Good Leaders Comparison
Are good leaders born or made? That is questionthat organizations have been trying to answer for decades. It is now commonly understood that people perform better and are more satisfied at work when they are motivated and inspired versus commanded and controlled. In today’s constantly changing business environment, having good leadership is vital for any organization to be successful. A good way to start is to understand the positives and negatives of some commonly used leadership styles.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these different leadership styles:
The autocratic style of leadership may be the least popular but the most widely used form among most workplaces. The autocrat is one that makes all decisions and does not allow subordinates to participate in the decision-making process. Most people probably think of military leaders as autocrats. We imagine the drill sergeant screaming at the trainee! However, many business managers employ this style when human error is not acceptable.
- There is only a single decision maker, which makes the decision-making process fast!
- All team members answer to only one person, which prevents confusion and decreases stress.
** Consider this: Have you ever experienced a work or social situation in which tasks must be performed, but no one is will to take charge? When this occurs, it can be disruptive and stressful.
- Does not allow subordinates to grow and develop.
- Stifles communications amongst subordinates.
- Does not encourage inter-personal relationships and may cause distrust.
If the autocrat is the least favorable among subordinates, the democratic leader is the most favored! The leader that uses a democratic style of leadership listens to their subordinates, encourages creativity and solicits their input. The democratic style is very effective in dynamic working environments in which creative synergy is necessary in order to solve complex problems.
- Encourages creativity through team building and open dialogue.
- Grows subordinates into leaders.
- Increases team morale because everyone feels like they are a part of the solution.
- Decisions often take longer as feedback and differences of opinion occur among team members.
Can cause dissension if one decision is more popular than another and team members take sides.
A leader that uses the laissez-faire style of leadership is known as one that is hands off. Unlike the autocratic, this person is not interested in decision-making and may often be seen as not being interested or connected. It can be argued that laissez-faire leaders allow subordinates the opportunity to lead whereas autocrats micromanage.
- Allows subordinates to make decisions without approvalof the leader.
- Team members feel empowered to solve problems on their own.
- Team members do not receive any guidance or direction.
- Team members may not be able to rally around an issue that requires a collective solution.
These type of leaders possess the ability to inspire and motivate people to do things that they did not think possible. This style of leadership is known as one that invests in subordinates. These special leaders are able to communicate ideas in a way that shifts thinking in dramatic ways. Only a transformational leader, such as President John F. Kennedy, could have convinced the world that America would one day reach the face of the moon!
- Inspires people to do great things through example and encouragement.
- Willing to make changes to systems, in order to better the whole.
- May not be able to be detail-oriented because they are focused on the big picture.
This form of leadership is transaction based, meaning the “exchange” between leader and subordinate. The type of transactions exchanged would be goodperformance in exchange for goodappraisal. Example: “If you achieve 95% results then I will promote you to shift leader.” This style of managerial style focuses on human behavior and is results oriented.
- Expectations are clearly stated; Reward or reprimand based upon performance.
- Provides goals for employees to work towards; makes business more productive.
- Very restrictive which does not allow for creativity.
- No flexibility for leaders to allow for failure without repercussion.
A good leader is also a person that can be a good follower. Leaders are also great listeners, and that is a trait that earns the respect of those that they lead.