Leadership Styles: 7 Distinct Types of Leadership

Leadership Styles:  7 Distinct Types of Leadership
Leadership Styles:  7 Distinct Types of Leadership

Leadership Styles

There are 7 Leadership styles are as follows:

1. Autocratic Leadership:

Autocratic leaders, also known as dictatorial leaders, have complete control over the organization's power, authority, and accountability. Team or community members have little input or decision-making authority; instead, they are concerned with fulfilling the leader's decisions and choices. This leadership style is typically very strict but can be helpful in situations where structure, quick decision-making, and close supervision are needed. Some drawbacks include the organization relying heavily on the leader, poor communication or absence thereof, and a decline in employee morale.

Example: Martha Stewart is a symbol of autocratic leadership with her passionate attention to detail and hands-on approach to events within her brands. She takes a keen interest in events happening within her brands and makes most decisions that impact her empire.

2. Charismatic Leadership:

Charismatic leadership can transform the perspectives and values of employees and others. It possesses the ability to influence and inspire others, with organizational goals typically aligning with the leader's vision. As the name suggests, a charismatic leader is charismatic and can influence and inspire others. On the flip side, like autocratic leaders, an organization heavily relies on the charismatic leader. In such situations, the leader may overlook the wishes or ideas of others and be incapable of learning from mistakes or dissent.

Example: Oprah Winfrey is a charismatic woman who not only influences her employees but also people worldwide.

3. Transformational Leadership:

Transformational leaders, like inspirational leaders, inspire others. However, unlike previous leadership models, it doesn't require the leader's intervention to influence change because the leader initiates the transformation and motivates employees to succeed. Transformational leadership requires employee competence and involvement. While it can help drive real change, it may overly exploit the value of some employees. Additionally, transformational leaders take substantial risks in setting unusually high goals for their team members.
Example: Walt Disney was an outstanding transformational leader with a clear vision and the ability to inspire others.

4. Laissez-Faire Leadership:

Laissez-faire leaders grant employees significant autonomy in their work. These leaders take a hands-off approach, allowing employees to manage themselves, and make decisions about daily tasks and responsibilities independently. Despite employees having the freedom to choose these options, leaders still bear the responsibility for the company's decisions. When workers are skilled like their work and motivated to excel, the laissez-faire leadership style can be effective. Employees enjoy autonomy, which can attract a large number of them. However, if a leader is absent or takes a passive attitude towards employees who require more input, this leadership style can have negative effects. It can trigger a lack of unity within a community or team, and projects may derail without sufficient supervision.

Example: Donna Karen is an example of a laissez-faire leader who maintains a leadership style by overseeing subordinates' results while entrusting decision-making to them.

5. Transactional Leadership:

Transactional leadership is based on the idea that work and programs are both transactions: when an employee takes on a role, they agree to fulfill tasks and duties in exchange for rewards. Employees can be rewarded or disciplined based on their performance results. Those who are motivated by incentives and respond to rewards are likely to perform well under this style of leadership, as responsibilities are clearly defined. However, this leadership style does not inspire innovation or creativity in employees and can establish a rigid framework that may not adapt well to change.

Example: Bill Gates employed a task-oriented, goal-centered transactional leadership style while developing and running Microsoft, maintaining a results-driven approach.

6. Supportive Leadership:

Supportive leaders not only assign responsibilities and tasks to their employees but also provide them with the necessary skills needed to fulfill those responsibilities. They work alongside employees to resolve struggles and concerns and offer guidance and coaching as needed. While maintaining control over employees, supportive leaders take steps to assist them in working through any difficulties or challenges. Compassionate and duty-bound leaders are more likely to have supportive relationships with their employees. Consequently, employees feel respected and motivated. However, there are several drawbacks to supportive leadership. For instance, a supportive leader, in a managerial role, may lose respect if they only intervene when issues arise, and their involvement is limited in the overall flow and achievement of the organization's objectives.

Example: To ensure Google's success, CEO Larry Page has implemented a combination of leadership styles. In his role as a supportive leader, he actively makes decisions, inspires employees, provides support, and expects them to work independently against Google's goals and vision.

7. Democratic Leadership:

Democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership, allows all or most members of a group to participate in the decision-making process. Democratic leaders emphasize equality and encourage free-flowing discussions and ideas. While democratic leadership has several advantages, such as promoting innovation, emphasizing fairness, and valuing intelligence and integrity, it also has some disadvantages. Roles may be less well-defined, resulting in communication issues and failures. Some members of the group, especially those with less experience, may be less willing or capable of contributing, or they may feel that their contributions are not valued as much as others.

Example: Indra Nooyi, the CEO and Chairperson of PepsiCo, is a democratic leader who promotes connectivity and strives to take an interest in the lives of her employees.

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