Leadership style is an important concept in any organization, as it directly affects how the organization functions. It is defined as the manner in which a leader provides direction, implements plans and motivates people.
The theory of leader styles has evolved over the centuries, from the concept of the "Great Man Theory" which suggested that leaders are born, to the notion that leaders have specific traits, the Trait Theory, and eventually to the concept that leaders can be made via education, the Behavioral Theories.
Leadership styles are important because they influence how an organization is organized, how decision making is made, and how people interact with each other.
A leader’s style can have a major impact on the success or failure of an organization, as it can shape the culture and the way individuals are managed.
A leader’s style of leadership should fit the organization and its goals.
The style chosen should help to create an environment in which people can perform optimally and have the greatest impact on the organization’s success. Different leadership styles are suitable for different organizations and their goals, so it is important for a leader to identify the right style for the organization and its mission.
The most common leadership styles include autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, and transformational.
*Autocratic leadership is a style in which the leader makes all the decisions and is in full control of the situation. The leader is the ultimate decision-maker, and the followers have no input into the decision-making process. This style is best suited for situations where the leader has to make quick decisions and follow a strict set of rules.
*Democratic leadership is a style in which the leader encourages collaboration and participation from followers. The leader makes decisions based on the input of the team and everyone has an opportunity to contribute. This style is best suited for team-based environments and situations where collective decision-making is necessary.
*Transformational leadership is a style in which the leader motivates and encourages followers to reach their full potential. The leader provides guidance and encourages innovation. This style is best suited for situations where the team needs to be motivated and inspired to reach their goals.
*Laissez-faire leadership is a style in which the leader provides direction and then allows the followers to take the lead. The leader provides guidance and support but does not participate in decision-making. This style is best suited for situations where the followers are highly skilled and motivated and the leader can trust the team to make the right decisions.
Leadership style is an important concept that can have a major impact on an organization’s success. It is important for a leader to identify the right style for the organization and its mission.
Different leadership styles are suitable for different organizations and their goals, and it is important to find the style that will create an environment in which people can perform optimally and have the greatest impact on the organization’s success.
That was the theoretical part. Let's talk about practical life…
Now if you look back and think about the different leaders you have met, you can recognize the different styles. Some were dictatorial - others would involve you in decisions, ask you about your opinion. You may have met the Laissez Faire leader where everything seemed like it was floating. I have even met the ignorant leader, basically uninterested, a working pensioner.
Out of all these the latter was the worst. Often you will see a specific leadership style represented - and the leader will stick to it.
Let us look at the four styles on a slider.
I have come to the conclusion that a great leader can “slide” between the different styles. Some situations do call for the autocratic leader, some situations call for decision involvement. Now this is easier said than done, but it is possible.
One must accept that a company is not a democracy. This may sound like an obvious statement, but is actually not. A lot of employees still occasionally do not understand why they were not asked in a serious situation. They also often forget that they do not have the full picture.
My point is that some situations do call for the Autocratic leader. But if an autocratic leader tries to run the business in a democratic way it may be difficult. Still, the ability to change style - or use combinations is a necessary skill.
A trap is, if you as a democratic/ transformational leader slide too much towards Laissez Faire, and stay there. Laissez Faire is the road to destruction, but can occasionally and intentionally be used to give employees freedom to make decisions in certain fields. But be careful here.
Written by: Allan Loumann Lissau MBA, Communications adviser & Recruiter, Facebook specialist, Founder & CEO / Social Image
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