No matter how many individuals you research or listen to, it always seems like someone has a different but best leading style to operate under. Ultimately a lot of these choices come down to how you want to run your business and what you want the culture of your business to be.
So we decided to go through some of the most popular and successful leading styles available and review them so that you may be able to adapt these into your business if you feel they align with your goals.
Authoritarian Leadership Style.
This is probably the most iconic form of leading when individuals think of what a boss is. This kind of leadership focuses on setting out exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and then holding people accountable for that being done. Within this style of leadership, it's very clear who holds the most power in the dynamic. It is also evident what the chain of command is.
This is beneficial for individuals that want to make quick, and precise decisions and have them be followed out respectively. However, this kind of leadership often turns into some form of resentment towards whoever the leader is. We have all heard those nightmare boss stories, and most of those come from bosses using authoritarian leadership. This does not mean that every person using authoritarian leadership will be a nightmare boss. It just means the nightmare bosses tend to be authoritarian leaders.
As previously stated, this is very good for individuals that want to make decisions and have them followed through, but it leaves very little room for genuine feedback from your team. This will lead to your team feeling like they can't speak to you about potential problems or bring up issues with the plan you are rolling out.
It's important to note that this type of leadership style will be quick and decisive but may lead to a poor work environment and poor employee retention. Choose very carefully and situationally when this type of leadership will be used.
Coaching Leadership Style.
This kind of leadership style's main emphasis is that it is focused and centered around enabling and growing the team. This kind of leader really focuses on and hammers home, making a strong and well-rounded team, and does this all while playing to each individual strengths, as well as accommodating their weaknesses and helping them to build them up.
Although this can lead to some minor drawbacks, leading in this kind of style may lead others to feel that their goals are not equal. When you’re accommodating each person's strengths and weaknesses, you're going to set individual-based goals for them that may not be the same for someone else. It's very important to balance being coaching and setting uniform standards that everyone should follow.
Let's take an example. Your dental office sends an email follow-up after each meeting with a patient, asking how their visit was and asking if they could fill out a quick survey. You notice that one dental hygienist seems to get consistently less positive reviews than other dental hygienists, but their work product is still up to par. A coaching style of leader may speak with this employee and give them some more tips to help with their patient relations, and might even pair them up with another hygienist who has been excelling in that area.
This coaching Style very strongly encourages and believes in investing in their own employees, for the growth of them, and the growth of the company.
Laissez-faire Leadership Style.
This form of leadership style also goes by the name of a delegator leadership style. This leadership style is primarily focused on whoever the leader is, broadly giving the end goal of a task that they want to be completed to the team and then being completely hands-off from there on out.
An example of this would be that a boss comes to his team and states, “I don’t know how to do it, but figure it out, and get it done.” While this does alleviate that task and stress from the leader after handing it off, it does not set the team up for success. More often than not individuals will all attempt to be a leader of the subset group because they all believe they have a way that the task should be handled. Without set roles and a defined subset team lead for this project, it leads to a large amount of confusion, poor planning, and more than likely not being on time to hit the deadline.
This leadership style is recommended when you have complete faith within your team and their expertise to handle situations similar to this or have handled situations exactly like this in the past. Even in instances like this, though, it would still be recommended to provide some form of initial guidance or advice throughout the process.
Do not make your team feel like they are left out to dry.
Transformational Leadership Style.
The transformational leadership style is one that focuses on the team and their goals and motivation. However, they don't necessarily do this on as much of an individual level as one may initially think; that's where coaching tends to make more of a play.
This leadership style focuses on the aspects of setting goals and motivation on a larger scale. An easy way to explain this is how the teams fit into the big picture and how they are upholding the values of the company itself.
This may lead to some of these smaller aspects falling through the cracks, which is important to keep in mind because this leader is typically focused on the larger-scale objectives. As with the name, this leader does not shy away from assisting to transform the team into what is needed in the company's situation.
Democratic Leadership Style.
This style of leadership is much more focused on the opinions of your team. Often this leader will come to their employees and a team meeting, or even individually, and ask them how they feel a situation should be handled.
Listening to your employee’s recommendations, opinions, feelings on a situation, or possible policy roll-out creates a sense of trust and value within that team member.
Charismatic Leadership Style.
This tends to be one of the most unique forms of leadership and is very hard to build up if you are not innately skilled at communicating. Charismatic leadership is when someone is extremely good at communicating, and they are able to have people look up to them in both an emotional and admiring aspect.
These individuals tend to rise into leadership from their Charisma alone. Charismatic leaders tend to succeed when they have people around them that can advise them on decision-making processes. While they recognize that they may not be the single most skilled person in the room, they are very good at pulling together everyone that is skilled in their own regard and leading them in a united fashion.