Published on April 6, 2020
Read time 10 minutes
14 Leadership Styles Examples That You Need to Know
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Leadership has a very broad scope when we talk about leadership styles examples. They are all very different in the sense that there is a wide variety of these fellows ever since leadership was incepted. There are over ten different leadership styles, and one style just doesn’t suit a specific organization. Leadership in that sense is complex. Sometimes “leaders” don’t know that they are leading within the capacity of any responsible role.
In other situations, few leadership styles examples point to folks who lead by transactions. They reward you only after you have met a certain deadline. So, let’s say, you are in an office and someone has a vacation or an important personal commitment coming up, the transactional style of leader will make sure that the concerned person reaches the milestone before he gets that vacation thing.
At some point in your professional life, you will either experience these leadership responsibilities or witness such leaders. It is a matter of time and perspective. Having a good leader is a blessing. Having a bad leader is a curse. It’s just that you have to make do with both of them to meet the desired goals vs. expectations bracket.
Leadership Styles Examples:
Most of the leaders in today’s industry adapt leadership roles as they see fit. In that order, there is no specific formula which predefines a certain leadership style, or type of a leader for that matter. However, it doesn’t hurt anyone to know a thing or two about leadership before actually performing that role within any capacity.
We will cover the following 14 Leadership Styles Examples:
- Paternal & Maternal Leaders
- Situational Leadership
- Participative Leadership
- Transformational Leader
- Transactional Leader
- Servant Leadership
- Autocratic Leadership
- Hands Off Leadership
- Democratic Leadership
- Coaching Leadership
- Strategic Leadership
- Laissez-Faire Leadership
- Charismatic Leadership
- Pacesetter Leadership
The following are the common leadership styles examples that you will eventually bear witness to. Keep in mind that if you ever find yourself in the shoes of a leader, don’t forget to improvise. People like a person who is a servant, assertive, and caring.
14. Paternal & Maternal Leaders
The term: Paternal refers to a male figure in a leadership position. Maternal denotes female leaders. The authority comes with their ability to play both paternal and/or maternal roles. Often, subordinates envision their leader as a leading ‘fatherly’ or ‘motherly’ figure in a company.
This concept mostly applies to family businesses that further transition to public IPOs over time. Regardless, this style of leadership focuses more on practical and ground-based work. It also enables leaders to pay devoted attention to people in a company; whatever their recommendations, and feedback are.
Paternalistic and maternalistic leadership is very progressive and successful in countries where we have a joint family system. As this style of leadership can take advantage and survives under varying conditions against odd forms of adversity, you can expect such leaders to “lead” and last for a long time.
13. Situational Leadership:
Situational leaders have a very strong intuition. Some call it a gut feeling. But once it meddles with years of experience, situational leaders can easily adapt and improvise according to changing circumstances in a tough competitive market.
Choosing the right style, making the right decision at the right time, and just being able to seize the moment is what makes situation leadership last long.
On the same note, this style of leadership is very rate. As a student, if you can work under the tutelage of one such leader, go for it. Learn from him/ her and hone your skills to help you become a better version of yourself in the market.
Overall, it is a very dynamic leadership style because you must change your behavior, address situations differently, and make decisions at the right time.
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12. Participative Leadership:
This kind of leadership style is also known as “Facilitative leadership”. Leaders in this category not only lead, but they also offer equal participation opportunities to delegates and subordinates. Many MNCs follow participative leadership methods to get a taste of diversified ideas once any problem is underway.
Privatization and decentralization is the biggest example of this kind of leadership. This form of leadership distributes more power to people by offering them a platform for voicing their opinions.
11. Transformational Leader:
Transformational leaders normally step up the ladder once they are employed in a small position. You may have seen one or two people in the company who get promoted and acquire the responsibilities of a division head, manager or any other senior-level post. These people are transformational leaders.
However, there’s also an element of “brown-nosing”. We also call it favoritism where a certain employee tends to stick around whenever senior management walks in. Don’t be that guy. No one likes this kind of person.
Your fellow employees will talk behind your back, and eventually, you’ll be out-casted. If you go up the rungs this way, you’re only going to be a self-proclaimed transformational leader. No one else will regard you in that capacity.
10. Transactional Leaders:
Transactional leadership was already mentioned earlier in this write-up. This is the kind of leader who sets an effort vs. rewards criterion in an organization. Normally, transactional leaders are good, but they can also get on your nerves if they start punishing people for underperforming.
The worst kind of transactional leader is a person who holds employees against their will to turn in a submission or meet a deadline for upper management’s benefit. The good thing about this style of leadership is their tenacity to get work done. They set incentives and employees feel motivated to do their best.
9. Servant Leadership:
Servant leaders are humble. They lead by example and tend to put their company and employees’ need ahead of personal agendas. These types of leaders are rare because they practice power-sharing modes of authority. A servant leader will push you to new levels of skill, responsibilities and vice versa – i.e. if he/she sees the potential in you.
In extreme cases, servant leaders are often seen as lacking authority. We think that this style of leadership is best because you are connected to your colleagues and employees. In return, your fellows reciprocate by demonstrating loyalty. However, there is a thin line where servant leaders are often undermined by employees due to conflict of interests.
If you want to avoid employees “stepping over” you, make sure that you assert and exhibit authority. They have to know that you are still a senior manager who adheres to a protocol.
8. Autocratic Leadership:
This leadership is an integral part of leadership style examples. Autocratic leaders are focused on a results-oriented approach. They mostly make decisions alone. They don’t trust everyone easily, and they also expect others to be just as much passionate about work as they are. Autocratic leaders are exceptional military commanders.
However, in the business sector, this type of leader is rarely seen. The reason is attributed to different environment setup and organization structure where old school autocratic leadership methods cannot be directly applied. Since all the employees are working as civilians, they are under no obligation to follow “orders” as seen in a military setup.
An autocratic leader is best suited to an organization where policies are strict. In such companies, creativity and initiative are at an all-time low. Everyone works in a system like a robot. If you are part of such a company, we advise you to move on – unless and until you are an autocratic leader yourself!
7. Hands Off Leadership:
Often called Laissez-Faire, hands-off leaders are an important part of leadership styles examples. Have you ever heard of the expression: “I leave that to you in your capable hands?” Laissez-Faire leaders simply delegate tasks and expect their subordinates to complete those tasks to the best of their abilities. Hence the expression “hands-off leader” came into existence. These leaders are good in the sense that they are not very strict on policies. Workers define their work hours for as long as they are completing their activities and meeting the desired quota.
Laissez-Faire leaders also recognize those employees who over-deliver – and reward them accordingly. Those employees, who can work under minimum supervision, are best suited under the wings of a laissez-faire leader.
6. Democratic Leadership:
Another important element of leadership styles examples is the democratic leader. You all know what democracy means; what it stands for at government level. Apply the same concept in a business environment, and you are looking at a mix of autocratic leader and a hands-off leader.
We are aware that an autocratic leader makes you cringe. But at least he’s better than a narcissistic leader because he lines up everything with clarity. A narcissistic leader will stab you in the back when you are least expecting it.
Anyhow, democratic leaders foster discussion, participation, and different creative tactics. Since they are not entirely autocratic, they encourage their fellow team members to take initiative and outperform wherever that’s possible.
5. Coaching leadership
Coach-Style leadership is an effective method of taking your team forward. This is because a coach-style leader focusses in-depth on identifying and nurturing the strengths of each and every member of their team, instead of giving the same orders to everyone.
This strategy will enable the team to work together through their own individual strengths rather than trying to do something that they are not comfortable with. Coach-Style leadership is very similar to strategic and democratic leadership, but the core focus of this strategy is to increase the growth and success of every individual employee.
When the employees are groomed using this strategy and not forced to focus on similar skills and goals, and effective team is formed where every employee has unique expertise or skillset, that can easily be used in different projects, as the leader sees fit.
A manager like this will benefit the company and also help the employees improve their individual strengths by giving them new tasks, offer them guidance, or meeting them discuss issues and offer valuable constructive criticism.
4. Strategic leadership
According to Wikipedia, “Strategic leadership is the ability to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that enhance the prospects for the organization’s long-term success.”
In Laymen’s terms, Strategic leadership is a manager or a team member’s ability to charter a vision for the team and the company. When they envision the strategy, they would easily persuade the other team members to follow the same strategy with the help of the right strategies and tools.
This leadership technique easily enables the managers to create a team that is full of skill diversity, exceptionally trained and well-equipped individuals, that help the company in any normal or emergency situation.
3. Laissez-Faire Leadership
Laissez-Faire is a French word that means ‘let them do’ and if you want to translate it into English, it’s ‘let it be’. From these meanings, you can conclude that in this leadership style, the managers or team leads delegate the responsibilities to the actual people working or the team members.
This helps the team to get the work done on their own terms as quickly as possible without any interference.
Laissez-faire leadership is the only style where the team gets the maximum amount of flexibility and scope for innovation. This style of leadership is perfect for teams that include team members who don’t team leads lording over them.
2. Charismatic leadership
This leadership style solely depends on the leader. The amount of charisma he/she has will inspire the people more, and they’ll more work effectively to please their leader and benefit the company.
Leaders like these inspire, energize and motivate the people working under them, and this technique is so successful that the Center for Association Leadership confesses that this style actually increases the team morale and push them towards success.
Not everyone is naturally charismatic, but you can learn to be more motivational and inspiring, which will help the people not just in your work life but also in your personal life.
1. Pace-Setter Leadership
Pace-Setter leadership is the one where the work is speed-oriented. The leader will push the team to get results fast. We see this leadership style in Agile work environments where the work and time deadlines are not defined, and a lot of different elements are needed to be altered in real-time.
We know that this is one of the leadership styles which seems like the people are being grilled to do more and more work without any recognition. Not true. Pacesetters do push their employees, but they do that in a way that the employees are inspired into doing more work. This actually enhances performance and individual energy levels rather than decreasing them.
Pacesetters leadership style works quite well in stock markets and sales-related organizations where numbers matter a lot and rapid action is required to diffuse the situation.
What Kind of a Leader Are You?
In the end, the important question is what kind of leader are you? Have you ever performed as a leader in your company? If yes, we would love to hear your thoughts on this. Share your experiences through the comments section below.
By the way, this article about leadership styles examples is not yet concluded. There are many other types of leadership styles that we haven’t mentioned yet. Therefore, bookmark this post and check back in later. We will be updating it with some very interesting examples of leadership styles very soon.
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