Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of leader are you? There are many leadership styles, each one with its advantages and disadvantages. There isn’t just one way to lead because each situation requires specific abilities. 

The kind of leader you are isn’t only defined by the context of the situation, but also by your personality and experience. Here are ten of most common leadership styles. Take a look at our article and discover which one defines you best.  

1.    Autocratic

An autocratic leader has an authoritarian way, someone who focuses on the results and efficiency. This type of leader makes decisions alone or with a small group, which holds his or her trust, and the team is expected to follow exactly the instructions they were given. 

That kind of leadership is very useful in situations where employees need to be supervised all the time, to ensure all procedures are going to be followed with precision. One disadvantage of this style, though, is that it can inhibit creativity.

In certain situations, military commanders use autocratic leadership style to accomplish their mission. Similarly, surgeons may also use this style to complete their surgery quickly and efficiently.

2.    Coach

A coaching leader seeks not only group results, but also helps each individual to achieve their personal goals and improve their skills. This type of leader knows his team members very well and is able to tell their bring out their individual strengths and weakness.

To motivate team growth, the leader creates goals and challenges, gives personalized feedbacks and recognizes outstanding performances. A coaching leader can assign the tasks according to their individual skills, an effective way to have positive results. 

3.    Visionary

A visionary leader is someone who is focused on a purpose and, in order to achieve it, serves as an inspiration to the team members. The leader inspires confidence, so the group can also believe in his vision.

Being this type of leader can be very useful in times of change, to strengthen the organizational bonds. The leader values trust, which is essential in the relationship with the team and between the employees.

4.    Democratic

Democratic leaders are defined by their decision making process. They value their team’s opinions and take them into consideration before doing anything.   

A democratic leader seeks feedback from the team and encourages them to speak up. When the members see their opinions are heard, they feel important and it helps them to become more engaged. They can see the leader’s concern about them and it improves the levels of satisfaction. 

The democratic leadership method can be very useful in places where the employees need to be very creative and always coming up with new ideas. 

5.    Servant

Employee satisfaction is one of the biggest concerns of a servant leader. The personal and professional needs of each team member are considered a priority. 

Those characteristics help the servant leader to earn respect and to improve the level of collaboration from the employees. This type of leadership can be very helpful in situations where it’s needed to improve people engagement at work. Servant leaders may sacrifice some of their own goals to benefit the group. 

6.    Transformational 

The organization objectives are the main purpose of a transformational leader, who will work to achieve them by setting goals and motivating his team.

As the focus is on the bigger picture, the transformational leader usually delegates a lot in order to focus on the higher goals. That’s why a skilled and trusted team is very necessary for this leadership approach to be successful. The leader needs to trust the employees are able to do their tasks without constant supervision.

This type of leadership resembles the coaching style. The main difference is a coaching leader is constantly focused on the team members’ individual goals, while the transformational isn’t. 

7.    Laissez-Faire 

One of the characteristics that define a laissez-faire leadership style is a hands-off approach.  This type of leader delegates most of the tasks in order to be able to participate in other projects.

It isn’t the leader’s interest to spend much time managing the team. But, to do that, they need to know and trust their employees very well and ensure they can fulfill all the tasks without being supervised. 

Usually the laissez-faire leader counts on a highly experienced and skilled team, who can work on their own. Although laissez-faire leadership has many advantages, it can cause problems if the team isn’t feeling confident or if the leader’s expectations aren’t clear. 

8.    Strategic

A strategic leader searches for creating a balance between the company goals and the employees’ interests. This type of leader understands the executive demands, but is also worried about ensuring quality work conditions. 

Strategic thinking helps to improve the results by focusing on the main objectives, but also engaging the employees and increasing their level of satisfaction. It’s very effective in situations where the leader needs to deal with different types of employees at once. 

9.    Transactional

Performance is the focus of a transactional leader, who often uses a reward method to motivate his team. The leader gives rewards to the ones who have had an outstanding performance, but also takes disciplinary measures towards the ones who have failed. 

The leader offers instructions and training in order to help every member to exceed expectations, and also mentors the team. This type of leadership is very efficient to accomplish goals; the team will act driven by the reward system. It helps to show employees’ responsibility and encourages their efforts. 

Despite of all its advantages, transactional leadership may not be the most appropriate when there is the need to drive creativity. 

10. Bureaucratic

The bureaucratic way of leadership is very similar to the autocratic one. It focuses on written duties and a hierarchy system, where each employee has a list of specific responsibilities. There isn’t much space for creativity in this style.

In areas where there are strict regulations, just like healthcare and government, that type of leadership can be very efficient. Bureaucratic leaders will make sure each step is precisely followed. 

How to find your leadership style?

As you can see every leadership style has its particularities, some can be very useful for one specific situation while not suited to another. The best way to discover what type of leader you need to be is to know yourself, the challenges you have to deal with, and your team. 

Maybe you can identify with more than one style, which is good because it means you know how to adapt to be the leader your team needs. Study each type and discover what you can learn from them. 

Did you like our article? Share it on social media, so your friends and coworkers can discover their leadership style, too. To increase your leadership abilities in a variety of different methods, contact us to set up a coaching plan.

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