An Overview of the 7 Most Common Styles of Leadership

An Overview of the 7 Most Common Styles of Leadership

According to a recent finding by Zippia, less than half of the employees (48%) think that they have ‘high quality’ leadership in their companies. Businesses everywhere are looking for skilled managers who can make quick decisions. They want effective leaders who can work with the stakeholders to achieve the company’s objectives.  

You should be able to clearly understand the different leadership styles. This knowledge will help you to better run your business or manage others. So let us go through the 7 most common styles of leadership

Why Do Modern Organisations Need Good Leaders?  

Leadership skills are very important for all types of institutions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a non-profit organisation or a business entity. Without effective leaders, organisations cannot function properly. Most of the time, there is a negative impact on the employee’s performance and other processes.  

Some of the major reasons why companies need good leaders are:  

  • Leaders assist other employees to achieve the company’s goals  
  • They effectively delegate tasks and monitor them  
  • They develop suitable plans to increase the profits  
  • They motivate the employees and receive regular feedback         

The 7 Most Common Styles of Leadership  

Most Common Styles of Leadership

As mentioned before, leadership styles will vary depending on the organization. Some of the main factors that influence the style of leadership are:  

  • The size of the organization  
  • The type of industry  
  • The company culture  
  • The business scenario  

So there have been numerous types of leaders since the dawn of time. We will now discuss the 7 most common styles of leadership in modern workplaces.  

1. Autocratic Leadership  

One of the main characteristics of autocratic leaders is that they make major decisions without consulting others in the team. The employees are told what to do and they are not allowed to freely provide opinions. In many modern companies, this strategy has fallen out of favour. However, there are various situations when autocratic leadership is necessary.  

Pros:  

  • Swift decision-making process  
  • Suitable for emergency situations  
  • Good when you have less experienced team members  

Cons:  

  • This often leads to impractical decisions  
  • No input from the employees is taken  
  • Leaders are isolated from the workforce          

Examples:  

  • Queen Elizabeth I   
  • Elon Musk  
  • Napoleon Bonaparte  

2. Collaborative Leadership  

Compared to autocratic leaders, who only give orders, a collaborative leader is a visionary individual who influences the team to achieve the objectives. The leader doesn’t decide every step of the process. Opinions are taken from the other members to decide the best course of action.  

Pros:  

  • Goals are set through team collaboration  
  • A strong influence on the team members  
  • Better motivation for the employees  

Cons:  

  • A constant connection has to be maintained  
  • Can be costlier than other styles  
  • May interrupt the individual working style of an employee     

Examples:  

  • Bob Iger  
  • Jeff Bezos  
  • Abraham Lincoln  

3. Transformational Leadership  

Transformational leaders inspire their team members and receive inspiration from them, along with ensuring excellent performance. Members of the team with this style motivate one another to improve the quality of their work.   

Pros:  

  • The team members have clear objectives  
  • An employee is not concerned with his/her self-interest  
  • This strategy has positive effects on emotions  

Cons:  

  • Unrealistic goals can be disastrous  
  • Sometimes the employees cannot meet the high expectations    
  • Employees may have a higher risk of burnout 

Examples:  

  • Henry Ford  
  • Reed Hastings   
  • Barack Obama  

4. Democratic Leadership  

Democratic leadership can be termed as “the polar opposite” of autocratic leadership. In this style of leadership, team members actively participate in the decision-making process. They provide valuable suggestions to the leader, and decisions are made based on consensus. The leader decides the role of every employee. But employees have their own voices.  

Pros:  

  • Free exchange of ideas and concepts  
  • A high level of productivity through collaboration  
  • The group morale is much better  

Cons:  

  • Inexperienced or unskilled team members can have a negative impact  
  • Free exchange of information leads to security issues   
  • Results-based performance may be affected  

Examples:  

  • Tim Cook  
  • Nelson Mandela  
  • Dwight Eisenhower  

5. Mentor Leadership  

In this style, leaders manage their team members by helping them to learn and grow. The leaders actively share their valuable knowledge and experience. This allows the employees to use tested methods of approaching a task. This way of mentoring people is very effective in creating future leaders.  

Pros:  

  • Better growth and learning opportunities for the team  
  • The leader’s experience helps the subordinates to avoid mistakes  
  • The employees undergo more effective training  

Cons:  

  • It can create overdependence on the mentor  
  • Employees might develop unrealistic career expectations   
  • May promote issues such as favoritism  

Examples:  

  • Socrates (mentor to Plato)   
  • Mike Markkula (mentor to Steve Jobs)   
  • Eric Schmidt (mentor to Larry Page and Sergey Brin)  

6. Bureaucratic Leadership  

This is a more conservative approach to leadership. Here, the leaders strictly stick to the rules of the company. They will prefer these regulations over individual suggestions from team members. It is a structured way of leading people. Mostly seen in traditional companies, this style is not suitable for creative work.   

Pros:  

  • Better discipline due to strict adherence to organizational rules  
  • Employee roles and duties are clear and well-defined  
  • Strong implementation of the company policy  

Cons:  

  • The environment does not encourage creativity  
  • The organization reacts less efficiently to new challenges  
  • It does not promote modern strategies or decisions  

Examples:  

  • Winston Churchill  
  • Collin Powell  
  • Harold Sydney Geneen  

7. Laissez-Faire Leadership  

Trust lies at the core of this leadership style. In this approach, leaders rely on the abilities of the employees. They don’t control every activity and decision of their team members. The employees are free to use their skills and experience to produce results. In many modern businesses, laissez-faire leadership is becoming very popular.  

Pros:  

  • Employees have more freedom to do their tasks  
  • It has a positive impact on employee morale  
  • Team members have more opportunities to develop their abilities  

Cons:  

  • The team doesn’t always get additional directions and resources  
  • Less control and supervision of activities  
  • Not suitable for employees with fewer skills and less experience   

Examples:   

  • Queen Victoria  
  • Warren Buffet   
  • Steve Jobs  

Nationally Recognized Leadership Qualifications in Australia 

Nationally Recognized Leadership Qualifications in Australia 

There are various recognised qualifications in leadership and management. These courses will teach you about modern leadership styles and techniques in detail. There are two popular courses on this topic in Australia:  

You can contact a number of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in Australia to find out more about these certifications.  

Conclusion  

You now have a better idea of the most common styles of leadership. There are various online and offline resources that discuss these styles and their features comprehensively.  

Having good leadership qualities is important for running any business or doing well in your career. We hope that you will become an inspiring leader in the future!