5 Common Leadership Styles and How to Figure Out Your Own
What is your leadership style? If you’re in a leadership position, then how you manage your workforce can have a huge impact on the success of your recruitment organization…
At some point in your career, you may find yourself in a leadership position. As a leader, it’s up to you to lead others to success, motivate your team and achieve the goals set out by your organization. However, leadership is constantly changing. There are many different leadership styles, with each type having a different impact on the company and workforce.
In this blog post, we’ll be looking at some of the most common leadership styles and how to figure out which one best suits you. I’ll also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Democratic leadership is a type of leadership style that focuses on the involvement of employees in decision-making and encourages open communication between leaders and staff. Although the leader ends up making the final decision, all team members are allowed to have their say and contribute to the decision-making process.
There are several advantages of democratic leadership. One advantage is that it can lead to more creative and innovative solutions since multiple perspectives are considered. Additionally, democratic leadership can foster a sense of ownership and commitment among the team since they have a say in how things are done. This can lead to higher motivation and productivity levels. Lastly, this type of leadership often results in more satisfied and loyal employees since they feel valued and heard.
However, democratic leadership also has some disadvantages. One drawback is that it can take time to reach a decision since everyone needs to be consulted. This can be problematic in fast-paced work environments where quick decisions must be made. Additionally, not everyone may feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas, leading to some voices not being heard. Lastly, democratic leadership can lead to a lack of clarity about who is ultimately in charge, resulting in confusion and conflict.
Dictatorial leadership, on the other hand, is all about control. The leader has complete control over the decision-making process with little to no input from other team members. Employees aren’t consulted about changes and are expected to comply with the leader’s processes, timelines, and decisions.
The benefit of this leadership style is that it can be very effective in fast-paced or high-pressure environments where quick decision-making is crucial. Businesses with dictatorial style leaders often experience high levels of efficiency and productivity as less time is spent debating decisions and more time is spent implementing them.
The downside of this is that it can lead to a high turnover rate as employees become disgruntled with the lack of input they have in the decision-making process. Additionally, this leadership style often creates an environment of fear as employees are afraid to speak up or offer new ideas for fear of retribution. This can also stifle creativity, innovation, and collaboration within the team.
The goal of a transformational leader is to inspire change in their team or organization. They do this by motivating and empowering employees to achieve new performance levels. Transformational leaders are often visionaries who can see the potential in their team and help them reach it. Transformational leadership is different from other leadership styles in that it focuses on inspiring change rather than simply managing tasks. This type of leader is more concerned with the long-term goals of their team or organization rather than the day-to-day operations.
For companies to grow and evolve, they need to embrace change. Transformational leaders can bring about change by motivating and inspiring their employees. These leaders can also be beneficial in times of trouble. When faced with a challenge, transformational leaders can rally their team and help them find solutions. This type of leader can often think outside the box and develop creative solutions to problems. Additionally, transformational leaders tend to be very decisive, which can help a team or organization quickly respond to a crisis.
While transformational leadership has many advantages, it is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges these leaders face is sustaining the change they have inspired. Once a company or team has been transformed, it can be challenging to maintain the momentum. Additionally, transformational leaders often have to deal with resistance from employees who may not be ready for change.
Servant leadership is a style of leadership where the leader puts the needs of others before their own. This type of leader is focused on helping others reach their potential and grow as individuals. This focus on others means that servant leaders are often more collaborative than other leaders. They build trust and respect by listening to others and taking their needs into account.
Servant leadership has many benefits, both for the leader and the team. One of the most significant benefits is that it builds trust-based relationships. When team members feel like their leader cares about them and is looking out for their best interests, they are more likely to trust and respect that leader. Servant leaders also help create a people-focused culture that positively impacts company performance. They have higher customer satisfaction and retention levels and are generally more profitable. Another benefit of servant leadership is that it develops future leaders. The servant leader helps team members reach their potential by serving as a mentor and coach. As they grow and develop, they learn how to lead in their own way. This type of leadership development is essential for companies that want to keep moving forward.
One of the most significant challenges of servant leadership however is that it can be more time-consuming for leaders. Because they are focused on the needs of others, they may need to spend more time listening and coaching, rather than leading. Another potential drawback of servant leadership is that some employees might not have the confidence to take charge and make decisions to drive the business forward. In a servant leadership environment, everyone is expected to play a role in decision-making. This can be a challenge for team members who are used to being led by a single leader, causing delays in the decision-making process.
Transactional leadership is built on a clear reward and punishment structure. In this leadership style, the leader is focused on achieving specified goals and objectives, and their role is to provide direction, allocate resources and motivate employees to achieve these targets. This leadership style focuses on results and the team’s efficiency rather than nurturing people and team relationships.
Advantages of transactional leadership include being very productive, as there is a clear focus on achieving goals and objectives. This leadership style can also help create order and structure within an organization. Employees who deliver results are typically rewarded, acting as a powerful motivator. Finally, this leadership style is often easy to understand and implement, as the roles and expectations of employees are clearly defined.
However, this leadership style can de-motivate employees who do not respond well to a rewards-based system. Additionally, it does not encourage creativity or innovation, as employees focus on meeting specific targets. If targets are not met, employees may be blamed rather than the system itself. Transactional leadership can also lead to the leader becoming a bottleneck, as they are responsible for making decisions and allocating resources. This can limit the development of both the leader and their employees. Finally, this leadership style does not always promote long-term thinking or strategy, as the focus is on short-term results.
How to identify your leadership style
Now that you’ve read each leadership style listed above, it’s time to ask yourself which one most resonates with you and your business goals. As I mentioned at the start of the article, leadership is constantly changing, and your style may need to adapt as your business grows. The most important thing is that you’re aware of the different types and can adjust your own as needed.
So, what happens if you’ve identified your leadership style, but you’d like to change it to become a more effective leader? Here are a few “course correction” steps to take:
Identify the need for change
The first step to any change is to identify the imperative to change. In other words, what’s not working with your current leadership style? It could be that you’re not getting the results you want or that your team is unhappy. Maybe you’re not delegating enough, or you’re micromanaging. Whatever the case may be, it’s essential to identify the problem and identify that things need to change.
Flexibility and adaptability are two of the most important traits of a successful leader. If you’re not able to change your leadership style to meet the needs of your team or business, then you’re not going to be an effective leader. Before figuring out what areas of your leadership style need to change, you need to be prepared to be flexible and adapt based on what is best for your team and your organization.
Choose the best leadership style for your business
When you’re trying to figure out which leadership style to adopt, there are a few key areas to consider:
1. Firstly, what does the ‘right’ leader look like? Is your idea of an effective leader the same as the rest of the team? It’s important to get alignment on this before making any changes.
2. Next, what are the objectives you’re trying to achieve? What does success look like to you? What does success look like to your team?
3. Finally, what and who will be most affected by your leadership style? Is the impact in line with your intent? It’s important to consider how your team will be impacted by any changes you make to your leadership style.
Once you’ve chosen the best leadership style for your business, it’s time to implement the changes. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient. It takes time to develop new habits, and it will take time for your team to adjust to the new leadership style. Be prepared to experiment and iterate until you find what works best for you and your team.
Evaluate and course correct
As with anything in business, it’s vital to evaluate the results of your new leadership style and course correct as needed. After you’ve been implementing the new style for a while, take some time to sit down with your team and get their feedback. What’s working well? What’s not working so well? What could be improved? Use this feedback to course correct and adjust your leadership style as needed.
Leadership is an integral part of any business, and it’s something that should constantly be evolving. The most important thing is that you’re aware of the different leadership styles and can adapt your own as needed. Remember to be flexible, identify the need for change, and choose the best leadership style for your business. And finally, don’t forget to evaluate and course correct when required.
What’s your leadership style? Are you happy with it? If not, what changes do you need to make? Always happy to jump on a call if talking through this would be beneficial – you can book in here if that’d be helpful.