The successful completion of a project or any other type of work depends on many things. One of them is the presence of a leader on the team and the types of leadership that are applied. Different types of projects or jobs require different types of leadership.
What Are Leadership Styles?
Leadership styles are the methods the leader uses to guide and lead a team. Depending on the type of leadership she has, the leader decides how to organize the work process and how to supervise, what kind of relationship she establishes with the team, and the level of autonomy of the employees.
A leader is a person who helps the organization achieve its objectives. Hence, the person who leads a team must choose a type of leadership that is more than anything compatible with the objectives of the organization.
Leadership According To Kurt Lewin
This style of leadership has its origins in the 1930s. The psychologist Kurt Lewin proposed three types of leadership: autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic.
1. Autocratic Leadership Style
What distinguishes an autocratic leader is the way he makes decisions. Usually, when defining the objectives and the methods by which they are going to be achieved, as well as their deadlines, he does not take into account the opinions of the team. This type of leadership is effective when a decision has to be made quickly and the opinion of the team is not essential.
This style of leadership is quite rigid. An environment is created in which, on the one hand, there are orders, and, on the other, the execution of orders. This is not good for the work environment or for innovation. Although there may be jobs that require this type of relationship.
It is suitable for emergency situations.
2. Laissez-Faire Leadership
With this style, the leader delegates decision-making to the team. The team decides how they are going to achieve the objectives, and how they will distribute priorities and time. The leader can guide them and give advice, but the team takes responsibility for the results on its own.
To opt for this type of leadership, you need to have a certain level of trust within the team and a staff of experienced and motivated professionals. Among the leadership styles, this is the one that can bring the most benefit for managing work in high-performance teams.
3. Democratic Leadership Style
The leader (boss) makes decisions based on his point of view, but team members can make suggestions that are evaluated and considered in common. That is, everyone participates in decision-making, everyone is involved in the process and can express their ideas. In general, there is more creativity and satisfaction on the team.
At the same time, it must be taken into account that if a quick decision is needed, the democratic style can complicate the process. Also, it requires certain abilities and ‘soft skills’ from the leader, to ensure that order and discipline continue to exist.
4. Bureaucratic Leadership Style
The model proposed by Max Weber, is based on the idea that there must be strict rules that employees must follow. The main concepts are:
● A well-defined hierarchy of authority.
● A strict specialization of tasks for each employee.
● Employees are hired, fired, and promoted based on their experience, performance, and how well they meet standards.
● Employees who follow the rules have a better chance of a long-term career.
● There must be clear rules and regulations to maintain structure within the organization.
● The performance of the organization is taken into account, while the contributions of the individual do not count.
Why can this style of leadership in a company be good? The roles are clear, as are the objectives, and everything is ordered because it is based on norms and rules.
When is it better to opt for different types of leadership? When looking for innovation, flexibility, and agility in processes.
5. Visionary Leadership
The type of leader of a company who is visionary points out what the team has to achieve, but does not dictate how they should do it. In this way, the team is free to innovate, experiment and do things according to their vision. The only thing the leader has to do is define and communicate the objectives well.
The atmosphere in this type of team is usually pleasant, and if the team is self-disciplined and qualified, good results will be achieved.
6. Coach-Style Leadership
This type of leadership is characterized by close communication between the leader and team members. In this case, the person who leads the team has a personal relationship with each one, and can guide them to achieve better results.
As you can understand, it is an activity that requires time, effort, and knowledge. Also, it presupposes receptivity on the part of employees. Therefore, it is not the most common type of leadership. However, it is the most efficient and can bring great results for the organization.
7. Transactional Leadership
This is one of the business leadership styles that rely on rewards and punishments to motivate and lead the team. In management, the leader focuses on structure, clear organization, strict supervision, and high performance and results. The objectives and the activities to achieve them are usually well-defined and structured. If the team achieves these goals, it receives rewards. Otherwise, you receive penalties.
The downside of this style of leadership is that there is no room to innovate and test theories. Reward motivation and the fear of penalties do not create a congenial environment.
8. Transformational Leadership
The types of leaders in a company that uses this style of leadership adhere to the concept that every process can be transformed into something better. That is why they provide team members with the opportunity to explore and try new methods to come up with innovative ideas. Also, they try to create a friendly environment and form bonds with and among the team.
What Does The Effectiveness Of Leadership Styles Depend On?
The effectiveness of leadership styles depends on whether the leader can align the style they choose with the character of the team they work with. That is, if it is a creative department that develops concepts and generates ideas, the autocratic, bureaucratic, or oppressive leader, will lead the activity to failure.
As for the leader, you should ask yourself some questions before starting to lead a team:
- What leadership qualities do you have?
- How would others describe your leadership style?
- Has the current style worked well for you so far?
- What style seems appropriate for the activity you currently lead?