Seven Leadership Styles — Examples That You Need to Know
Seven Leadership Styles — Examples That You Need to Know
An outline of seven different leadership styles and where they are most useful.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
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.
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 servant, assertive and caring.
7. Transformational Leader
Transformation 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.
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.
6. 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.
5. 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.
4. 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.
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!
3. Hands Off Leadership
Often called Laissez-Faire, hands-off leaders are an important part of leadership style examples. Have you ever heard of the expression: “I leave 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.
2. 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 leaders 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.
Pacesetter leadership is speed-oriented. Think about leaders in an Agile work environment. They work where communication is not hierarchical, and things can scale up in no time. Pacesetters push employees to their limits. They do so in a way that does not hinder performance or individual energy levels of the employees.
Pacesetters also reward their fellow employees and subordinates. Sometimes, it is difficult to work with these kinds of leaders, but if you feel confident that you can give something your best shot, go for it. Pacesetter leadership style works well in stock markets, sales-oriented businesses and companies where number matters a lot by the end of a financial quarter.
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.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.