12 Different Types of Leadership Styles

According to Research by asaecenter, leadership style is the way a person uses power to lead other people. Research has identified a variety of leadership styles based on the number of followers. The most appropriate leadership style depends on the function of the leader, the followers and the situation.

Some leaders cannot work comfortably with a high degree of followers’ participation in decision making. Some employers lack the ability or the desire to assume responsibility. Furthermore, the specific situation helps determine the most effective style of interactions. Sometimes leaders must handle problems that require immediate solutions without consulting followers.

What are Different Leadership Styles?

We have covered 12 different types of ways people tend to lead organizations or other people. Not all of these styles would deem fit for all kind of situations, you can read them through to see which one fits right to your company or situation.

1. Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership style is centered on the boss. In this leadership the leader holds all authority and responsibility. In this leadership, leaders make decisions on their own without consulting subordinates. They reach decisions, communicate them to subordinates and expect prompt implementation. Autocratic work environment does normally have little or no flexibility.

In this kind of leadership, guidelines, procedures and policies are all natural additions of an autocratic leader. Statistically, there are very few situations that can actually support autocratic leadership.

Some of the leaders that support this kind of leadership include: Albert J Dunlap (Sunbeam Corporation) and Donald Trump (Trump Organization) among others.

2. Democratic Leadership

In this leadership style, subordinates are involved in making decisions. Unlike autocratic, this headship is centered on subordinates’ contributions. The democratic leader holds final responsibility, but he or she is known to delegate authority to other people, who determine work projects.

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The most unique feature of this leadership is that communication is active upward and downward. With respect to statistics, democratic leadership is one of the most preferred leadership, and it entails the following: fairness, competence, creativity, courage, intelligence and honesty.

3. Strategic Leadership Style

Strategic leadership is one that involves a leader who is essentially the head of an organization. The strategic leader is not limited to those at the top of the organization. It is geared to a wider audience at all levels who want to create a high performance life, team or organization.

The strategic leader fills the gap between the need for new possibility and the need for practicality by providing a prescriptive set of habits.  An effective strategic leadership delivers the goods in terms of what an organization naturally expects from its leadership in times of change. 55% of this leadership normally involves strategic thinking.

4. Transformational Leadership

Unlike other leadership styles, transformational leadership is all about initiating change in organizations, groups, oneself and others.

Transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. They set more challenging expectations and typically achieve higher performance.

Statistically, transformational leadership tends to have more committed and satisfied followers. This is mainly so because transformational leaders empower followers.

5. Team Leadership

Team leadership involves the creation of a vivid picture of its future, where it is heading and what it will stand for. The vision inspires and provides a strong sense of purpose and direction.

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Team leadership is about working with the hearts and minds of all those involved. It also recognizes that teamwork may not always involve trusting cooperative relationships. The most challenging aspect of this leadership is whether or not it will succeed. According to Harvard Business Review, team leadership may fail because of poor leadership qualities.

6. Cross-Cultural Leadership

This form of leadership normally exists where there are various cultures in the society. This leadership has also industrialized as a way to recognize front runners who work in the contemporary globalized market.

Organizations, particularly international ones require leaders who can effectively adjust their leadership to work in different environs. Most of the leaderships observed in the United States are cross-cultural because of the different cultures that live and work there.

7. Facilitative Leadership

Facilitative leadership is too dependent on measurements and outcomes – not a skill, although it takes much skill to master. The effectiveness of a group is directly related to the efficacy of its process. If the group is high functioning, the facilitative leader uses a light hand on the process.

On the other hand, if the group is low functioning, the facilitative leader will be more directives in helping the group run its process. An effective facilitative leadership involves monitoring of group dynamics, offering process suggestions and interventions to help the group stay on track.

8. Laissez-faire Leadership

Laissez-faire leadership gives authority to employees. According to azcentral, departments or subordinates are allowed to work as they choose with minimal or no interference. According to research, this kind of leadership has been consistently found to be the least satisfying and least effective management style.

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9. Transactional Leadership

This is a leadership that maintains or continues the status quo. It is also the leadership that involves an exchange process, whereby followers get immediate, tangible rewards for carrying out the leader’s orders. Transactional leadership can sound rather basic, with its focus on exchange.

Being clear, focusing on expectations, giving feedback are all important leadership skills. According to Boundless.com, transactional leadership behaviors can include: clarifying what is expected of followers’ performance; explaining how to meet such expectations; and allocating rewards that are contingent on meeting objectives.

10. Coaching Leadership

Coaching leadership involves teaching and supervising followers. A coaching leader is highly operational in setting where results/ performance require improvement. Basically, in this kind of leadership, followers are helped to improve their skills. Coaching leadership does the following: motivates followers, inspires followers and encourages followers.

11. Charismatic Leadership

In this leadership, the charismatic leader manifests his or her revolutionary power. Charisma does not mean sheer behavioral change. It actually involves a transformation of followers’ values and beliefs.

Therefore, this distinguishes a charismatic leader from a simply populist leader who may affect attitudes towards specific objects, but who is not prepared as the charismatic leader is, to transform the underlying normative orientation that structures specific attitudes.

12. Visionary Leadership

This form of leadership involves leaders who recognize that the methods, steps and processes of leadership are all obtained with and through people. Most great and successful leaders have the aspects of vision in them.

However, those who are highly visionary are the ones considered to be exhibiting visionary leadership. Outstanding leaders will always transform their visions into realities.


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