Not all leaders are the same.
In fact, there are several effective leadership
Certain styles of leadership are better suited for certain situations.
For example a leader in the business world would use different techniques for
motivating employees than a leader running for political office trying to garner
Here is a look at some common styles of leadership.
indifferent leadership style
where the leader has low concern for both people
and production and a focus on avoiding mistakes and trouble.
Not a very
innovative or even useful or leadership style.
- The opportunistic style
where the leader will exploit and manipulate to look good, because
the leader has a focus on personal benefit and cares neither for people nor
Also not a very useful leadership style.
- The accommodating
where the leader has a high concern for people and a low
concern for production.
An employee friendly leadership style which may or may
not be productive.
- The dictatorial leadership
where the leader
has a high concern for production, and a low concern for people.
punishments are used extensively and some (scared) companies resort to it in
times of crisis, much like the 'dictators' of ancient Rome.
- The paternalistic style of leadership
where the leader will alternate between the
accommodating and the dictatorial leadership styles.
A leader using this style
will support and praise, but will also discourage challenges to their way of
- The status quo leadership
where the leader has a focus
on balance and compromise between company goals and workers' needs.
approach has the typical problems of any compromise: Nobody is truly happy and
greatness is seldom achieved.
- The sound (or: team) style of leadership
where the leader has a high concern for both people and production.
Teamwork and commitment among employees is encouraged, and provided that the employees
experience themselves as constructive, responsible parts of the company, it
pretty much works.
- Transformational leadership
is the primary style
true leaders use and is very effective in the corporate world. A
transformational leader is able to inspire co-workers and influence them towards
the common corporate objective.
For this style to be effective, the leader must
have won the trust of the people on his team. He must look out for their
interests and act as a bridge between the team and the organization, bringing
them to mutual satisfaction rather than trying to force corporate policies.
- Transactional leadership
is a little different yet is also one of the
effective leadership styles. Corporations often use both transactional and
transformational leaders in order to meet goals.
A transactional leader is more
of a manager and holds team members accountable. Rather than fostering
creativity and the mutual exchange of ideas like a transformational leader, this
leader sets the rules and the team members sign on with the agreement they will
follow them without question. If they do not, there will be some sort of
repercussion or punishment to suffer.
These two styles of leadership vary quite
a bit and can be used to compliment each other to spur team members on to
- Task oriented leadership
has the purpose of
setting a goal and achieving it without discussion or compromise.
members are locked into set tasks they must perform without deviation, it can be
difficult to keep them motivated. Job burnout and dissatisfaction are higher
when team members don't have a voice.
- Laissez-faire leadership
more relaxed, as its name suggests. Styles of leadership like this can easily be
abused with the wrong team members.
When a leader has a hands-off approach, the
other members need to be self starters and highly skilled so no supervision is
The leader must offer feedback occasionally to keep the workers on the
right track and keep the lines of communication open, but for the most part,
team members are allowed to work on their own.
- Bureaucratic leadership:
One of the effective leadership styles in situations where safety or the need to
strictly follow guidelines is needed, is bureaucratic leadership. This leader
focuses his efforts on making sure his people follow corporate regulations down
to the letter.
Team members are educated on the regulations when they hire on
and are expected to follow them without deviation.
The leader's job then is to
simply monitor and make sure guidelines are followed. This type of leadership is
necessary for jobs that work with machinery or chemicals but is not suited to
jobs that require creativity or are knowledge based.
- Participation leadership
is one of the styles of leadership that leads to employee
satisfaction because they have a say in decisions about their jobs and working
They can offer input but not necessarily vote, as the leader and
management have the final say for setting policies. This keeps team members
motivated and invested.
This approach requires a lot more time and may make it
take longer to reach goals than styles of leadership that dictate policy, but
the quality of work and overall productivity are usually much better.
is what many politicians and religious leaders use but it
can also be used in the workplace.
With this style, the leader draws supporters
by virtue of his innate personality. People become committed to supporting the
leader who becomes more important to them than his cause.
While this can keep
workers highly productive and motivated, it can backfire on management if they
ever mistreat the leader or if he leaves the organization.
Leadership is directly linked to employee motivation and productivity so it has
been extensively studied.
Certain styles of leaders have been found more
effective in certain industries than others so it helps to know what works best
to keep a company working at peak efficiency.
Effective leadership styles are
important to those outside of the workforce too. Politicians must be good
leaders and use leadership styles that attract supporters rather than alienate
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