Employer Resources

6 Leadership Styles You Need to Know

Your leadership style is a melting pot of your personality, life experiences, communication style, level of emotional intelligence, and perspective. The success of both young and well-seasoned leaders in eliciting the willing collaboration of others toward a worthwhile goal depends heavily on the capability of these leaders to be self-actualized.  In other words, how well does a leader know their style, and, more importantly, how well can they adjust their style to meet the demands of moment? Discover below how different leadership styles work and how they are implemented to lead teams more effectively. 


#1 – Autocratic Leadership Style: lead through power

The autocratic leadership style is a very direct and authoritative approach where managers attain complete authority and control over their team. Leaders who adopt an autocratic style tend to lead through power. They are very goal orientated and truly self-driven to succeed. Due to their overbearing and single-minded approach, this can be very demotivating for the team and can lead to low confidence and staff morale. Being a more direct style of leadership, it is possibly best used when employees require closer supervision within a task rather than a team setting.


#2 – Visionary Leadership Style: lead by new direction

The visionary leadership style very much engages people towards a vision set out by the manager. Visionary leaders are self-confident and love to brainstorm and create a new direction. Visionary leaders are confident in their ability to engineer and innovate new ideas. This approach is perfect when your team’s productivity is falling, and a new direction is needed. It has been known to fail when aiming to persuade more experienced team members who are set in their ways.


#3 – Affiliative Leadership Style: lead through relationships

Affiliative leaders tend to be highly team orientated and people focused. This style of leadership focuses purely on the team’s relationship. The affiliative leadership style is concerned with building stronger relationships, enhancing employee trust, and ensuring the overall team connection is present. After all, by reducing work life tension and stress along with nurturing the well-being of your team, it can have a direct impact on the quality of work they produce. The qualities of a leader within this style requires advanced people skills.


#4 – Democratic Leadership Style: lead by agreement

The democratic leadership style is expectant of others within the team contributing ideas to the task or project. They actively promote the involvement of other employees and listen to their opinions. Like with all styles of leadership, there is a time and a place when incite from the entire team is needed. The democratic approach can encourage team co-operation, teamwork and bring employees together by allowing team members to have a say. When employees have a say they feel slightly more valued in their job role. When executed poorly by managers, it can seem a lot of listening but with little effective action.


#5 – Pace-Setting Leadership: lead by example

Pacesetting leaders expect a high level of performance from their team. In terms of characteristics, they are highly driven and expect others to follow in their footsteps. Keep in mind, this style of leadership is difficult to implement on a long-term basis. When thinking of a pace-setting leader, keep in mind the athlete and the pace setter within a long-distance race. The objective of a pacemaker in the athletics world for example, is to set the pace ensuring the athletes maintain a steady and consistent speed at optimum level to progress forward.

The pace-setting leader sets exciting challenges and clear goals for their team whilst demanding personal responsibility for meeting those targets. Done well, the clear guidance and clear demands can really life a team’s performance, done badly and it can really breakdown the confidence and belief of a team.


#6 – Coaching Leadership Style: lead through advice & guidance

The coaching leadership styles provide a more long-term approach. This leadership style focuses on developing each team members skill set and attributes whilst providing positive reinforcement. When employees believe and see that their own manager values and respects their individual career goals within the workplace, they may engage more fully in team projects and daily tasks. When the coaching leadership style is done badly, it can come across as micro-managing.



Adapted from liveandlearnconsultancy.co.uk