Becoming a great leader can be as simple as adapting the right style.
If you are in a leadership position or are about to be, take a look at some of these successful leadership styles. While some people adopt just one, many people use a combination of styles.
Democratic. This approach includes all members of the team when it comes to decision-making. While the leader ultimately makes the final decision, each member gets a say in how they think things should be done. These types of leaders try to inspire creativity and critical-thinking within the team. One of the downsides to this style is that it can take longer to come to a final decision, which can be detrimental when there are tight deadlines.
Autocratic. This is a dictator type of leadership. When an autocratic leader makes a decision, they usually don’t ask for input from team members. There is one clear leader who makes the decisions, with team members setting expectations and direction. While things can be accomplished more quickly with this leadership style, it often squashes creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Coaching. These leaders tend to think of themselves as mentors. They spend a lot of one-on-one time with employees to help improve their performance and create goals they feel connected to. This type of style is best for employees who are seeking professional development and show initiative. However, some team members may feel as if they are being micromanaged.
Laissez-Faire. This is a hands-off type of leadership. The leader sets goals and expectations from the team and then gives them space to get their work done. Team members have total freedom to set their own deadlines and milestones. When needed and asked for, the leader steps in to offer help or advice. This style of leadership works best with an experienced team and can be very effective with regular feedback and performance reviews.
Pacesetting. This type of leader clearly lays out high standards for performance – and constantly raises the bar. This style can be good in that it keeps team members on their toes when it comes to productivity. But employees always feel like they are being asked for more, which can lead to decreased morale. This leadership style can be effective, when used sparingly and in conjunction with other styles.