When you’re considering taking on a leadership role in your life or your career, one of the questions frequently asked is, “What is your leadership style?” If you don’t know the answer, let’s review these common leadership styles.
A leader with a coaching style will focus on identifying and cultivating the strengths of each team member. Like a sports team, they will develop strategies to help their teams work better together. Their primary objective is the success and growth of individuals, not just the company or organization.
Visionary leaders are inspirational and influential. They can advance progress and facilitate change while maintaining a level of trust in their employees or team members.
A visionary can easily establish strong bonds in the organization and quickly get buy-in from the team and colleagues.
The Servant Leader
A servant leader will put their people first. They firmly believe that team members are more effective and productive when they feel professionally and personally. Their methods emphasize team member satisfaction and healthy collaboration, and this often garners increased levels of respect.
The Autocratic Leader
As an autocratic leader, this persona will often make decisions without hearing input from their subordinates. Team members aren’t consulted but are expected to simply adhere to the new change in director or pace set forth by the leader.
Autocratic leaders consider themselves a one-man show and are rarely effective.
The Back Seat Leader
Also known as a “laissez-faire leader, this style takes a bit of a back seat in their leadership, giving autonomy to their team. This type of leader trusts their people, and they are empowered to do what they know they need to do, knowing their leader is comfortable supporting their decisions.
A hands-off approach like this works for teams of highly-skilled and experienced subordinates that don’t need a lot of hand-holding.
A democratic leader frequently makes decisions based on the feedback and opinions of their team. They still hold the power of the final decision, but their team members all have an equal opportunity to give their input.
This style is highly-effective and allows subordinates to learn how to voice their thoughts and impact the direction of their company.
The Transformational Leader
A transformational leader will inspire their subordinates with a vision but also empowers and encourages them to make it happen. This leadership style is usually quite effective, especially in growth-minded organizations, as it’s a motivating style that pushes team members to accomplish all they’re capable of.
This style is also known as “affiliative leadership” and focuses on encouraging cooperative relationships and building toward agreement. This type of leader gains loyal support because they’re able to zero in on people as individuals.
A collaborative leader encourages and develops working relationships between conflicting or diverse groups in the workplace and motivates them to problem solve towards a common goal.
Exploring Leadership Styles
Different organizations and teams require different styles of leadership at any given time. The most effective leaders are the ones that can adapt their style to support their team.