The style of a successful leader will often dictate the efficiency of their workers. Not all leadership styles will fit everyone, so it is important to explore which works best for you and your team. It is important to remember that different employees may respond differently to the various styles of leadership. Because of this, it is important to know about styles other than your own, and have the flexibility to use those styles as they are needed.
When leading a diverse group of people, one must know how to approach each person on their chosen level. The follower chooses which types of leadership they will respond to and it is the role of the person asking to be their leader, to figure out and approach them, with their chosen style.
This can be a daunting task at time and is often overlooked by senior management. This is why there are so many different people of position in a firm and why certain people will excel under them while others will fail, yet flourish under a different leader. From my own experience as the vice president of a growing company, I have found that the following five leadership styles, each have their own strengths and weaknesses that need to be examined:
Collaborative – A collaborative leadership style focuses on uniting a group by aligning its members with a specific goal or vision. If the collaborative leader is successful, the leader will see a team that works closely together and help keep each other motivated. Unfortunately, a collaborative leader can lack the authority needed to solve conflicts that may arise within the group.
Evaluative – An evaluative leader uses information and the expertise of individuals within the group to make important decisions. This encourages team members to take more initiative as individuals. This can leave some team members feeling left out or ignored.
Laissez-Faire – This style of leadership does not offer much direction or support, but instead encourages competency within individuals. While members with more expertise may thrive in this environment, some people may have problems with the lack of direction. It also makes accountability a problem in the event of a team failure.
Democratic – A democratic leader will have the easiest times resolving internal conflicts within a team. Unfortunately, because democratic leaders focus on equal input from all members, some members will feel overshadowed and ignored by their more aggressive colleagues.
Autocratic – Autocratic leaders focus on strict performance standards and completing tasks on time. This authoritative style of leadership often works best with less experienced members who need more direction. If autocratic leaders aren’t careful, they risk ignoring good ideas and input from competent team members.
While it is important to adopt a leadership style that fits both you and your team properly, situations will arise where a different leadership style can be more effective. For this reason, you should learn the basic strategy of each style of leadership that is listed. More flexibility and diversity will help strengthen your overall leadership abilities.
Question: What leadership styles do you like to be lead with?