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There are many different leadership styles in management, each with its strengths and weaknesses. To be a successful and effective leader, you must identify the appropriate type for the situation and the team you lead.
This blog post will discuss 9 of the most common leadership styles in management and explain how to define them and their key characteristics.
Let’s get started!
How to define leadership and its importance?
Leadership can be defined as the ability to influence and motivate others to achieve goals. In other words, it’s about getting people to work together towards a common goal. Leaders need to communicate effectively, build relationships, and make decisions. They also need to be able to inspire others and provide direction. All of these qualities are important in achieving success.
Leadership is important because it helps to create an environment where people can work together effectively towards a common goal. In addition, strong leadership makes people more likely to be motivated and committed to the task at hand.
9 Best leadership styles in management
There are various leadership styles in management, but here are some of them.
1. Transactional Leadership Style
Transactional leadership is a “give and take” scenario. Leaders reward or penalize their employees according to the organization’s standards. Everyone knows what to do, why to do it, and to what standard. Evaluation of employee performance happens with predefined criteria and goals.
This style can be effective if the employees are also motivated by perks and benefits. However, it works best where the tasks are repetitive and goal-oriented. In this case, the deal is between the leader and followers.
The transactional leader sets clear goals and expectations and provides feedback and rewards accordingly. This type of leadership can help keep employees focused and motivated. However, it may not be as effective in promoting creativity or innovation. Nevertheless, when used effectively, transactional leadership can be a helpful tool in achieving organizational goals.
Characteristics of Transactional Leadership Style
- Clear expectations are communicated to employees by setting concise goals and displaying them.
- It is essential to motivate the employees equally by giving them the right rewards and recognition for their hard work.
- It is an ideal solution for large corporations with teams spread across the globe.
- To satisfy the daily quota, transactional leaders prefer typical workflows.
2. Transformational Leadership Style
A Transformational leader believes in the concept of transforming anything into something better. Therefore, transformational leaders allow team members to explore different ideas and approaches.
They let their creative juices flow. This leadership style gives team members a sense of bonding, belonging, and loyalty to the organization.
However, relying on praise and nurturing can also lead to mediocre performance. It can also result in a lack of complete and clear direction for the company. Leaders should establish a balance to ensure that team members don’t get too comfortable.
Characteristics of Transformational Leadership Style
- This method works best if you need to develop new ideas or see things from a new perspective.
- It would also be fair to say that an appetite marks this leadership style for risk. This comes from the fact that leaders always look for new ways to do things. It means stepping out of their comfort zone from time to time.
- It is this style of management that encourages employees to grow both professionally and personally.
3. Servant Leadership Style
As servant leaders, we operate on the principle of service first, leadership later.
The motto goes, “You manage other people the way you would like to manage them.” First, you ensure that everyone knows their role in the organization. You confirm that everyone has the necessary tools and supplies before they begin. Finally, you offer them everything they need to succeed if they do not.
There is no doubt that this can lead to a lack of authority, a lack of vision, and a lack of direction for your team, so if you don’t balance this style, it can lead to your team running the show. It can result in a lack of authority, a little direction, and no vision for your team.
Characteristics of Servant Leadership Style
- Leadership styles in this category possess a high level of awareness toward the team. In addition, leaders in this category are great listeners, which helps them understand the team’s strengths and weaknesses more effectively.
- This is a great way to build people’s respect, trust, and loyalty.
- Developing a solid company culture is crucial for the success of the business.
4. Democratic Leadership Style
A democratic leadership style embodies what you might call the “two is better than one” philosophy. Democratic leaders place a great deal of value on the inputs and ideologies of their workers. The business world also refers to this leadership style as “participative leadership.”
In this type of leadership, a leader makes the final decision. However, there may be times when democratic leaders may delegate authority to followers. When that occurs, the democratic leader is still responsible for the consequences of all their actions.
As a result, power and authority are decentralized. This contrasts with the centralized approach to management and control that autocratic leaders usually adopt. We will discuss this in greater detail shortly.
Characteristics of Democratic Leadership Style
- A democratic leader seeks input and feedback from their followers to make decisions.
- The leader believes that with plenty of information from followers, they will be able to make the best decision.
- This may not be the best approach during a crisis when time is limited, and there is a high-pressure level.
- Leadership styles such as this emphasize the importance of equality in the workplace. Leaders who follow this style look at all inputs regardless of their position.
5. Autocratic Leadership Style
Autocratic leadership is a boss-centered approach characterized by a leader who has absolute control over the entire operation. This top-down approach to communication often results in high power dynamics between the leader and followers, with little to no importance given to socializing or team-building activities.
Autocratic leaders make decisions based on their perspective and assessment of a situation without input or feedback from group members. Though this leadership style can be effective in some situations, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as a lack of creativity and innovation, inflexibility, and poor team morale.
Characteristics of Autocratic Leadership Style
- Whenever there is a need to make a quick decision, this method works best.
- In the short run, an autocratic leadership style might help suppress a conflict. However, it will not resolve the dispute in the long run.
- In this style of leadership, there is a colossal lack of trust that arises among the subordinates. Hence, the leader has the power to make all the decisions, rather than any of their subsidiaries.
6. Laissez-Faire (Delegative) Leadership Style
The term “laissez-faire” describes a hands-off approach to leadership. Under this management style, leaders provide employees with clear goals and expectations but allow them to complete their work with minimal interference.
This can effectively empower workers and promote creativity, as long as a shared understanding of what needs to be accomplished. However, if not correctly managed, laissez-faire leadership can lead to confusion and anarchy.
To be successful, leaders who adopt this style must balance giving employees enough direction and freedom to be productive while providing adequate oversight.
Characteristics of Laissez-Faire Leadership Style
- When a leader is a laissez-faire, they place great trust in the abilities and abilities of their members.
- There is a direct correlation between this type of management style and increased employee autonomy, leading to increased work creativity.
- A vital component of this leadership style is the ability to give constructive feedback to others.
7. Bureaucratic Leadership Style
Bureaucratic leaders always follow specific rules and stick to those at all times. Yet, this leadership style can be very rigid at times. This rigidity restricts the level of creativity in the process.
Bureaucratic leaders live by the rules, and this can ultimately lead to a lack of innovation. Therefore, for an organization to be successful, it is essential to balance bureaucratic and creative leaders.
They provide stability and order, while innovative leaders bring new ideas and fresh perspectives. When these two leadership styles are combined, they create a well-rounded and effective team.
Characteristics of Bureaucratic Leadership Style
- A bureaucratic leader is obsessed with rules and policies and follows procedures to the letter.
- A decision-making process usually takes a long time to complete.
- Employees follow routine methods of problem-solving, which is why there is no room for new ideas or innovations to be introduced.
- How a management approach of this sort is structured is also very well-organized. The leaders here delegate the tasks per their ranks to ensure that results are achieved and that accountability is maintained.
8. Charismatic Leadership Style
Charismatic leaders are the ones who can walk the talk. They are masters of communication, persuasion, and charm, as well as the ability to draw people to them. They have a particular sort of charm, attraction, and magnetism. They can gain people to follow them. They inspire, excite, and spark enthusiasm among the team members.
The Dalai Lama and Barack Obama are two charismatic leaders that come to mind when we think of charismatic leaders. They exude warmth and presence when they walk into a room. It is, what they call, their aura!
Some people are indeed born with charisma, while others acquire it with time and experience as they go along.
Characteristics of Charismatic Leadership Style
- There is no doubt that charismatic leaders possess a strong sense of self-confidence in their approach. They rarely have any self-doubt about their decisions and maintain a powerful personality that can influence others greatly.
- A large number of people follow them, and they affect them.
- In fueling the employees’ motivations, they also believe in the capabilities of their employees.
- In addition to setting high expectations and demonstrating competence to their employees, they act as role models to them.
9. Coaching Leadership Style
The style of leadership that believes in coaching the workers towards greatness is most prevalent in sports teams. Yet, it can sometimes get troublesome as it takes time to mentor and coach the employees.
This type of leadership is based on the idea that the leader is an expert in their field of interest and is a great communicator. They usually get the most out of their workers by pushing them to be their best. However, this leadership style can also be seen as demanding and autocratic.
Characteristics of Coaching Leadership Style
- For coaching leadership to be successful, people must have a coaching mindset and be willing to learn from the organization’s leaders.
- Furthermore, leaders should also be prepared to spend time and energy coaching their employees to improve their performance in the long term.
- As a leadership style, empathic and trusting relationships are the cornerstones of this approach.
That’s a wrap! We hope you found this blog post helpful. Now that you know the nine best leadership styles in management, it will be easier to identify which one is most appropriate for the situation and your team. Remember, each type has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose wisely!
What was your favorite leadership style? Let us know in the comment section below.
What is the best type of leadership and why?
There are many different types of leadership, each with its advantages and drawbacks. The best kind of leader can adapt their style to the situation and the people they lead. A good leader will also know their strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to select the appropriate leadership style for any given situation.
What is the best leadership style in management?
The best leadership style in management depends on the specific situation. The most effective leaders are those who can adapt their style to the changing needs of their team or organization.
What are the top 3 leadership styles?
There are a variety of different leadership styles, but the three most common are:
• Authoritarian leaders are directive and require obedience from their followers.
• Democratic leaders allow for input from their followers and consider their opinions before making decisions.
• Laissez-faire leaders take a hands-off approach and let their followers decide for themselves.