Different Types of Leadership Style

Ultimately, business success may ride on the success and failure of leaders – among a number of other factors, obviously. There’s no all-purpose attitude to leading staff that’ll be successful for all leaders in every instance, so based on a variety of issues, which might include a business’ goals, its worker skill-level and the industry it’s in, one type of leadership style might operate more productively than another.

Leadership is a skill that a person will gain through practice in an innovative manner.


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There are 3 main types of leadership styles, categorized by psychologist Kurt Lewin. They are autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire leadership. Below we define what they are, the pros and cons, and when they may be most implemented in the corporate world.

  • Autocratic leadership

Autocratic leadership (also called authoritarian leadership) gives all the control to the leaders, which means that they are fully in charge of making decisions.

Therefore, the leaders instructed staff with information about what needs to be done, the recommendation may be shunned or simply ignored.

Pro: a certain type of leadership style works well in industries and companies where rapid decision-making is the key, where there is no time to consult with the staff for their involvement as well. It is also effective on a member of staff who may not hold the skills or knowhow to look after the workload of each.

Cons: Employees may feel ignored and unimportant, which can affect employee motivation and satisfaction. Creativity can also be negatively affected, as employees are not given any room to be innovative.

Best use: When it gets the job done in a certain way is much more important than creativity and participation of staff.

  • Democratic leadership

Democratic leadership (also known as participative leadership) is a style of leadership that gives some decision-making powers for the group, as far as they are consulted and asked for their opinion by the people responsible. In the end, however, the leaders still have the overall decision-making power.

Pro:  Team members should feel more wanted, with additional responsibilities and the fact that their insights care. This, in turn, will lead to a greater level of motivation.

Cons: With more people involved, the decision may take longer to implement. It might be ok when things can take time, but it becomes more of a problem when a decision must be made in a hurry.

Best used: When things do not need to be done immediately and creativity and innovation are important factors.

  • Laissez-faire Leadership

Laissez-faire leadership (also known as discretionary leadership) is a fairly relaxed leadership style, giving full control of the decision making to the workers. That’s pretty much up to them to sort out their workload, while the managers do not get in the way or monitor what they are doing.

Pros: The staff will feel more important with the high level of responsibility because they would be given independence in what they do.

Cons: If the laissez-faire leadership style used on someone who is not good at managing their own work productivity may crash. Also, there are rumours that the leadership team will look lazy and that they do not want to get involved in the events in the workplace.

When a member of staff responsible enough to stay on top of their work, plus when their independence is a positive factor and rewarding, instead they were told what they can and can not do.

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