As a leader, it is important to know the different leadership styles and when to choose to leverage the right one. It’s like knowing how to choose a golf club – you need a different club for different shots, the same as you need a variety of leadership strategies for different scenarios.
Leaders don’t have to confine themselves into a box when it comes to leadership; your leadership style can be diverse and adaptive to your circumstances. But it IS important to remain consistent to the mission and success of the company.
Great leaders who know how to differentiate what behaviors are best for certain situations, tend to have the most successful outcome.
Here are five different leadership styles you can use to adapt your approach.
This leadership style is indicative of a workplace where asking questions, giving input, sharing ideas and brainstorming are highly valued.
Teamwork is essential, and everyone’s opinion is valuable. Democratic leaders are typically patient, considerate and open-minded.
When to Use It: A democratic approach can come in handy when trying to gain employee buy-in; when gaining support for a new idea, initiative or change within the organization.
Transformational leaders are basically coaches, leading and inspiring their teams to achieve a specific goal or “bigger picture” idea.
They are very hands on, leading and mentoring. Transformational leaders help their team members become the best they can be and build lasting skills.
When to Use It: This leadership style is ideal for onboarding, training or mentoring your employees. These are crucial transitioning periods for employees, where they likely need more guidance and hands-on support.
In a transactional leadership scenario, employees are rewarded or punished based on their performance.
The leader and team members will have a decisive set of goals and targets, which are monitored and reviewed on a prescribed basis. Rewards might be a bonus, promotion, raise or other incentive.
When to Use It: For employees that need more structure and direction. This type of leadership style doesn’t work well for independent or highly autonomous employees.
An authoritative leader will give their team members goals and direction, and many times, the means of achieving those goals.
While the employee may be more closely directed in their methods, they are still individually accountable for specific goals.
When to Use It: During times of change, when teamwork is most important, employers can give their teams a vision and then the creativity to see its realization.
5. Servant Leadership
Servant leaders lead with a “people-first” mentality. They develop their team members into the best versions of themselves through personal development, as well as growth within the organization and are empowered to take risks and make mistakes.
The nature of a servant leader is to be selfless.
When to Use It: When you need to empower your team and build them into a strong, high-performing unit, servant leadership will get the best, long term results.
Learn more on this topic: 7 Traits of a Servant Leader
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