14 May What’s your Leadership style?
It goes without saying that Leaders should be selfless; they should lead by example, be highly ethical and manage with a strict set of principles and standards. They are required to be mentors, motivators and build future leaders. They should also possess advanced technical ability and subject matter expertise. They should implement strategy all the while keeping with the market trends and still be competitively creative.
Let’s take a closer look at Leadership; placing emphasis on the four different universal leadership styles.
The first is the Authoritarian style. This leader keeps strict close control/supervision on regulations, policies and procedures. Business relationships are kept distinctly professional. This leader partakes in downward communication only and in his or her extreme could become dictator like.
The second is the Democratic Leadership style. This leader shares the decision making, and practices social equality. Discussions and debates are encouraged amongst employees under this leadership style.
Research has found this style the most effective, with results being among higher productivity, better contributions and increased morale. Democratic leadership could lead to brighter ideas and creative solutions to problems because everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas. Democratic leadership works well in situations where group members are skilled and eager to share knowledge.
The next leadership style is Laissez-faire which can be translated into “hands off”. This leader delegates and provides no direction which evolves into lack of productivity and satisfaction. Employees under this leader have a high level of autonomy and self rule and this leader will only assist when requested. This is an effective style to use when employees are highly skilled, experienced and educated. Also effective for employees who take pride in their work, who are trustworthy and experienced?
And lastly we have the Transactional leader, whose focus is on motivating followers through a system of rewards and punishments.
On meeting recently with a highly successful mechanical engineering company owner, he stated that his field of work demands for him to lead by the authoritarian leadership style. I asked if this style was necessary considering there are other ways to get the best out of your staff. He went on to say that in his hard core trade, any leadership style less than this was seen as a weakness by his employees.
These findings have proved my case: Your leadership style depends solely upon who you are leading.