Every business and organization needs proven leadership style to run optimally and achieve strategic objectives. Without leadership, there’s no coordination and direction. Most noteworthy, leadership, authority and accountability are so crucial to achieving set goals and objectives.
As an entrepreneur, you are a leader. Leading a team or group of people to achieve specific objectives is a must-have skill. If you cannot lead others, chances are that you are going to handle a lot of things yourself. And just as you know; the bigger the dream, the bigger the team. So, having or mastering leadership style is a must for optimal brand performance.
How do you feel when you were “bossed around”? what is your reaction when given the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions? How well do you perform when you feel like a bonafide member of the planning and implementation process?
[bctt tweet=”How do you feel when you were “bossed around”? what is your reaction when given the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions? #leadership @Ibs_social” username=”Ola_osofowora”]
Most relevant, not all leadership styles get the most out of employees or team. How well your team performs depends on your leadership style. Hence, the need to develop the right leadership style that helps everyone performs optimally.
What makes people emulate leaders such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mahatma Gandhi and others? What makes Adolf Hitler hated by many? It is their leadership style.
WHAT IS LEADERSHIP STYLE?
Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people to achieve set objectives. Leadership style could be said as a style of leading people to achieve common objectives.
Choice of leadership style is dependent on the brand’s culture, structure, goals and objectives of the organization. It could also be said to be dependent on what you want to achieve as a team with you being the leader.
WHY MASTER LEADERSHIP STYLES?
Firstly, mastering leadership style is essential to leveraging your strengths and weaknesses appropriately.
With various leadership styles, it is vital that you master at least 3 to perform optimally in various situations, circumstances and environment.
Your style defines your values and perspectives and helps you communicate your ideas succinctly under different circumstances.
In communication, the knowledge of your leadership style enables you to communicate with people and sell your ideas appropriately. Different leadership styles have different communication styles. Most relevant, having a wide knowledge of leadership styles help you put the best communication style suited to the environment to use.
Different work environments require different leadership styles. Comprehensive knowledge of the factors in the environment enables you to perform optimally in different environments.
Work circumstances and challenges too will require you to switch or adjust your leadership style to get the job done.
TYPES OF LEADERSHIP STYLES
Our focus is on 3 generally accepted leadership style that works and delivers optimally. And they are as follows:
1.0 AUTHORITARIAN OR AUTOCRATIC
This leadership style tells his team what to do and how to do it without getting their opinion. An autocratic leader does not request nor entertain his/her team’s perspective. Leaders who have most sufficient information and time constraints tend to use this style the most.
This style emphasizes the authority between the leader and the follower. Authoritarian leadership style as effective as it may honour the leader’s opinion alone.
[bctt tweet=”An autocratic leader does not request nor entertain his/her team’s perspective. Leaders who have most sufficient information and time constraints tend to use this style the most.” username=”Ola_osofowora”]
In practice, this style gets the job done but it isn’t the best to get people committed to your goals.
Most noteworthy example of autocratic leadership style includes; the relationship between a supervisor and a junior staff. Also, the relationship between a teacher and the students is autocratic.
Most relevant, autocratic leadership style is not the same thing as bullying. Bossing people around and being arrogant is just unethical leadership traits. Being autocratic does not warrant using people or using them as a means to an end.
Autocratic leadership style is appropriate when as a leader; you have sufficient information, right people but insufficient time.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
• The leader has all the power, authority and makes all decisions
• Too much emphasize on supervision and scepticism of follower’s ability
• Centralization and too much involvement in every activity
• Communication is usually monologue. Only leaders air their opinion.
• The focus is on the task at hand and not workforce empowerment.
• The leader takes all the credit for the work done!
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WHY AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE?
Autocratic leadership style with all the negative perceptions it gathers still get the job done! Authoritarianism is task driven and stops at nothing to achieve objectives.
Also, communication is a monologue and that saves more time than back and forth dialogue.
In addition, things are more organized with autocratic leadership style. Authoritarianism banks on the leader’s experience and that saves errors.
Authoritarianism is the best style to groom new staff and inexperienced people new to the system.
ARGUMENT AGAINST AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
With all the advantages of authoritarianism, it has received harsh criticism and negative reviews over the period. The following are major disadvantages of authoritarianism:
- It is extremely stressful for the followers – this leadership style works with extensive monitoring and supervision. Too much supervision wears people out. Supervision inhibits creativity. This leadership style has little or no regards for creativity.
- Low motivation and commitment plaques this style. Let’s be honest here, no one enjoys taking instructions every moment of the day. Hence, followers are not motivated to put in their best.
- Too much dependence on the leader – authoritarianism relies too much on the leader. The system fails the moment the leader slacks or fails to perform. Centralization means this system needs the leader at an optimum level always.
- Misuse of power and authority are rampant with this leadership style. Often times, leaders abuse these powers. Hence the reason for the harsh condition under this style.
- Creative energy is wasted in this style of leadership. The monologue system makes silences creative forces.
In conclusion, this leadership style is most appropriate when followers are inexperienced and new to the system. It is also relevant in a centralized system. Most relevant, it is the most efficient system when there’s a time constraint.
Popular examples of autocratic leaders are Adolf Hitler, Martha Stewart, and Leona Helmsley.
2.0 Democratic or Participatory Leadership style
Democratic leadership involves a leader involving the followers in the decision-making process but retains final decision-making authority. This style tells what to do, how to do it and carries the followers along in completing the task.
It is generally used when a leader does not have all the information needed to complete a task, hence; the need to get more information from the followers and their involvement in the process.
Democratic leadership style entertains the opinion of the leader as well as the followers on the subject matter. Also, without time constraint, this style gets the best out of the workforce.
[bctt tweet=”Democratic #leadership style entertains the opinion of the leader as well as the followers on the subject matter. Also, without time constraint, this style gets the best out of the workforce. ” username=”Ola_osofowora”]
While the democratic leadership style entertains everyone’s opinion, it still needs a leader to perform optimally.
Most relevant, group members must be skilled and interested in sharing their knowledge in this system.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
- Responsibility is distributed in democratic leadership style. Distribution of decision making responsibility improves participation among team members.
- Group members are empowered. Decentralization gives followers the opportunity to grow and also learn to become a leader.
- Entertains opinions. Unlike the autocratic style, democratic style entertains followers’ opinion and perspective.
- The final decision still rests on the leader- regardless of the opinions, the final decision still rests on the leader after considering the opinions.
- Effective dialogue communication facilitates this style to run optimally.
WHY DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE?
Democratic leadership style leverages the perspectives of all parties to achieve a common objective. This style enhances team spirit as everyone is working for a united course.
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Also, communication gap or break-down is reduced as the system facilitates communication and entertains everyone’s opinion.
In addition, the workforce is more motivated and committed to this style of leadership than autocratic style. Everyone wants to be heard; hence the style thrives because it entertains opinions.
You consider everyone’s perspective before making the final decision. The team makes succinct decisions when creative minds coming together.
ARGUMENT AGAINST DEMOCRATIC STYLE
There’s always a downside or two to everything good. The following are the disadvantages of the democratic style:
- It can’t perform optimally with a time constraint. Reaching a decision takes too much time. Because it involves so many people, decision making takes too much time.
- Decision making also takes an eternity because you need to consult every member.
- There’s a problem when leaders entertain team members’ opinion but do not take them into consideration when making the final decision. Tempers flare as team members consider the consultation as a waste of time.
- You need skilled or experienced team members for the style to flourish. With inexperienced team members, this style will yield little or no return.
In conclusion, this style is most appropriate when there’s time for consultations. You need skilled and experienced team members to make it effective. Most noteworthy, the final decision lies with the leader.
A popular leader who adopts this leadership style includes Carlos Ghoson of Renault.
3.0 THE LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERSHIP STYLE
The laissez-faire leadership style is also the delegative style. It is a style that gives decision making authority to the followers. Team members have the freedom to call the shot on issues and tasks.
Guidance and self-rule are the key factors in the success of this leadership style. Here, leaders assign task and duty to team members while the leader gets busy with other things.
With experienced, skilled and educated team members, the Laissez-faire style works magic.
In addition, with team members taking pride in their work and outcome, this system gets the most out of people.
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Most noteworthy, do not use the Laissez-faire style in situations where the leader is not available to delegate and give feedbacks.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t do everything. So this style is suitable when you have team members with analytical skills and can decide on the best course of action.
In addition, you are responsible for the outcome of the decision. So, it’s not an opportunity to blame others and ignore responsibilities.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERSHIP STYLE
- Minimal guidance from the leader
- Authority lies with the followers
- Leaders give direction while team members decide the way
- Team members do most of the work while the leader takes responsibility for the result.
WHY LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERSHIP STYLE?
With Laissez-faire leadership style, leaders can focus more on pressing and top management responsibility. Leaders have more time because this style is delegating.
Utilizing this style with skilled team members is the best thing to do.
Steve jobs” it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what do to.” If this is so your mantra, this leadership strategy is good for you.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERSHIP STYLE
It is not wise to employ this leadership style with inexperienced team members or workforce. Using this style with team members who do not have the skills to make the right decision is suicide.
With supervision needed to carry out the task, this style is not the best as it offers minimum supervision.
Popular leaders who utilize the laissez-faire leadership style include Steve Jobs.
Different styles motivate employees and team members differently. With the democratic and Laissez-faire style, decentralization helps team members performs optimally.
No one wants to be boss around and that’s why the autocratic style needs caution.
I’m sure the question on your mind now is what leadership style is best for me? The truth is, you need all three leadership styles to achieve your objectives. Different situations and circumstances require different styles.
Consider your brand’s structure and culture to develop an effective style that helps you achieve your objectives while keeping people happy.
So, over to you! Which is your best style and which one do you thrive most under? Love this post? Share it!
Leadership styles can vary for different organizations depending on the leader and the members themselves. I studied leadership styles in my organizational communication course back in college. I’ve had different organizations before and I don’t stick to one leadership style because I try to evaluate my team on what would be the best fit for them. Great article Oladipupo