From Adolf Hitler to Winston Churchill to Mahatma Gandhi to Dwight Eisenhower, there are as many styles of leadership practiced as there are leaders. So, which is the best leadership style to exhibit in an organization? Authoritative, participative, laissez-faire, or situational? The highly competitive world, that we live in today, is full of surprising challenges and unwanted obstacles. To accept and overcome them, it has become essential for every organization to hire leaders to run the business. Such is the significance of leadership that leaders are looked upon to extract the very best from their subordinates. The absence of leaders can leave the juniors run hither and thither, asking for assistance and guidance. Leaders help in accomplishing the work in the best possible manner. But, not all leaders are the same. Every leader has his respective positives, which prove effective based on the circumstances, attitude, beliefs, preferences, and values of the people involved. Discussed some of the most commonly followed leadership styles, prevailing in some organization or the other. Continue browsing to know each one, in detail.
Although it is seen as an old-fashioned technique, autocratic leadership style is still in existence across the globe. Here, the leader is known as an autocrat, who takes all the decisions by himself and does not consult his subordinates. In fact, they have to obey him without asking any questions. For all the decisions taken, he takes full responsibility. However, this leadership style is falling out of favor in many nations today and is popular mostly with CEOs.
A leader following this style of leadership is open-minded and accepts suggestions and comments from his subordinates, unlike an autocratic leader who refuses to allow his subordinates to speak up anything. A consultative leader, on the other hand, accepts and appreciates suggestions and comments that are good and worth applying. As such, this kind of a leader consults his juniors before making a decision, though the final decision is made by him. Thus, the entire responsibility of the decision is taken by him.
Under participative leadership style, the subordinates are encouraged to give their suggestions and feedback on the decision made by the leader. The final decision is not solely taken by the leader; it is a group effort of the leader and his subordinates. The subordinates are given full opportunity to showcase their talents. The leader is loyal to his subordinates and in turn, they are loyal to him. Since this leadership style offers a happy medium over controlling and not being engaged, it is often found in organizations that have to innovate to grow and prosper.
A leader following the laissez-faire style acts only as a contact man and is passive. After providing all the information and resources to his subordinates, he leaves them alone to let them use their talents and put in their best efforts. Thus, the subordinates are given complete freedom to plan and organize their work, take their decisions, set their own goals, and solve the problems on their own.
A bureaucratic leader ensures that his subordinates follow the rules and procedures accurately and consistently. He does not believe in new ideas and creativity, and hence, follows the rules and regulations set by the organization. He expects his followers to display a formal, business-like attitude in the workplace and amongst each other. Since bureaucratic leadership style develops over a period of time, it is generally found in large and old businesses. Such leadership style results in red tapism and unwanted paper work.
Being an extremely task-oriented individual, such a leader emphasizes strictly on performance and achievement. As such, he always seeks his subordinates to complete the work at any cost and even shows signs of dissatisfaction in case of any failures. A neurocratic leader is emotional, sensitive, and eccentric. He makes his own decision and does not consult his subordinates.
This leader serves as a fatherly figure to his subordinates. He tries to create a homely atmosphere at the workplace and makes everyone feel at ease. A paternalistic leader guides and helps his people with their personal issues, apart from professional problems. However, this leadership style exists only in small organizations with few employees and one leader.
True to its name, a leader following this style tries to create a social club in the organization. More emphasis is given to friendship rather than production. A sociocratic leader makes sure that all his subordinates are happy and satisfied. To get this done, he creates a warm and welcoming positive environment.
Depending upon the situation faced, a leader changes his style. In simple words, a situational leader uses different styles in different circumstances. He may become an autocratic leader at times, while at other times, he may transform into a consultative or participative leader. This style of leadership is common in most organization these days.
Although every leader has his/her own individual way of functioning and running his team, he/she surely falls in one of the defined categories of leadership styles, listed above. These styles indicate how a leader wishes to accomplish the goals and targets.