What’s it: Leadership is the act and skill of leading a group of people or organization. It is usually associated with the position and traits inherent in a company’s manager and chief executive. They have the authority and power and use it to set goals, influence and motivate their peers and subordinates, and determine company resources allocation.
Leadership determines the achievement of goals. The different situation requires a different type of leadership. So, to be successful, the leader must be at the right time and location.
Many personality characteristics are associated with leadership. They include assertiveness, authenticity, character strengths, dominance, emotional intelligence, intelligence, narcissism, self-monitoring, and social motivation.
Some of the critical skills for good leadership qualities are:
- Communication – The ability to communicate effectively is important because the leader must translate the larger goals into more specific goals and activities.
- Awareness – It is about how a leader pays attention to business processes to learn which ideas are effective and less effective.
- Ability to delegate – The leader, of course, will not do all the jobs of the subordinates. Therefore, they must know how to empower resources to achieve goals. It may require leaders to facilitate teamwork, provide autonomy, and lead to better decision-making.
- Integrity – The leader must have a strong commitment to what has been decided to build trust among subordinates.
- Building relationships – Developing trust and collaboration is essential for creating synergy and shared energy. That is not only for subordinates but also between subordinates and leaders.
- Innovation – Creative and problem solvers are useful when leaders have to make changes.
- Learning agility – Often, problems arise and require new approaches to solving them entirely. Therefore, leaders should learn quickly, which is essential to deal with unexpected circumstances.
Types of leadership styles
There are several styles of leadership. Each has its own operation mode, pros, and cons. Here are seven of them:
- Authoritarian leadership
- Democratic leadership
- Charismatic leadership
- Laissez-faire leadership
- Transactional leadership
- Transformational leadership
- Bureaucratic leadership
The authoritarian leadership style emphasizes that the leader is the highest authority and determines everything. They determine policies and procedures, decide what goals to achieve, and direct and control all activities without suggestions and meaningful participation from subordinates. Such leaders have complete control over the team and leave low autonomy in the group.
If the leader has a big vision, that’s probably great. It makes it easier for him to empower resources in a better direction. The process is faster because subordinates will always submit.
But, if the leader is not a visionary, what will happen?
In contrast to authoritarian leadership styles, democratic leadership makes decisions based on input from subordinates.
Democratic leadership is effective when subordinates need some authority. Subordinates feel the leader values their ideas, enabling them to be more motivated to engage and deliver the best results.
However, decision making may take longer. The more ideas, the harder it is to reach consensus. In some cases, democratic leaders may consider being slightly authoritarian to reach quick decisions.
Also, subordinates may be selfish or of their group and less concerned about others. That will lead to conflict and harm. Coordination and cooperation are damaged so that they do not provide mutual benefits.
Charismatic leaders seek to encourage others’ behaviors through fluent communication, persuasion, and strength of personality. They motivate followers to get things done or give the best results.
Charismatic leadership styles depend on the charm and persuasion of the leader. They are driven by their belief and commitment to a goal.
They are also sometimes called transformational leaders. The difference between the two is focus and audience. Charismatic leaders often try to make the status quo better. In contrast, transformational leaders focus on turning the organization into the leader’s vision.
The laissez-faire leadership style focuses on delegating multiple tasks to team members and providing little or no supervision. Laissez-faire leaders do not intensively manage and empower employees. They often have more time for other projects.
Managers adopt this leadership style when all team members are independent and qualified. The subordinates are highly experienced, well trained, and require little supervision.
A laissez-faire leadership style could cause decreased productivity if employees are confused about what their leader expects. It also less fit if multiple team members need consistent motivation and boundaries to perform well.
Transactional leadership focuses on monitoring, organizing, and performance. Leaders promote subordinate obedience through rewards and punishments. They think the system can keep followers motivated in the short term.
Unlike transformational leaders, transactional leaders do not want to change the future. They try to keep things unchanged and do things as usual.
This leadership style may be suitable for types of work that require close supervision. Leaders always pay attention to the work of their subordinates to find errors and irregularities.
Transformational leadership seeks to encourage, inspire, and motivate subordinates to innovate and create change. They consider it very important to help grow and shape the future success of the company. To do so, transformational leaders will build a strong culture of independence in the workplace.
Transformational leaders inspire and motivate subordinates with confidence. They trust their subordinates to make decisions and find solutions to each problem independently. They encourage employees to be better day by day through problem-solving and the search for better alternative solutions.
This leadership management style gives employees more space to be creative, look to the future, and find new solutions to every problem.
Bureaucratic leaders work based on official duties and always emphasize the hierarchy of authority in making decisions. They strictly apply a system and rules in managing people and make decisions. This leadership style is suitable for well-organized businesses. It can be efficient in a company that doesn’t require creativity or innovation from employees.