Leadership comes in many forms. Many great leaders have taken and run a position of power, yet not all leaders have the same management style. There are multiple ways to approach being a leader and many kinds of leadership styles.
Different leadership styles can come in handy in one management style and different in the other. For example, one leadership style in business may work for a business owner, while it may not work for a president.
Being well-versed in different leadership styles in 2021 can help you find the best management style for any position of power you may be taking on.
Who Is a Good Leader?
We are surrounded by leaders every day, from our teachers to our bosses to local governmental officials, Others offer situational leadership. People don’t always have to hold a position of power to be considered a leader; many of our friends and coworkers – or even ourselves – possess natural leadership skills and management styles that endear them to those close to them.
So, what makes a good leader?
The definition of a leader is not limited to one phrase or action.
Those who are natural leaders possess qualities that enable them to set a goal and guide a team towards reaching that goal. While being a leader sounds simple in theory, many aspects convince a group of people that you will offer visionary leadership.
A good leader can be of different ages, sizes, gender, and nationality. Physical appearance has very little to do with one’s ability to be successful and an effective leader to a team of people.
Good leaders will often implement an effective leadership style. This could mean helping in decision-making so that their teams can reach a mutual goal and convince them to help achieve that goal.
What Is a Leadership Style?
A leadership style is a method and manner in which someone takes on an authoritative role. A specific leadership style will impact the way a leader directs, motivates, and utilizes a team.
The concept of leadership styles first arose in the late 1930s, whenKurt Lewis categorized leadership behavior into three distinct styles. The first three leadership styles were known as:
Each leadership style describes the commonly seen traits of leaders that Kurt Lewis came across as he researched his studies.
Someone who is an autocratic leader is working for a company, government, or part of a bigger organization. Dictators are typically leading by themselves, for themselves, in a way that furthers a dictator’s narrative or desires. They don’t believe in delegative leadership as they only want to be a leader.
Regardless of technicalities, an authoritative leader is often subject to criticism and runs the risk of accidentally(or intentionally)abusing their position as a leader.
If you notice you are not offering participative leadership or delegative leadership, you are not consulting with others before making a final decision, or you find it annoying to have someone question you about your methods. In that case, you may have an autocratic leadership style.
2. Democratic Leadership
Democratic leadership is also known as participative leadership. This kind of leader will typically work very well with others and gather input and opinions from their team without sacrificing their own end goal.
A democratic leader usually focuses more on building a team where everyone feels respected and valued. This is a transformational leadership style that brings trust among team members. Once a sense of value and trust has been established, a team can work well together to solve and accomplish any task that is needed because they trust in the visionary management style of their leader.
While a bureaucratic leader may initially come off as boring or stuck in the past, there is a lot of stability and organization resulting from having a bureaucratic leader. When a leader insists on adhering to rules that are already in place, there is little room for a surprise mistake or incident to come up, as the methods the leader follows have been proven to work overtime.
Bureaucratic leaders often have their own set of responsibilities regarding how they delegate and set goals. A good example would be an owner of a company. While managers may adopt different roles and leadership styles, the company owner may feel more inclined to stick to the working method that they have found works for them and their company.
If you are someone who often seeks reassurance on completing a task in the right way, or if you tend to focus on how a project has been handled in the past, you may have a bureaucratic leadership style.
5. Charismatic Leadership
One of the easiest ways to get a team or group of people is to charm them. While someone who is overly charming may come off as ingenuine, a charismatic leader can wield a lot of power over a group of people.
A visionary leader uses charisma to set goals and meet them through charming and convincing their team into feeling motivated. Instead of relying on company rules and policies to get the best out of their team, the charismatic leader can crack a joke, make someone blush, and generally establish trust through their personality.
It is no secret that people who are liked by their teams are more likely to have a reliable source of support and dedication. A restaurant manager who remembers the birthdays and favorite movies of their employees is more likely to motivate a team than the manager who appears cold and aloof. Charismatic leadership style is a different leadership style that results in positive outcomes
A good example of a transformational leader is the world-renowned chef and TV personalityGordon Ramsay. The chef is most commonly known for his harsh critiques towards the aspiring chefs that he works with. However, his desire to motivate and instill passion into Gordon’s chefs is also well known.
Whether the transformational leader uses tough love or constant reassurance, the drive to push for bigger and better things is apparent. Companies and organizations that run under transformational leaders can be highly successful, as the desire to keepchanging and growing can open up a lot of opportunities for a company.
If you are someone who is often looking for ways to improve an aspect of a team or company, or if you enjoy encouraging people to exceed their goals, you may have a transformational leadership style.
How to Find Your Leadership Style
While each leadership style has its unique qualities, they are often not mutually exclusive to each other.
Leadership can come in many forms and even in a combination of forms. For example, a charismatic leader may also double as a transactional leader. The combination can end up working well for a leader if they can pull off utilizing both styles simultaneously.
But finding what leadership style suits you the best may be more difficult than you anticipate. Unless you have a lot of life experience, it can be hard to accurately judge how you react when put in a position of power.
Assess What You Know
Your baseline personality can often predict the way that you lead a team, however. This is not true in every case, as confidence can play a large factor in how you initially act as a leader. But what you value in your personal life will likely influence what you value in a leadership role.
Pinpointing details about your personality can help you determine what personal leadership style would suit you the best.
Take a Personality Quiz
One of the best ways to determine what leadership style would suit you is to take a personality test.
In a personality test, there is no right or wrong answer. Just answer as honestly as you can, and save any results you may have gotten from the test. One popular personality test is the 16 personality test, based heavily on the Myers-Briggs personality test.
Using the information about your personality that you have received after taking the test and using the information provided in the leadership type list above, you can judge yourself where you fit in best.
Start to Lead
You will never know how you will react until you are thrown into the fire in some situations. Many leaders surprise themselves when they are put into positions of power, as they end up handling situations in ways they are not accustomed to.
While your training to be a manager or a leader should never be neglected, it is best to have an open mind and be flexible when you first start leading a team.
What Is the Best Leadership Style?
The best leadership style varies from one organization to another and from one person to another.
While there may not be a top leadership style in general, certain companies have a specific leadership style that would work best for them.
Frequently, democratic leadership is the most effective. Those who work under a democratic leader feel heard, understood, and respected. At the same time, they don’t feel the pressure to make a final decision that could impact the team or company’s future.
When a team feels that they are all working together, there is higher team morale and a higher chance of success.
Pros and Cons of Leadership Styles
Each leadership style comes with its own set of negative and positive qualities. Weighing the pros and cons of the eight leadership styles can also help you assess your leadership style.
Quick and definite decision making
Teams do not have the pressure of making a decision
Opinionated team members may get frustrated
Lack of input from a team can stifle growth for a company or organization
For an autocratic leader, we have Adolf Hitler. He is a great example of how being an autocratic leader can sometimes create more damage than good in the long run. While it is vital to execute a decision towards a goal on your own as a leader, there is also a danger that comes with refusing to take advice from others.
When talking about bureaucratic leaders, Steve Easterbrook (a former president of the fast-food chain McDonald’s) is a good example of how one can establish an efficient system. Fast food, in general, tends to highlight the positive qualities of the bureaucratic leadership type.
All in all, there are many ways to lead a team of people that are defined by personality and core values.
All leaders possess the ability to lead a team to a goal. The way a leader chooses to go about encouraging or convincing the team is what defines what type of leader they are.
Not every leader has good intentions for their team or even their community. It is easy for leaders to get their leadership role by saying the right words and displaying the right actions. But while everyone makes mistakes, a great leader has pure intentions for their team and community. Those who are destined to be leaders will work hard and intelligently to help their team meet their goals. People usually follow those who exhibit the qualities that a natural leader possesses, even if no one assigns a leader to a situatio
My name is Christina. I am a content writer, author and blogger with years of experience in writting, researching and editing content.
I studied journalism at the University of Texas-Austin and have been practicing the craft ever since. My favorite part about being a journalist is getting to interview interesting people from all walks of life who do fascinating things!