8 Leadership Style for Success

June 10, 2024

Great leaders come in many forms, each with a unique approach to guiding their teams to success.

This essay will explore how 8 different leadership styles can propel individuals and organisations

toward new heights.

1. Democratic Leadership: 

A democratic leader, as the name suggests, practices the principles of democracy.

This leadership style involves the leader ensuring that each team member has an equal

opportunity to have a say and be heard in the decision-making process.

This approach can boost morale because the decision-making power is not concentrated in the

upper echelons alone.

Instead, just like in a democratic system of government, the power is bestowed upon the people -

in this case, the employees - and they are allowed to actively participate in a transparent decision-

making workflow. However, the democratic style may not always be the most efficient, as the

decision-making process can be more time-consuming due to the need to gather and consider

various viewpoints. 

2. Autocratic Leadership

Don't let the term "autocratic" scare you off! Although an autocratic leadership style is essentially

an authoritarian approach, it can come in handy when a decision needs to be made in situations

requiring a swift response. 

The reason for this is that it only involves one party - the leader - making a decision without input

from others. This saves time that would otherwise be spent on consulting the team during the

decision-making process. 

Nonetheless, striking the right balance between an autocratic leadership style and collaboration is

key. The autocratic leader must be able to recognize when their rapid decision-making is truly

necessary, and when a more inclusive, participative approach would be beneficial for all. This is to

prevent its potential downsides, such as employees feeling unheard and/or that they lack

autonomy. 

3. Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire is a French phrase meaning “let people do as they choose.” Adopting this “hands-off”

approach, employees are given full liberty to fulfill their tasks and make decisions independently.

Without direct interference and supervision, they have the space to unleash their creativity and

spirit of innovation, both of which are vital for driving a company to unprecedented heights. 

Nevertheless, this leadership style requires a high level of self-motivation, maturity, and

competence from the employees. Without proper guidance and support, some team members may

struggle to thrive in an autonomous environment.

4. Transactional Leadership 

A transactional leader rewards effective performance and imposes penalties for poor performance.

This approach serves as a performance catalyst, spurring employees to strive towards

performance-related benchmarks to avoid “getting punished.”

When it comes to penalties, transactional leaders should impose them with caution to prevent

potential backlash and workplace unrest.

5. Charismatic Leadership 

Charismatic leaders leverage their charm to communicate goals and empower team members to

achieve them. They often inspire others through rallying speeches or their infectious enthusiasm.

Examples of charismatic leaders include Martin Luther King Jr., whose powerful oratory galvanised

the civil rights movement, and Steve Jobs, whose visionary presentations and passion for

innovation drove Apple's success.

6. Transformational Leadership

Leaders who adopt this style desire to transform businesses or organisations for the better by

streamlining or upgrading company practices. They are big-picture thinkers rather than detail-

oriented individuals, avoiding fussing over the minutiae of management. The result? Companies

strip unnecessary processes from their workflow, making them more efficient and productive. 

7. Servant Leadership

As the name implies, servant leaders prioritise the satisfaction and needs of their employees above

their own and everything else. They hold firmly to this principle: “Happy workers produce happy

results.”

8. Bureaucratic Leadership

Aka “by the book” leadership, bureaucratic leaders strictly adhere to company rules. They expect

all to complete their tasks by following a clearly defined step-by-step guide. The upside is it

contributes to performance consistency by regulating workflows; the downside is it may involve

unnecessary rules and processes that impede higher efficiency. Bureaucratic leaders need to

employ flexibility as the situation demands, learning to cut through the red tape when needed. 

After all is said and done, the most successful leaders are the ones who are able to adapt their

style to the specific needs of their team and the situation at hand.

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