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Leadership Styles: Which One Are You?

business leadership leadership leadership styles leadership training new leaders Sep 05, 2022

Leadership style is the way that a person leads. It is the way that they inspire, motivate and make decisions. There are many different leadership styles, but most can be grouped into four categories: authoritarian, participative, delegative, or laissez-faire. 


1. Authoritarian Leadership Style

The authoritarian leadership style, also known as the autocratic leadership style, is when one person has all the power and makes all the decisions. This type of leader doesn’t consult with their team or consider other people’s opinions. Instead, they tell their team what to do and expect it to be done without question. The authoritarian leadership style can be effective in certain situations, such as when there’s a clear goal that needs to be achieved and there’s not much time to waste. However, this leadership style can also lead to problems. For example, team members may feel unengaged and resentful and may not be motivated to do their best work. In addition, the leader may not be aware of important information that could help them make better and more accurate decisions. Overall, the authoritarian leadership style has both strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to consider these before using this leadership style.


2. Participative Leadership Style

The participative leadership style, also known as the democratic leadership style, is when the leader involves their team in decision-making. This type of leader will solicit input from their team and then decide based on what would be best for the team as a whole. The benefit of this leadership style is that it allows all team members to feel like they have a say in how decisions are made. This can help to build trust and commitment within the team. Additionally, this leadership style can help develop problem-solving skills among team members. The downside of participative leadership is that it can take longer to make decisions as there is more discussion and debate involved. Additionally, not all team members may be comfortable with this level of involvement. Therefore, it is essential for leaders to assess their team dynamic before implementing a participative leadership style.


3. Delegative Leadership Style

The delegative leadership style, also known as the free-rein leadership style, is when the leader delegates tasks and trusts their team to get them done without much supervision. This type of leader provides their team with guidelines and then lets them get on with the task at hand. Delegative leadership is most effective in situations where the team is experienced and knows what needs to be done. This leadership style can lead to high levels of motivation and empowerment as team members feel trusted and valued. However, it can also lead to chaos if the team is not adequately organized or lacks clarity about the task at hand. For this reason, delegative leadership should be used judiciously and only in situations where the team is capable of meeting the challenge.


4. Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

The laissez-faire leadership style, also known as the hands-off leadership style, is one that allows the team to work independently with little to no supervision. This type of leadership is based on the trust that the team will be able to complete the task at hand and only seeking help or intervention when absolutely necessary. This leadership style can be beneficial in situations where the team is experienced and knows what needs to be done. In these cases, the leader can step back and let their team work without having to offer help or supervision constantly. However, this leadership style can also be problematic if the team is inexperienced or unsure of what needs to be done. In these cases, the lack of guidance from the leader can lead to confusion and ultimately result in a lower quality of work. Therefore, it is crucial for leaders to carefully consider whether the laissez-faire leadership style is appropriate for their team before adopting this approach.


Once you know your predominant leadership style, you can start to work on becoming a more effective leader by using a mixture of styles depending on the situation. For example, suppose you tend to use an authoritarian leadership style but work with a highly skilled and experienced team. In that case, a delegative or laissez-faire leadership style might work better so that your team can use their skills and experience to get the job done without micromanagement from you. 


 Knowing your predominant leadership style is just one step on the road to becoming an effective leader, but it’s an important one nonetheless. If you’d like to learn more about effective leadership, check out our blog or sign up for one of our courses today!


By: S.J. Morris                                                                                                                             Sep 5, 2022

      Founder & CEO 

      Renowned Leadership LLC

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