April 13, 2024

Styles Of Leadership

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Leadership Styles To Learn in Management

8 min read
A leader is someone who encourages a group of people to work towards a shared objective, whereas leadership is the art of inspiring a group of people to take action. Different leadership philosophies will have varying effects on the organisation. Given that leadership style is essential to a team’s success, the leader must select the method that will produce the best results given the circumstances. Everyone may become a more adaptable and effective leader by recognising these leadership types and their effects.

Transactional leadership

A series of leadership theories that focus on the relationships between leaders and followers are referred to as transactional leadership. When team members accept a job, they do so with the understanding that they will completely obey their leader. The “transaction” is typically the payment made by the company to the team members in exchange for their work and adherence. As a result, the team’s leader has the authority to “punish” team members if their work falls short of the established benchmark. Under transactional leadership, team members have little control over how satisfied they are with their jobs.

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Incentives that promote even higher standards or more productivity could be used by the team leader to give team members some control over their salary or reward. As an alternative, a transactional leader could employ “management by exception,” in which case, rather than rewarding superior work, he or she would implement corrective measures if the necessary criteria were not fulfilled.

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Given that the main focus is on immediate duties, transactional leadership is actually merely a method of managing rather than a true leadership style. Although it has significant drawbacks for knowledge-based or creative work, it is nonetheless a prevalent management style in many organisations.

Autocratic Leadership

All decision-making authority is centralised in the leader under autocratic leadership styles, which is why such leaders are dictators. An extreme version of transactional leadership is autocratic leadership, in which the leader has absolute power over the members of his or her team or organisation. Few opportunities exist for team members to offer suggestions, even when doing so would benefit the team or organisation.

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The traditional management style is frequently regarded as autocratic. It is one where the management has the most control and decision-making authority. Employees are not allowed to provide any input or be consulted by the manager. Without any explanation, employees are expected to follow instructions. The creation of a systematic system of rewards and penalties results in the creation of a motivational environment. Decisions are made by autocratic leaders without consulting their teams. This is regarded as acceptable when decisions must be made promptly, when input is not required, and when team consensus is not required for a good conclusion.

However, this technique can still be useful in some uninteresting and unskilled professions when the benefits of control exceed the drawbacks.

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Transformational Leadership

The definition of transformational leadership is “leadership that produces meaningful and positive change in the followers.” A transformational leader places a strong emphasis on “transforming” others so that they support one another, watch out for one another, are positive and harmonious, and care about the organisation as a whole. Through this style of leadership, the leader raises the motivation, morale, and productivity of his followers. This type of leader inspires his or her team with a common future vision, making them great leaders. Transformative leaders spend a lot of time communicating and are very visible.

They regularly distribute responsibility among their teams, so they don’t always take the lead. Even though their passion is frequently contagious, they occasionally require “detail people” to help them.

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Both transactional and transformational leadership are required in many organisations. While transformational leaders oversee efforts that create new value, transactional leaders (or managers) make sure that ordinary work is successfully completed.

Servant Leadership

This phrase, which was first used in the 1970s by Robert Greenleaf, refers to a leader who is frequently not publicly acknowledged as one. A person is referred to as a “servant leader” when they lead at any level of an organisation merely by taking care of the requirements of their team. The focus of servant leadership was on the leader as a servant, whose primary responsibility was to support, enable, and develop team members so they could reach the full extent of their potential and perform at their very best. Given that decisions are frequently made with input from the entire team, servant leadership is sometimes compared to democratic leadership.

In a society where values are becoming more important and servant leaders gain power based on their principles and goals, proponents of the servant leadership paradigm argue that it is a vital path forward. Some assert that those who employ servant leadership may find themselves “left behind” by those who employ alternative leadership philosophies in settings where there is competition for followership. The concept of servant leadership may be appealing to followers, thus the prospect of working for a boss who practises it seems appealing at first. For its blatantly democratic and consensual style, it may appeal to those who have no accountability for the consequences.

Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership is a captivating approach to leading that centres on a leader’s exceptional personality and ability to inspire and motivate others. This leadership style is often marked by the leader’s compelling communication skills, strong vision, and the ability to create a sense of shared purpose among followers. Charismatic leaders possess a unique charm and presence that attracts and captivates people, fostering a deep sense of loyalty and commitment. Their magnetic personality and ability to articulate a compelling vision often lead to heightened enthusiasm and dedication within the team or organization. Charismatic leaders are known for their unwavering confidence, dynamic presence, and capacity to generate a sense of trust and emotional connection with their followers. While charismatic leadership can lead to great accomplishments and a devoted following, it also carries the potential for dependency on the leader’s presence and can sometimes overshadow other aspects of effective leadership.

One of the distinguishing features of charismatic leadership is the emphasis on transformation and change. Charismatic leaders often challenge the status quo, igniting a fervour for innovation and growth among their followers. Their ability to articulate a compelling vision for the future and to convey the potential benefits of change helps to overcome resistance and inspire a collective commitment to progress. However, the charismatic leadership style is not without its challenges. The heavy reliance on the leader’s personality can create vulnerability within the organization, especially if the leader departs or faces difficulties. Moreover, the potential for charismatic leaders to become overly dominant or to emphasize personal charisma over sound decision-making can lead to a skewed balance of power. Despite these potential pitfalls, charismatic leadership remains a powerful tool for driving transformation, fostering unity, and rallying individuals around a common purpose.

Democratic Leadership

A democratic leader invites other team members to participate in the decision-making process even if he or she will ultimately make the choice. Including team members or employees in the action, not only improves job satisfaction but also aids in skill development.

Employees and team members are driven to work hard for more than simply financial gain since they feel in charge of their own fate. Democratic leadership has the capacity to produce a lot of work over an extended period of time. Many workers appreciate the trust they are given and act in a cooperative, supportive, and cheerful manner as a result.

This strategy can result in slower progress than an autocratic one because participation takes time, but the results are frequently better. Where teamwork is crucial and where quality is more important than speed to market or productivity, it may be most appropriate.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

The “hands-off” leadership style is another name for the Laissez-Faire approach. It is one in which the boss allows workers as much latitude as possible while offering little to no direction. The employees are given complete autonomy and power to set their own objectives, make decisions, and deal with issues.

This French expression, which translates to “leave it be,” is used to characterise a boss who lets his or her subordinates focus on their jobs. If the team leader routinely updates his or her team on the progress being made while keeping track of what is being accomplished, it may be successful. Laissez-Faire leadership typically succeeds in groups of highly skilled and experienced self-starters.

Unfortunately, it can also be used to describe circumstances in which management is not exercising enough control. This benefit only applies to positions that require highly responsible individuals and creative work environments where an individual is driven by his or her own objectives.

This technique can be effective in certain circumstances because less direction is needed. Because the leader typically adopts this method as a result of his or her lack of interest, it has more drawbacks than advantages. It demonstrates bad management and causes the staff to lose concentration and feeling of purpose. The employees’ interest in their jobs decreases and their level of unhappiness rises as a result of management and leadership’s lack of enthusiasm.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Regardless of their applicability in dynamic situations, this leadership style places a strong emphasis on formal processes and established practices. The strength of bureaucratic leaders, who try to address issues by putting more layers of control in place, is derived from their ability to manage information flow. Leaders in the bureaucracy operate “by the book” and make sure that their employees adhere to the rules precisely. This work style is ideal for jobs that provide significant safety concerns, such as those involving heavy machinery, poisonous materials, heights, or the handling of big sums of cash.

Other times, the rigidity and tight control can demoralise employees and make it more difficult for the company to respond to shifting external conditions.

The many leadership philosophies mentioned above demonstrate that leadership philosophies are the traits that fundamentally characterise the leaders in organisations. They combine a number of different features and have a significant impact on the organisation’s or company’s culture.
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four different types of leadership?
The first and most important step is to comprehend the four most popular leadership philosophies: authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, and bureaucratic. Each of these types calls for distinct strategies that emphasise different elements.

What describes a good leadership style?
Good leaders frequently combine a variety of “leadership qualities,” including imagination, drive, foresight, and empathy. The most effective leaders, however, are able to adjust to the demands of various circumstances and use a variety of leadership techniques to accomplish their objectives.

Who is an efficient leader?
Good leaders show courage, passion, confidence, devotion, and ambition in addition to providing advice, inspiration, and direction. Building teams dedicated to attaining shared objectives, they develop the strengths and abilities of their workforce.

Disclaimer: This content was authored by the content team of ET Spotlight team. The news and editorial staff of ET had no role in the creation of this article.


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