-off leadership style. That is, leaders who use these types of leadership do not direct their members explicitly, but allow them to hold the reins when it comes to execution.
It is essentially the least productive of all styles. This is because this type of leadership breeds groups that lack a solid direction and members who lack accountability. As a result, less progress is made and fewer work gets done.
Nevertheless, it does work well for groups where each member is highly competent and does not require supervision to do work.
In this style of leadership, the main job of the leader is to assign tasks. While they are still responsible for the outcomes of the team, their job essentially ends at the designation of duties.
These leaders look almost exclusively at the big picture. They inspire their members to aspire towards lofty goals, but they do not look at the smaller details of the organization. They provide goals, but not direction.
Note: Do not be confused if many of the above appeared in your group research as Management Styles. Leadership and management share similar characteristics, so these styles apply to both.