Every manager has a specific approach to leading their team. This approach differs depending on the type and size of the team they manage, but it takes a bit of practice to determine which of the leadership styles they should use to become an effective manager.
Let's find out what the 10 common leadership styles are, so you can decide which one fits your team.
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What are leadership styles?
A leadership style is a manager's approach to directing and motivating their team. It's how they implement strategies to ensure the best business outcomes while putting into account the team's welfare.
A manager may not know which of the various leadership styles to adopt right away because not all approaches work on every team. You'll need to explore a few styles to learn how to level up your team's productivity.
While some leadership styles are more effective than others, it doesn't necessarily mean there's one style better than another. However, you may use some aspects of different leadership styles to implement on your team as flexibility is a key characteristic of all leadership styles.
As you read on, you'll find a list of leadership styles, but first, let's discover the importance of knowing leadership styles.
Why is it important to know your leadership style?
When experimenting with various leadership styles in an organization, you'll eventually be able to identify the one that's right for you and your team.
Once you settle on a certain leadership style, you'll be well aware of the approach you're taking to manage your team. This is important in making your management style consistent, which will help your team understand and trust you.
You'll know how to communicate better with your team, and this collaborative relationship will not only create an effective team but also help you become a better manager.
Deciding on a leadership style is a lot more crucial nowadays with more and more teams working remotely. Any leader will need a set of tools that will connect them with their team to follow up on their work performance.
💡An all-in-one meeting management solution is the perfect way to integrate all your preferred communication, project-management, and scheduling tools in one place for effective meetings.
Try the 14-day free trial at adam.ai to enjoy all the available perks that help you lead your team effectively no matter which leadership style you choose.
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So which type of leadership style do you think best suits you? Let's take a look at the top 10 leadership styles to have your pick.
What are the types of leadership style in management?
1. Visionary leadership style
A visionary leader is primarily concerned with the big picture and where the business is going. They are always seeking opportunities to improve their team's performance toward business success.
They are able to cultivate their strong relationships with coworkers with ease, which is why they are incredibly successful as leaders.
Their energy is contagious and effective in inspiring people to excel in their jobs and overcome challenges. This type of leadership style is especially helpful in startups or large corporations that are going through a significant change like downsizing, restructuring, or other major alterations.
On the downside, when focusing solely on the big picture, they tend to miss resolving day-to-day issues the team may face or complain about.
This could make some employees feel their leader doesn't listen to them on an individual level. A solution to this problem would be scheduling one-on-one meetings with the team members to celebrate their achievements and tackle their issues head-on.
2. Laissez-faire leadership style
Also known as hands-off leadership style, laissez-faire is all about passing the torch to the employee with minimal interference from the manager. This type of leader rather focuses on other projects instead of micromanaging their team.
A hands-off leader has confidence in their employees, who are usually experienced workers who don't need to be supervised.
Many seasoned employees may appreciate this approach because they can claim ownership of their work and feel valued by their managers.
However, the lack of communication may affect other employees who prefer their managers to check in on them to stay aligned on the expected outcomes and give them a boost while they work. It's best not to adopt this style with novice employees who need someone to show them the ropes.
3. Servant leadership style
This is one of the most effective leadership styles that can work on any team of any size. A servant leader is a person who puts their team's needs first and makes it their sole purpose to ensure they are satisfied with their work environment.
This type of leader knows how to motivate their employees and create a collaborative environment where people are encouraged to speak their minds.
Any employee would love to work for a servant leader, who naturally gains respect from everybody they work with.
However, while this leadership style is extremely beneficial for the team's morale and productivity, it can take a toll on the leader as they always put the team's needs first.
4. Democratic leadership style
As the name suggests, the democratic style of leadership allows people to participate in the decision-making process. A participative or democratic leader encourages team members to provide their insights on different matters and projects to find out which solutions are preferred by the team.
This approach increases employee engagement because they feel heard and valued by their manager and gets them excited about enforcing the decisions they took part in making.
If you're running a highly creative team, you'll often find yourself adopting the democratic style in your frequent brainstorming sessions because it's important to encourage participation and conversation when you're trying to come up with a new idea.
The main drawback of this approach is that you can't call a team meeting for every single decision you have to make because it takes a lot of time and effort to schedule these meetings and calculate the pros and cons of each opinion, so sometimes, you'll have to take the autocratic approach.
➕Since a democratic leader would usually take votes in a meeting, learn more about the fist to five voting strategy here.
5. Autocratic leadership style
Unlike the democratic style, autocratic leadership entails making decisions without considering anyone's opinions. An autocratic leader is an authoritarian who can only rely on their own perspective or that of a few close consultants to implement business strategies.
This type of leader is pragmatic and solely concerned about the outcome, which could come in handy if they're leading inexperienced employees or running businesses that adhere to specific guidelines or tight schedules.
Sometimes, this style is needed when a decision has to be made right away with no time to consult your whole team. However, the autocratic leadership style is not effective in the long run because it tends to create a highly stressful work environment.
6. Bureaucratic leadership style
A bureaucratic leader is concerned with enforcing specific rules that apply to everyone including themselves. This approach is effective in organizations with fixed hierarchal structures like governmental bodies, law firms, financial departments, and so on.
A manager working in this sort of structure must be disciplined, detail-oriented, and determined to uphold strict regulations in their organization.
While it may seem similar to the autocratic style, the bureaucratic leader doesn't make decisions according to their perspective but by following set rules in their organization.
This style is not suitable for creative, dynamic organizations because it goes against their purpose of having an open, engaging work environment.
7. Coaching leadership style
A manager implementing the coaching leadership style is always looking for opportunities to emphasize their team's strengths.
They focus on each employee individually to get to know them and create a collaborative atmosphere to enhance the team's spirit similar to a football or basketball coach.
By identifying the strengths of each employee, the coach leader is able to assign tasks tailored to their expertise in certain areas. The manager will provide regular feedback and support the employee every step of the way.
This approach, however, is not always practical in environments with tight deadlines because a manager needs to invest a lot of time and effort to coach employees.
8. Transformational leadership style
The transformational leader also believes in mentoring their employees and developing their skills. This approach bears a resemblance to the coaching style, but the manager doesn't focus on each employee's goals but is concerned with meeting the organization's goals.
Transformational leaders usually have open-door policies, making it easy for employees to communicate with them, but they don't necessarily supervise them each step of the way.
This leadership style can be extremely effective with experienced teams who can handle several assignments without the manager overseeing each task.
9. Pacesetter leadership style
For a pacesetter leader, performance is key. Their sole focus is not to cultivate strong bonds with their team but to ensure everybody's doing their absolute best by creating a competitive work environment.
This type of manager will always set high standards and expect everyone to meet them, so they're usually working with highly experienced staff that don't need to be mentored.
They may sometimes step in to help the team with a deadline if necessary to keep up the set performance standards.
While this approach creates a fast-paced, motivating work environment, it can take a toll on employees who can easily burn out.
10. Transactional leadership style
A transactional leader targets performance similar to a pacesetter leader, with the difference of giving incentives, like a bonus or commission, when an employee performs well.
On the other hand, if an employee fails to perform a task within the expected standards, the manager may enforce a disciplinary action like a salary deduction.
The transactional leader differs from the pacesetter in that they will invest in their employees' training by mentoring them and providing regular feedback on their performance.
This approach can be effective in sales teams, where high performance equals higher revenue for the business, but isn't suitable for creative environments.
Now that you're acquainted with the different leadership styles, you can figure out which one is the right fit for your team.
✍️With remote teams being the norm nowadays, using an all-in-one meeting management platform can transform the way you manage your team:
- For the coach, transformational, democratic, and servant leader:
You can have an open channel of communication by having the meeting on one of your preferred communication tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Slack.
- For the pacesetter, transactional, laissez-faire, and visionary leader:
You can easily track performance by integrating with project-management apps like Jira, Asana, and Trello.
- For the autocratic and bureaucratic leader:
You can create action items, manage action watchers, and make decisions for your team to follow.
- For all styles
You can invite your employees or guests via Google Calendar, Office 365, or email, duplicate your meetings, take notes in private or public, write a meeting agenda with each item timed by the meeting timer, automatically generate meeting minutes, and much more.
💡adam.ai manages the entire meeting lifecycle to help organizations run business, close projects, and achieve goals through effective meetings.
The bottom line
To decide which of the leadership styles best suits your team, you need to ask yourself what matters to you the most.
Do you care about forming strong relationships at work or are end goals and outcomes your target? Do you like to consult your team before making a decision or prefer to do it on your own?
By reviewing the leadership styles in this article, you'll have an idea of how to run your team. Remember there's no good or bad style; only one that feels natural to you and fits your team's needs.
If you run a remote-working team, settling on a leadership style that strengthens communication and collaboration is key to reaching the desired outcomes.
We recommend using an all-in-one meeting management solution to conduct your virtual meetings seamlessly and enjoy the ultimate user experience.
Here are a few reasons to choose adam.ai:
adam.ai is ranked a leader in the meeting management software category by G2 for both quarters, Summer 2021 and Winter 2021.
adam.ai has been included in the Forrester Report in the AI-enabled meeting technology landscape.
adam.ai is trusted and used by powerful teams worldwide from Johns Hopkins University, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Microsoft, and other renowned organizations.
And most importantly, adam.ai integrates with your existing workflow, provides a free plan for life for small teams, and is the most affordable tool for larger teams (starts at $4.99).