Leadership style is a wide, characteristic way in which a leader communicates with the other people or other leaders across the globe in various circumstances and occasions. It is vital to focus on the degree of assertiveness that a leader uses while conversing with other individuals. This will surely help a person in knowing how competitive a leader is and what the characteristics that make him a great leader are. This kind of behaviour not only captures the leader’s underlying thinking of how he treats others but also about his beliefs about how he converses and involves others in the workplace.
Since history has seen varied leaders, for example, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs, the number of styles to lead has also differentiated. A leader can be anyone from the group or the team who thinks out of the box and has ample innovative ideas and experience in a particular field that can be used by the other team members. A person or leader can only lead if he focuses on the strengths and not the titles.
No one is a born leader. Leadership is an acquired attribute that starts as early as, in the school and on the playground itself. As time passes, jobs, experiences, and life gives shape to a leader’s philosophy and psychology. A leader’s key tasks include how to get the job and work done by others, how to set the goals and objectives; manage results and answer to all relevant questions. All these aspects prove to become the winning formula for a leader.
However, over time it is possible that a leader will find that he is not able to produce competitive results as he used to produce in the past. New challenges require new leadership skills, behaviors and ways of communication. Therefore, it is vital that a leader possesses various leadership styles that make him an epitome in the work he does. Some of the basic yet important leadership skills that are necessary for a person to become a good leader are explained in the following few paragraphs.
Autocratic Leadership Style
The autocratic leadership style enables the manager to take all the decisions alone without the involvement of other employees. The superiors posses total authority and can enforce their will on the employees. If we talk from a country’s perspective as well, there are countries like Cuba and North Korea that practice autocratic leadership styles. These leadership styles best suit employees who need complete or close supervision or where there is a need to make quick decisions for daily tasks. In this way, employees become more comfortable with the supervisor’s knowledge about the company and gather motivation from the manager’s ability to keep the department more focused on attaining and achieving the desired goals.
Bureaucratic Leadership Style
An autocrat does not need bureaucracy; however, the autocrat and bureaucratic processes go well hand in hand. A reason is compliance to the authority. In fact, one can always make an argument that in many huge corporations like multinational companies or governmental agencies, authority is the most commonly used influence.
Coaching Leadership Style
A great leader comes from becoming a great coach or guide. Any leader can become efficient if he is able to teach his students or juniors well about how to accomplish tasks. An appreciable coach is surely a substantial leader who possesses a distinctively gifted ability to teach and train. They help people by grooming them to improve in both knowledge and skills.
Cross Cultural Leadership Styles
Whether it is an organizational or a national culture, it is not important for all the people to adapt to the leadership styles expected in a particular culture. There are examples of difference in the leadership styles in leaders from varied countries like America and Asia where the difference in leadership styles can be identified mainly due to cultural factors.
Emergent Leadership Style
In contrast to the belief of varied individuals, groups or teams who do not automatically accept a new boss as a leader, emergent leadership is what is needed to take over as a superior of a new group. The leader undergoes three stages before becoming an efficient leader. These are orientation, conflict and the emergence stage. In the orientation, the leader announces his/her candidature for the emergent position. The conflict stage is the next, which involves passing the candidacy threshold and lastly the emergence stage, in which group members willingly become subordinates to the leader who has undergone the emergence threshold.
Leader Exchange Style
Also termed as the leader – member exchange, the style comprises the exchange of goodwill among individuals. The exchange can be in any form either hierarchical, that is between the supervisors or the juniors or two people possessing equal status. To make effective use of this leadership style, one needs to know how to develop, maintain and repair relationships.
Laissez Faire Leadership Style
A laiseez faire leader is the one who does not have skills of direct supervision of an employee and is unable to deliver regular feedback to the people under his supervision. Experienced and perfectly trained employees who require lesser amount of experience are the ones who fall in this category. The laissez faire leadership style poses an obstruction in the path of the employees who need supervision. There is no leadership or supervision effort from the supervisors, which further turns things bad and results in poor production, inefficient control and increase in costs.
Situational Leadership Style
The leader must know how to adjust according to a given situation. Few situations are a part of this style that makes a leader efficient in his skills. These include:
- S1 or Telling: it is commonly known as one-way communication. In this the leader states the roles of the person or a team and tells them the what, how, when, why, and where to do the designated job.
- S2 or Selling: This is the two-way communication situation. Whereby the leader not only gives the directions to the subordinate on how to perform the task but also gives the socio emotional support that influences the person to buy into the process.
- S3 or Participating: This involves shared decision making whereby the leader gives importance in building healthy relationship with the employees rather than focusing on the task behaviours.
- S4 or Delegating: This is the situation where the leader is involved in making the decisions only and not in the completion of tasks. However, he is always there to monitor the progress of the employees.
Thus, the situational leadership style enlists the different situations in which the leader acts accordingly.
Strategic Leadership Style
This is the foundation style of any organization or company. Strategic leadership style involves making or planning a strategy by a leader that will be useful in the achievement of company goals. Mostly this kind of leadership style is practiced in multinational companies or large organizations. In addition, for people with a military background this is the most commonly used leadership style, especially in the U.S army. Hence, this leadership style focuses on the competitive nature of running a company and being able to be at par from others in the competition.
Team Leadership Style
Rather than appointing a single leader or supervisor for the company, it will be more appropriate if the leaders are appointed to particular teams or simply the team leads. This will allow close focus on the type of work done and it will be done with more proficiency. Nowadays, the organizations are getting smarter and are practicing efficient ways to have good team leadership rather than varied supervising styles
Facilitative Leadership Style
This is a special or a different kind of leadership style wherein anyone who is leading the team or a group can facilitate the subordinates. This gives an impression that the leader views the work of his/her employees seriously and cares for them. It can be practiced by using various communication patterns to reach the desired goal.
Influence Leadership Style
This is a scenario where the behaviour of the leader is assessed or how the leader exercises the influence. These can be viewed by the employees as how the leader is, whether he is always aggressive or keeps punishing. Alternatively, he also rewards when there is good work done. The leader must be an influence for the employees. This is because they will follow the leader’s footsteps only in future to attain the goals
Participative Leadership Style
It is not an easy task to ask someone to be more creative, solve difficult problems and deliver outstanding service. However, a leader needs to have this skill to come out with an efficient output. The Participative Leadership Style provides a healthy medium between controlling and not being involved and this type of trend is generally viewed in the organizations that focuses on innovation to prosper.
Servant Leadership Style
The servant Leadership Style involves the leader to focus more on the needs of his employees. Though, this leadership style does not go well in the business area as putting forward the needs of the employees first may lead to loss at times also. It is necessary to have a set of values that helps in uplift of morale. The servant leadership is one set of value. This involves a selfless leader who focuses more on the needs of their employees and is more social. This approach focuses more on developing trust, honesty and fairness.
Transformational Leadership Style
The single and most effective way to influence an organization or to take an organization to the next level is to have a centralized focus on the transformational leadership. In this style of leadership the leader identifies the change required, sets a vision so as how to make the change through inspiration and execute the change in compliance with other group members or team. A transformational leader can always take the company to better heights with an enlightened vision and mission.
A charismatic leader is the one who collects the followers by his dint of charm and personality and not the external power or authority. The qualities that a charismatic leader possesses are as if they pay attention to the person they are conversing to and making the person feel that he is the most important one in the world at that moment of time. Another is that the leader plays an important role in scanning and reading the environment and identifying the moods and concerns of its employees according to the given situation. Thus, charisma of a leader is just knowing his job, setting a good example for other people, and putting the necessary results.
Visionary Leadership Style
Vision is a thing that every leader possesses. However, what is important is how the leader takes the particular vision to accomplish a particular task. The only thing that turns the vision into quality is great leadership. As it is said that if a blind will lead a blind, both will fall into the ditch. Therefore, it is essential that a leader has an extraordinary vision with sufficient skills to lead through various spheres.
Transactional Leadership Style
This approach concentrates on doing things within the desired area of rules and regulations. This leadership style is seen in various large bureaucracies or large organizations where the political considerations are a part of daily life. A transactional leader will never go by these considerations and will work within the desired rules and regulations and still produce effective results.
Pacesetting Leadership Style
The pacesetting leadership narrates a kind of leadership that sets the goals and continuously monitors the progress of these goals. A pacesetter leader sets very high standards for him/her, the team and epitomizes the behaviour they are viewing from the other members of the team. Hence, though there are numerous leadership styles available, the proper understanding of the various styles and implementing them in a proper manner is what makes a leader more efficient.