This weekend I was thinking about leadership styles that I see in my work and around. In 1939, a team of researchers under the direction of psychologist Kurt Lewin set out to categorize several leadership styles. Three main leadership styles were established by Lewin’s research: 1) Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic), 2) Participative Leadership (Democratic), and 3) Delegative Leadership (Laissez-Faire). In this newsletter, I look at this idea and how leadership style matters. I also have some tips on how you can adjust your leadership style when appropriate.
Delegative leadership, commonly referred to as laissez-faire leadership, was found to result in the least productive employees among the three groups. Delegative leaders provide team members with little to no direction and let them make their own decisions. While this approach can help manage highly competent individuals, it frequently results in poorly defined responsibilities and a lack of motivation.
On the other hand, autocratic leaders set forth clear guidelines for what must be done, when it must be done, and how it must be done. Authoritarian leaders make decisions without discussing the rest of the group. Researchers have found that authoritarian leadership lack creativity in decision-making. Autocratic leadership only works best in circumstances where there is limited time for collaborative decision-making or when the leader is the group’s most knowledgeable member.
Modern business leaders can no longer be autocrats. They need to empower their employees and give them the freedom to make decisions and take initiative. This is because people enjoy a bit of flexibility in their work and want to feel that they are in control of how they perform their tasks. The best type of leadership is not autocratic. The best type of leadership is democratic. We are all different and we all have different ideas, so it’s important to involve everyone in the process. We want to make sure that everyone feels like they have a voice and that their voice matters. We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process.
Leadership is about providing an environment for people to do their best work, not about controlling a team of people. Leaders need to provide vision and support for employees to empower them and encourage them to create. A leader needs to be open-minded, flexible, and willing to listen. They need to be able to learn from others so they can improve themselves as well as the company’s performance. A leader must have purpose and direction that inspire trust in his employees, he needs to be clear on what his company’s purpose is. He must provide guidance and leadership to the vision.
Let me know your thoughts. Which leadership style do you have?
Stay tuned, and have a great week!
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