Leadership Styles

By Abhimanyu Agashe3 min read · Posted Aug 11, 2022

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In business leadership, it is essential to understand which type of leadership style fits you and your team best. As captain of your ship, your actions can have positive or negative impacts on your team and its output.

Finding your groove

The leadership style you use is key to how your company runs and the correct style can be the difference between failing and excellence. Getting tasks done becomes extremely smooth when the team works cohesively, thanks to great leadership. However, incorrect use of leadership tactics can cause heavy friction between team members. An efficient leadership style should achieve good relations between team members and should balance hard deadlines with more flexible goals.

The Six Primary Leadership Styles

Strategic Leadership

A strategic leader is more architect than a bricklayer. Their primary tactic is creating a blueprint or strategy they believe their organization can implement for good results. While they may not be as involved in a company’s day-to-day, they certainly work to adapt their strategy constantly so it can fit their organization’s long-term goals. Strategic Leadership is optimal for people who might consider themselves “visionary”, and don’t feel adept at getting hands-on with employees.

Transactional Leadership

A transactional leader is someone who efficiently utilizes positive (and sometimes negative) reinforcement. Their primary tactic is possibly the simplest to understand - employees are rewarded for tasks well done, and punishments can be implemented for work that needs improvement or for regular late work. Transactional leaders are driven by results and take actions according to what they believe is best for the efficiency of the employees in their teams.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic Leadership focuses on rigidity and order. A bureaucratic leader implements tactics that center around standardizing processes and a clear organizational flow chart where everyone serves a fixed function. Bureaucratic leadership is a polarizing style of leadership: it seriously lacks flexibility, but when implemented successfully, it can help a company maximize output to an extent the other leadership styles may be unable to achieve.

Facilitative Leadership

Facilitative Leadership plays to the strengths and weaknesses of the employees in a team. A facilitative leader is progressively more hands-on when a team is unable to make progress with their task, and gradually gives the reins of the chariot to the team once they get the hang of the task. A facilitative leader rapidly adapts to different circumstances and is able to handle big picture tasks when their team focuses on less important ones.

Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership is a style of leadership where the autocratic leader has absolute control: an iron fist over all operations and processes, where any coworker’s input is highly discouraged and has the rigidity of bureaucratic leadership. It is highly efficient in terms of decision-making and output, but the lack of teamwork can cause friction in team relations. In most scenarios, Autocratic Leadership is discouraged, but in some circumstances, it can be the only option (for example, teams lacking a clear sense of direction for their goals would need some autocratic guidance to reach their goals).

Laissez Faire Leadership

In Laissez Faire leadership, control is thoroughly delegated to the employees and the leader is very hands-off. It differs from strategic leadership since even the long-term strategy outline is determined by employees in Laissez Faire leadership. The leader is only a “consultant” in this scenario, giving feedback and analysis to the employees behind the scenes.

In the end, communication between team members is key. A leadership style that is comfortable with the team while maximizing output and considers the circumstances of an organization will run well in most circumstances. Finding this balance is what makes someone an excellent leader!

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