The Most Common Leadership Styles & How to Find Your Path

Outstanding leaders have developed, each with their own leadership philosophies. Leadership is a flexible concept in and of itself. In general, most leaders modify their approaches to suit the circumstances.

The longer they have been in charge, the more this is true; they change their leadership approach as they gain experience and interact with their team. Leaders need to be aware of their existing leadership style in order to improve it.

We’ll address the issue “what is a leadership style?” here before examining the effectiveness of the most popular leadership philosophies.

A leadership style is what?

A leader’s tactics, traits, and behaviours when leading, inspiring, and managing their teams are referred to as their leadership style. Additionally, a leader’s leadership style affects how they formulate their strategy, put plans into action, and react to changes while managing stakeholders’ expectations and the welfare of their team. Many times, leaders will demonstrate a variety of leadership stances, and they’ll probably change them depending on the circumstances.

Why is understanding your own leadership style important?

Knowing your leadership style is crucial if you want to succeed as a leader. You can assess how your leadership style impacts the people you directly influence when you are aware of it. Additionally, it aids in identifying your leadership strengths and the talents you should work on enhancing.

Some managers can already classify their present management approach and assess its effectiveness. However, it’s not always so clear-cut. Leaders can typically classify their style, although they frequently display characteristics of many other leadership philosophies.

One simple method to understand your leadership style is through detailed feedback. Asking those you supervise for their frank and transparent feedback

Change-oriented Leadership

We’ve all probably been in a group setting when someone assumed leadership, engaged the others, and developed a common goal. It’s highly likely that this individual will be regarded as a transformational leader.

A leadership approach known as transformational leadership places a strong emphasis on change and transformation. By utilizing their potential, leaders who use this strategy hope to motivate their people to go beyond what they previously believed was possible. When an organization wants to make substantial changes or transformations, this kind of leadership can be quite effective.

The fundamental traits of transformational leadership comprise

  • putting the future first
  • an emphasis on change
  • focus on people

Delegation of Authority

A delegative leadership style, emphasizes giving team members the freedom to take initiative. This is often referred to as one of the least controlling styles of leadership; it means “let them do.” Therefore, this is regarded as having a relatively hands-off leadership style.

This type of leadership is characterized by trust and reliance on the team members. Instead, delegative leaders encourage their team members to use their initiative, resources, and expertise to achieve their objectives. Delegative leadership, however, can also result in conflicts amongst team members and break or divide a group.

It might be difficult for newbies to adjust to this leadership style or for staff members to comprehend who is ultimately in charge and accountable for outcomes. As a result, this leadership style needs to be restrained.

Effective Leadership

Those who embrace this leadership style see themselves as mentors to their followers. A “follow me” attitude is emphasized by authoritative leadership, which is distinct from authoritarian leadership.

People around leaders who exhibit authoritative features are more likely to be inspired and motivated. They give their teams general direction as well as instruction, criticism, and inspiration. This encourages a sense of success or accomplishment.

Establishing a relationship with each team member is a key component of the authoritative leadership style. This enables a leader to offer advice and criticism on a more individualized basis, assisting people in succeeding. This is a tendency with this technique that might overwhelm team members and foster unfavourable feelings.

Leadership in Transactions

A leadership stance that focuses on rewards and penalties is known as transactional leadership, also referred to as managerial leadership. This leadership approach blatantly emphasizes structure, presuming that people may lack the drive to do their jobs.

A leader establishes specific team objectives or tasks using this reward-based strategy. Additionally, leaders make it clear how their teams will be praised/criticized for their efforts. Although rewards can come in a variety of forms, they often involve cash compensations like salaries or bonuses.

This “give and take” leadership approach is more focused on effectively adhering to customary practices than on enacting fundamental organizational reforms. In order to be effective, rewards must align with corporate objectives and be complemented by other acts of appreciation.

Engagement in Leadership

Participative leadership, often known as democratic leadership, is a leadership approach that encourages managers to consult with their staff members and include them in decision-making.

When a leader uses a participative leadership approach, accountability promotes collaboration. Instead of laying responsibility at the feet of specific individuals, this frequently results in a team’s collective effort to pinpoint issues and provide solutions.

Many leaders have traditionally used this leadership style and have done so in a variety of organizations. This leadership approach is more challenging, though, as teams have gotten more decentralized and working patterns have altered. This can be especially difficult to maintain when working remotely or with virtual teams.

Because it promotes employee trust, participative leadership is frequently preferred. Giving them the freedom and encouragement to express their opinions on important issues will show the team how valuable they are.

Serving as a leader

A leadership approach known as servant leadership prioritizes the needs of others. It places a heavy emphasis on developing close bonds with those around you and focuses on helping them realize their greatest potential. As a leader, you must concentrate on getting to know the team members and enhancing their skills while also establishing a positive example and comprehending their own objectives.

At its foundation, servant leadership is about making moral decisions. If one adopts this philosophy, they are more likely to make choices that are best for all parties involved rather than just a few. As team members feel empowered to contribute new answers and build upon each other’s ideas, this strategy generates an environment where creativity and problem-solving flourish.

Additionally, practicing servant leadership can lead to greater communication amongst all parties involved, from senior management to front-line staff. Leaders can avoid any potential problems while sustaining wholesome relationships and tranquil work environments by listening to the thoughts of subordinates. In the end, these characteristics contribute to team members feeling more loyal, which in turn boosts overall productivity.

How can you identify your leadership style?

You can become a more effective leader by selecting a leadership style that suits you. Your leadership style has a significant impact on how your team perceives you, whether you are in charge of a big or small team.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to be clear about your objectives and what you hope to accomplish. It will be simpler to share your ideas with your team and motivate them to follow your lead if you have a clear vision in mind.

Second, try something new! The easiest way to identify your own style of leadership is to experiment with several methods and evaluate which ones work best for you and your team.

Last but not least, keep in mind that leadership is about leading truly rather than being perfect. People will be drawn to you and your message when you lead from a place of passion and purpose. Keep in mind that it is crucial for leaders to be open to feedback and to be willing to modify their strategies as necessary.

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