Being a great leader can be challenging. Nobody is born with some miraculous gene that grants them the ability to lead and also be effective at it. To be a leader means that you need to have attributes like patience, curiosity, interest and determination, so that you’re able to create a positive impact on those that you lead towards a collective goal.
But there are many different types of leaders.
Some are more aggressive than others, some more understanding and open-minded, some are strict and some are lenient; but they all have one thing in common: the ability to foster action and mobility while creating an impact on the lives of others.
While I deal with so many different personalities and leadership styles as a business coach, I’ve come to learn that being aware of each person’s approach to leadership is extremely important in developing and strengthening their business, as well as their people.
So, I’ve done a bit of research and listed the top leadership types that exist so that you, as the business owner, can find those that you resonate with in order to develop and enhance your approach to leadership. Let’s dive right in.
5 – The Autocrat
The autocratic leader is usually authoritarian in nature. While they’re a bit more aggressive, they tend to delegate the tasks and jobs that need to be done, so that workers listen and do as they’re told.
This style of leadership works well because it saves time and provides much-needed clarity around objectives, goals and outcomes. There are also fewer errors in strategy implementation, as less people are involved in the strategic process – which often brings about much better results.
However, the down-side to this style of leadership is that employees feel undervalued and easily replaceable. It leaves them less motivated and far more likely to rebel against either the leader or the company, which usually results in lower levels of productivity and morale, and increased levels of office politics and infighting.
Using this approach in high-risk environments can be quite effective, as there is usually no room for errors or mistakes to be made. However, it usually fails in educational and creative environments, where people need a lot more freedom and independence to give good ideas and feel heard.
4 – The Democrat
This approach to leadership is significantly different to that of the autocratic leader. They make sure to involve team-members in the decision-making process and give them the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions. Most of the time, this type of leader has the final say, but values and embraces the input from employees and the team as a whole.
The only problem with it is that it can be quite time-consuming to take in every individual’s ideas and thoughts which can often lead to poor choices if the team or its members are inexperienced or unskilled in any way.
With this approach, the upside is that there is far more motivation from employees, as they feel valued and respected. It allows for the accumulation of different perspectives and approaches, rather than relying on one person to provide his/her viewpoint.
It works really well for those smaller teams or any team that has highly skilled and experienced members which can bring value to the decision-making.
3 – The “Let Them Do” Leader (Laissez-Faire)
The complete opposite of the autocratic leader. This approach doesn’t usually fulfil the typical role of a leader, as everyone’s input is deemed valid and equal. Ultimately, they leave the decision-making up to their team members, giving teams complete trust in their abilities to motivate themselves and navigate the business effectively.
While this style seems quite favourable, it often leads to confusion, delays and slow-progress – especially in strategic planning. It also hampers individual development, as people become reliant on their own ideas and thoughts, rarely looking to improve themselves.
However, this approach can be great in that it helps team members feel valued, heard and appreciated. It empowers employees and leaves them with a greater sense of confidence and autonomy, as they feel capable of handling the work on their own without being pressured and undermined.
This approach works very well in teams with highly-skilled individuals that usually have the expertise to make valuable contributions (similar to the democratic approach). Each member is able to take the lead and has great trust in one another to make proper, productive and effective choices that add value to the company.
2 – The Incentiviser (Transactional Leader)
These are the types of leaders that make use of effective reward and punishment systems in order to promote self-motivation and the ambition to succeed. By using incentives to drive employees, these leaders have a fixed and functioning system that says to work hard or receive no benefits.
One of the biggest issues with this approach is that the environment is usually quite strict in structure and rather inflexible. There’s often little room for different viewpoints or processes and can lead to people feeling undervalued, as they’re only there to follow the lead. Employees usually feel restricted in making an impact and everybody has the same measurement of achievement – those who sell or produce more, get more.
However, the upside is that goals and outcomes are clearly defined and can easily be understood by teams and individual employees. The incentives and consequences are also made crystal clear and it’s up to the individual to do a great job – so it also instills a sense of confidence and accountability in the employee regarding their expectations.
1 – The Transformer (Transformational Leader)
This approach to leadership puts more focus on the leader’s personality and the way in which they motivate employees to constantly innovate and improve. They are often guided by a clear vision of success and ensure that everybody is focused on the company’s mission and purpose. These leaders aim to inspire and create a positive work culture for everyone involved, acting as a role-model and exemplar.
One of the biggest issues with this style of leadership is that it makes way for a culture of sycophants that aim to please the leader at any given opportunity. Employees can become more focused on getting their leader’s approval, instead of focusing on performance, productivity and team support.
This approach works well, because leaders act as role-models to staff, inspiring them and motivating them to achieve greatness not only for the company, but for themselves. There’s usually a high focus on the vision of the company and what it will take to become more valuable in the long-run. These leaders value interpersonal relationships and are engaging in the way that they communicate with staff, leaving lasting impressions and a stronger sense of camaraderie.
What Type Of Leader Do You Want To Be?
While there are these different approaches to being an effective and impressionable leader, it’s up to you to pick and choose. Weigh out the different options, see which of them suit your personality more and learn, learn, learn.
By taking the time to educate yourself on your favourite approaches, you’re able to decide which one(s) will be more advantageous to you and your business.
Perhaps you like two, or even three of them and want to make a cocktail that includes the best points into one powerful hybrid approach that suits you better – then by all means, do so. Being a unique individual means finding unique and remarkable ways to do things.
If you find that you’re already comfortable with your approach, but need advice, mentoring, guidance or more perspective, then I’m the right coach for you.
Even if you’re still trying to figure out what leader you want to be, I can help you make the right decision for you and your business.
I’ve worked with so many different clients that I’ve helped develop and grow – engaging with many different leaders and personalities that attract high levels of success, so I know exactly what to look for and inspire in you.
Get in touch today. Tell me about your business, your dreams, goals and ambitions. Let me help make the difference that you seek.
+2783 253 3339