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Every successful business needs a brilliant leader. The best thing about leadership is, there isn’t one route to success. There are various leadership styles in management you can adopt that suit you and your employees the most.
Your personal approach is likely to be a blend of these styles, depending on your preferences, your people's needs, and the situation you're in. Examples of bad leadership styles in management exist, but they all have uses and are only bad if misused.
Psychologist Kurt Lewin developed his framework in the 1930s. And it provided the foundation of many of the approaches that followed afterwards.
We will look at the various styles and outline how effective they are. Here is a list of leadership styles in management:
Described by many as the most effective leadership style, a democratic leader can help energise team members. We also know it as participative leadership or shared leadership.
It’s a leadership style in which members of the group take a more participative role in the decision-making process. The leader will still usually make the final call, but each employee has an equal say on the end decision.
Ideas are exchanged freely and discussion is encouraged. Researchers have found that the democratic leadership style is one of the most effective types and leads to higher productivity, better contributions from group members, and increased group morale.
Autocratic leaders, as the name implies, focus on control and chain of command to achieve results.
While you don’t have to be a dictator to use this leadership model, the authoritarian leadership style involves direct supervision, unwavering support of the message from leadership, and more one-sided feedback and communication than other styles.
It has some benefits and weaknesses. It is essential to utilise this only in the right circumstances and with the right group, else you could alienate the team.
The French term "laissez-faire" literally translates to "let them do," which means a laissez-faire leader gives nearly all authority to their employees.
These types of leader will put trust in their employees to manage their own workload while they see to overall running of the company. Many charismatic leaders have followed this style, such as Steve Jobs.
Working in a creative field where people are highly motivated, skilled, creative, and dedicated to their work can be conducive to getting excellent results with this style.
Because team members are well-trained and highly creative, they likely need little in the way of direct management. Instead, an effective leader can provide minimal oversight and guidance and still produce high-quality results.
Strategic leaders sit at the intersection between a company's primary operations and its growth opportunities. He or she accepts the burden of executive interests while ensuring that current working conditions remain stable for everyone else.
A transformational leader will encourage, inspire and motivate employees to innovate and create things. Through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders can inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work towards common goals.
The leader is constantly pushing employees outside of their comfort zone, starting with a simple set of tasks and deadlines but ramping up the pressure and challenge as they go.
The motivation, therefore, comes from the transformation of the employee and the company conventions. This allows the employee to shape things and allows them to see what they are capable of.
Transformational leaders inspire their team members because they expect the best from everyone, and they hold themselves accountable for their actions. They set clear goals, and they have good conflict-resolution skills. This leads to high productivity and engagement.
Transactional leadership, also known as managerial leadership, focuses on the role of supervision, organisation, and group performance. Leaders who implement this style focus on specific tasks and use rewards and punishments to motivate followers.
This is a fairly common leadership style, with performance-based bonuses being common in the workplace. When starting a job with a transactional boss, you might receive an incentive plan that motivates you to master your regular job duties.
Where this differs from rewards from a transformational leader is that a transactional leader will reward the employee for completing the tasks, whereas transformative leaders will reward them for positive results or outcomes from the tasks.
Taking inspiration from sports coaches, this management style focuses on partnership and collaboration between leaders and followers. This can be a very good leadership style in management.
This leader focuses on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member on his or her team.
They also focus on strategies that will enable their teamwork better together. This style offers strong similarities to strategic and democratic leadership but puts more emphasis on the growth and success of individual employees.
This is another example of a leadership style in management which is hard to make work in many circumstances. It is a traditional, by-the-books style of management. It has room for employee input, unlike autocratic leadership, but will usually reject it if the input goes against company policy.
Bureaucratic leadership is based on structure, and it requires a clear framework to support its functions. Unlike with certain other leadership theories, such as charismatic leadership, the framework is rather easy to follow and to set up.
Each of the above leadership styles can work given the right situation, you just need to look at your own workplace and choose the one that suits you best.
When you pair the perfect style of management with your workforce, you’ll have a happier and more productive workforce.
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