When it comes to leading a team of happy, productive employees, everyone has a certain “leadership style” – and this style can have a large impact on the ultimate success of your business. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each leadership style can help you to improve on your own style, or adopt examples of good leadership qualities that are appropriate for your unique profession and work environment. Below are 7 common leadership styles that include key leadership skills,but also tend to come with some downfalls:
Under transactional leadership, company owners simply reward productive performances, and punish poor performances. Microsoft’s Bill Gates is an example of a great leader who demonstrated the transactional leadership style on his product teams, and he also possessed a lot of charisma which also worked in his favor. While this style can promote more work productivity among employees, it can also unfortunately stir up negativity and even lead to poor performance if employees feel they are being criticized unfairly or watched too closely.
If you have a dominant personality, there’s a good chance you might be employing the autocratic leadership style. Autocratic business owners have a strong control over their staff – and, because of this, this style is typically most effective in environments that deal with routine/non-creative type work. Domineering leaders should remember that consistently having a heavy-handed attitude does have the potential to upset employees, kill creativity and ultimately sabotage a business – so it’s wise to keep this under control.
You are probably more of a democratic leader if you prefer asking for input and feedback from your team members. Appropriately so, employees often feel very satisfied working under this kind of management, as their opinions hold value and are appreciated by the authority. There is a downside to this management style, however – and it’s that decisions can take longer to make, which is bad for businesses that regularly depend on immediate action.
Translating to “let them do” in French, the laissez-faire work leadership style puts most of the control into the hands of the employees. This seems to be an effective approach in creative fields of work, or in situations where the employees are very skilled. But… of course, the leader should ensure that he or she is still very much a part of the team; making decisions and voicing goals and expectations as necessary while keeping an eye on group productivity.
Under transformational leadership, leaders work to intellectually inspire their employees through direct communication and collaborative efforts, working towards a healthy vision or goal. The leader enjoys being a role model for staff, and encourages the individual success of each member. This style works best in an environment where change and adaptation is crucial to success – however, the leader should have an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their team members to avoid pitfalls.
Bureaucratic leaders believe in structure and order, ensuring that his or her team members follow procedures to a T. While this can be a beneficial leadership approach in systematic types of organizations (banks, universities, government establishments, hospitals) – it isn’t ideal for more creative jobs where imagination or innovation is encouraged; often leaving highly driven employees feeling constrained and frustrated.
The charismatic leader is an excellent communicator, and is highly motivated and likeable – all excellent leadership skills. He or she also likes to inject high levels of enthusiasm into the work team, and has quite an energetic and optimistic presence that drives employees to aspire to that same energy. However, this kind of work environment is thirsty for balance – so the charismatic leader should work to encourage effort from each team member on an individual level, and strive to balance the level of energy or enthusiasm equally among workers. Is Your Leadership Style Making or Breaking Your Business? As you can see, there’s a vast variety of ways that a company leader can choose to lead their employees and organization to success. What is your leadership style?
Whatever your leadership style or styles may be, it’s important to note that all successful leaders do share one common trait: and that’s thoughtfully making every decision to bring them closer to their goal, rather than away from it. Keep a clear vision of your goal in mind at all times (something we can learn from transformational leaders!), and strive to make every single decision in the best interest of your business. Happy Leading!