Leadership is a fluid process. It’s also complicated as leaders engage in the style that fits their personalities, the personalities and learning styles of those working for them and their company’s standards and expectations. However, most leaders tend to fall into one of these leadership categories.
This is a style that results in the leader not taking any input whatsoever. Employees are expected to follow orders and not question anything. This leadership style is commonly used in the military.
Bureaucratic leadership is slightly different from autocratic in that employees are listened to. However, their views are ignored if they conflict with the company’s or leader’s views of how things should be done.
With this leadership style, a lot of time is spent on coaching employees, recognizing their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, and using those to get the most out of them individually and collectively.
Democratic leaders only make decisions after receiving input from team members. This allows employees to be more engaged with the decision-making process and feel more of a sense of control over what they’re doing.
Laissez-faire leaders go another step beyond democratic leaders and provide no or little supervision. This is generally best if the employees are experienced at what they’re doing.
This leader sets high standards and holds employees accountable for meeting those. Little or no feedback or mentoring is provided as employees are expected to already know exactly what to do.
While working under a servant leader, employees tend to collaborate more and be more satisfied, effective and harder working. Employees are the focus, not their supervisor.
Strategic leaders are constantly playing a balancing act between ensuring that a company’s main objectives are met and that all employees enjoy positive working conditions.
Transformational leaders are similar to coach-style leaders in that they do coach their employees, but the main difference is that, in this case, company objectives are the greater focus.
This type of leadership style results in employees being directly rewarded for the work that they do. Bonuses and incentive plans are common motivational strategies used by transactional leaders.