The success of any organization is largely dependent on the person heading the charge. Anyone can be named the head of a company, but it takes more than a label to create a good leader. An effective leader is someone who can see the bigger picture. They have a vision for their organization and know how to harness the strengths of their team to reach the desired goal. Through the art of communication, they can convey their vision and ideas to their fellows, making them equally excited to be a part of the journey. Perhaps one quality that every great leader has is a strong bond with their team. By observing empathy, actively listening, and building meaningful relationships with their associates, leaders create a healthy and positive work environment. Such an ambiance nurtures the talents of each individual, allowing them to give their best.
Indeed, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Leading a team is by no means an easy task and comes with great responsibility. Knowing how to lead is crucial if you want your organization to thrive. It requires knowledge, patience, and tons of practice.
Someone who is just setting foot into the business world and wants to better understand heading a team can opt for a leadership and management online program to skill up. Such a program allows managers to learn the many leadership styles to provide direction, implement plans, and motivate their associates. With enough practice, any individual can learn how to flex between these styles as the situation demands. This attribute plays a vital role in the making of a great leader. To make it easier, we have provided a brief description of some of the primary styles most wise leaders choose to follow.
This is the oldest style of leading in the playbook. The autocratic or the “Do as I say” leadership style is employed by a leader who believes they are the most intelligent person in the room. They like to proceed solely based on their perspective, and team members get little to no input in the decision-making process. While this style may have worked in the past, employees nowadays like to express their creative and innovative side. Instead of simply following, they want to participate and be a part of the organization’s journey to success.
An authoritative leader sets the goal, imposes expectations, and defines the outcome. It is the leadership style employed mainly by confident leaders who guide the way while simultaneously engaging and encouraging associates. Authoritarian leadership comes in handy when a particular objective needs to be accomplished within a time-constrained period. It is the most efficient way to get the job done. The chain of command is clear, and only higher authorities make crucial decisions. But this style of leading is somewhat strict. Since authoritarian leaders tend to not listen to the team’s opinion, employees’ input and creativity are reduced, often leading to a rebellion in the long run.
This style is best suited for a driven leader who likes to set the bar high to motivate team members and associates. Such a leader defines the standards and creates competition amongst colleagues, pushing them to run hard and fast towards the finish line. While this style helps to boost team spirit and encourage a little bit of healthy rivalry, it can be off-putting in the long run. Employees can eventually become burned out. The immense pressure can cause them to lose interest in their work and develop a negative attitude towards each other. Although this leadership style shouldn’t be used permanently, having it in your arsenal can be helpful from time to time. For example, when your company intends to launch a new product/service or if you require your team members to come up with new pitches and ideas.
A leader who is very accustomed to taking into consideration the input and opinions of his associates is called a democratic leader. Although the head is the person making the final call, each team member gets a say in the decision-making process. The leader chooses to hear the ideas of all employees when deciding the future of the organization. It is, perhaps, one of the most effective leadership styles since it allows even lower-level employees to participate and exercise their authority. This creates a positive working environment as team members feel heard by their leader. It promotes trust, boosts team morale, and encourages cooperation. Moreover, it nurtures employees’ creative abilities, allowing them to grow and serve the organization at their best.
Coach style leadership focuses on harnessing the individual strengths of each team member. This style utilizes a similar strategy as democratic leadership but emphasizes more on the personal growth of employees. By embracing each employee’s personality and skillsets, the leader creates unique teams where each member specializes in something different. The coach-style of leadership is effective because of the lack of pressure it puts on employees. Instead of forcing every employee to work on the same skill or goal, they are encouraged to tap into their abilities and reach their full potential.
An affiliative leader is the most in contact with their team, be it physically or emotionally. Such a leader works to create bonds deeper and more meaningful than just work. This style of leadership is the most up-close and personal. A person who employs this style chooses to focus more on the emotional needs and well-being of every associate. They intend to encourage harmony, team morale and form an organization with a robust collaborative foundation.
The key to being a great leader is knowing what leadership style works best for you and your team. To enhance effectiveness, you must also grasp which style to employ based on the situation. While being understanding and giving room to your employees may improve team morale, sometimes you’ll have to be stricter to get the job done. So, what style do you think fits your personality?