Throughout history, great leaders have emerged with particular leadership styles in providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. Some of the more popular styles are categorised below:
Long before developing a particular leadership style however, a leader’s personality type is a large determining factor in how a leader will potentially lead.
Personality assessments provide clues as to how a person will perform as a leader and in which of the above leadership style categories, they are likely to fall in.
The definition of each style and some personality traits that fit that style are as follows:
Authoritarian Leadership style A leader with this style of leadership sets out clear guidelines for his team to follow but imposes expectations and outcomes. Typically, this leader will be intense and energetic but also volatile and sometimes explosive. They can dominate, squash, or alienate others and can intimidate rather than persuade people to follow them.
Advantages of an authoritarian leadership style:
• Time spent on making crucial decisions can be reduced.
• Confidence, energy, and determination lead to getting the job done no matter how difficult or challenging it may be.
• Chain of command can be clearly emphasised.
• Mistakes in the implementation of plans can be reduced.
• Using authoritarian leadership style creates consistent results.
Disadvantages of an authoritarian leadership style:
• A very strict leadership style can sometimes lead to employee rebellion.
• It kills employee creativity and innovation.
• It reduces group synergy & collaboration.
• Group input is reduced dramatically.
• Authoritarian leadership increases employee turnover rate.
Participative Leadership This leadership style is deeply rooted in democratic theory. A participative leader will often be confident in their ability, able to listen to negative feedback and respects others.
This leader will tend to involve team members in the decision-making process. Team members thus feel included, engaged, and motivated to contribute.
Advantages of a participative leadership style:
• It increases employee motivation and job satisfaction.
• It encourages creativity amongst employees.
• A participative leadership style helps in the creation of a strong team.
• High level of productivity can be achieved.
• It enforces a culture of collaboration, loyalty and support
Disadvantages of a participative leadership style:
• Decision-making processes become time-consuming.
• Leaders have a high probability of being apologetic to employees.
• Too much flexibility can lead to procrastination and confusing messages.
• Security issues can arise because of transparency in information sharing.
• Poor decisions can be made if the employees are unskilled.
Delegative leadership Also known as "laissez-faire leadership", a delegative leadership style focuses on delegating initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if the leader understands their own strengths and shortcomings. A leader delegating to team members that are competent, take responsibility and prefer engaging in individual work will have a much better chance of making effective decisions.
Advantages of a delegative leadership style:
• Competence and experience of team members can lead to new projects and expansion of ideas.
• Gives people a sense of empowerment and responsibility.
• Innovation and creativity are highly valued.
• Delegative leadership creates a positive collaborative work environment.
Disadvantages of a delegative leadership style:
• Chain of command and decision-making process can be vague or not properly defined.
• Delegative leadership creates difficulty in adapting to change and may hinder growth.
• Disagreements among team members may split and divide a group, leading to poor motivation and low morale.
• A lack of structure can make it difficult to implement new policies and procedures.
Transactional Leadership This leadership style focuses on rewards, punishments, and other exchanges to get team members to do their job. The leader sets clear goals and ensures team members understand what is expected from them and how they will be rewarded for compliance and achievement of those goals. This leadership style is concerned with following established routines and procedures in an efficient manner, than making transformational changes to an organisation.
This type of leader will go to great lengths to make sure every detail of an assignment is followed and properly completed so that nothing is left to chance.
Advantages of a transactional leadership style:
• Leaders create specific, measurable, and time-bound goals that are achievable for employees.
• Employee motivation and productivity is often high.
• Confusion in the chain of command is minimised or eliminated.
• It creates a system that is easy to implement for leaders and easy to follow by employees.
• Employees can often choose their own reward system.
Disadvantages of transactional leadership style:
• Innovation and creativity are minimised.
• Empathy is often not valued.
• Transactional leadership is not conducive to creating new leaders. It creates more followers than leaders among employees.
• The leader is focused on details, they can overlook the big picture or the obvious.
• Employees can feel ‘pegged in’ by being required to do their job exactly the way the leader wants it done.
Transformational Leadership This style of leadership inspires team members with a vision and encourages, empowers, and rewards them to achieve it. The leader serves as a role model for the vision and employees.
A transformational leader will often be perceived as bright, creative and interested in intellectual matters.
Advantages of a transformational leadership style:
• It leads to a lower employee turnover rate.
• Transformational leadership places high value on corporate vision.
• High morale of employees is often experienced.
• It uses motivation and inspiration to gain the support of employees.
• It is not a coercive approach to leadership.
• It places high value on relationships.
Disadvantages of a transformational leadership style:
• Leader can be deceptive and have impractical ideas.
• Consistent motivation and constant feedback may be required.
• Tasks can’t be pushed through without the agreement of employees.
• Transformational leadership can sometimes lead to the deviation of protocols and regulations.
While it is important to recognise and understand different leadership styles and the situations they would work best in, it is even more important for a leader to possess a high level of self-awareness so that they can use their leadership strengths in an authentic manner to inspire and motivate others to follow.
For more information on how NBPeople and Hogan personality assessments can help you easily and quickly identify your personality type, raise your self - awareness and therefore, develop your own unique leadership style please please visit www.nbpeople.com.au and/or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a personal no obligation discussion with one of our senior coaches.