1. Autocratic Leaders
The autocratic leaders make decisions alone without the input of others. They possess total authority and impose their will. No one challenges the decisions of autocratic leaders. This leadership style benefits employees who require close supervision. Creative employees who thrive in group functions detest this leadership style.
2. Task-oriented Leaders
Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done and can be autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, and plan, organize, and monitor work. These leaders also perform other key tasks, such as creating and maintaining standards for performance.
However, because task-oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about their team’s well-being, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, including causing motivation and retention problems.
3. Transformational Leaders
Transformational leaders are inspiring because they expect the best from everyone on their team as well as themselves. This leads to high productivity and engagement from everyone in their team.
The downside of transformational leadership is that while the leader’s enthusiasm is passed onto the team, he or she can need to be supported by “detail people.”
4. Charismatic Leaders
Many of history’s most effective leaders are labeled charismatic.
Charismatic leaders are essentially very skilled communicators – individuals who are both verbally eloquent, but also able to communicate to followers on a deep, emotional level. They are able to articulate a compelling or captivating vision, and are able to arouse strong emotions in followers.
5. Bureaucratic Leaders
Bureaucratic leaders work “by the book.” They follow rules rigorously, and ensure that their people follow procedures precisely. This style of leadership follows a close set of standards. Everything is done in an exact, specific way to ensure safety and/or accuracy. You will often find this leadership role in a situation where the work environment is dangerous and specific sets of procedures are necessary to ensure safety. A natural bureaucratic leader will tend to create detailed instructions for other members of a group.
The downside of this leadership style is that it’s ineffective in teams and organizations that rely on flexibility, creativity, or innovation.
6. Democratic Leaders
The democratic leadership style is a very open and collegial style of running a team. Ideas move freely amongst the group and are discussed openly. Everyone is given a seat at the table, and discussion is relatively free-flowing.
In the democratic leadership style, you get presented with so many possibilities and suggestions that it can be overwhelming and difficult to commit. But as the leader, when the time comes, you have to choose and do so with conviction. The team depends on the clear and unambiguous mandates to be committed.
7. Servant Leaders
Servant leaders often lead by example. They have high integrity and lead with generosity. In many ways, servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership because the whole team tends to be involved in decision making. However, servant leaders often “lead from behind,” preferring to stay out of the limelight and letting their team accept recognition for their hard work.
However, other people believe that in competitive leadership situations, people who practice servant leadership can find themselves left behind by leaders using other leadership styles. This leadership style also takes time to apply correctly: it’s ill-suited in situations where you have to make quick decisions or meet tight deadlines.
8. Laissez-Faire Leaders
A laissez-faire leader lacks direct supervision of employees and fails to provide regular feedback to those under his supervision. Already, highly experienced and trained leaders requiring little supervision fall under the laissez-faire leadership style. However, not all people possess those characteristics. This leadership style hinders the production of those needing supervision.
The laissez-faire style produces no leadership or supervision efforts, which can lead to poor production, and lack of control.
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