Business people and psychologists have developed useful, simple ways to describe the main styles of leadership. These styles and their impact can help us to develop our own approach and become a more effective leader.
A leadership style called “transformational leadership” is often the most effective approach to use in business. Transformational leaders have integrity. They inspire people with a shared vision of the future. They set clear goals and motivate people towards them. They manage delivery, and they communicate well with their teams.
Let’s take a look at some of the styles that can be used.
- Transactional Leadership: This style states that team members agree to obey their leader when they accept a job. The “transaction” usually involves the organization paying team members in return for their effort and compliance. If their work doesn’t meet an appropriate standard the leader has a right to “punish” team members.
- Autocratic Leadership: It is an extreme form of transactional leadership. Here leaders have complete power over their people. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions. The benefit of this style is that it’s incredibly efficient. Here decisions are made quickly, and work gets done.
- Bureaucratic Leadership: Bureaucratic leaders work follow rules rigorously, and ensure that their people follow procedures precisely. This is an appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks or where large sums of money are involved.
- Charismatic Leadership: A charismatic style inspires enthusiasm in their teams and is energetic in motivating others to move forward. This excitement and commitment from teams is an enormous benefit. Charismatic leaders are often focused on themselves, and may not want to change anything.
- Democratic/Participative Leadership: Democratic leaders make the final decisions. They include team members in the decision-making process. They encourage creativity, and team members are often highly engaged in projects and decisions.
- Laissez-Faire Leadership: It describes leaders who allow their people to work on their own. Laissez-faire leaders provide team support with resources and advice, if needed, but otherwise don’t get involved.
- Task-Oriented: Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done and can be autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required. They 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.
- People-Oriented/Relations-Oriented: Here leaders are totally focused on organizing, supporting, and developing the people on their teams. This is a participatory style. It tends to encourage good teamwork and creative collaboration. People-oriented leaders are friendly and approachable.
- Servant Leadership: This term, created by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader often not formally recognized as such. Servant leaders often lead by example. They have high integrity and lead with generosity. It is a form of democratic leadership because the whole team tends to be involved in decision making.
- Transformational : It is often the best style to use in business situations. Transformational leaders are inspiring .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.