What really separates a “Boss” from a “Leader”? For workers, recognizing these traits are vital to know how they must succeed at work. Several traits like decisiveness are just one of the qualities that separate a natural born leader from your average boss.
While you might already know the astronomical differences between the two, you may not realize that leaders typically adopt a certain type of leadership styles. To help provide a clearer view of this, here are five common styles that separate the organizational leaders from the standard boss figure.
The Transformational Leader
This type of leadership leans primarily on the ability of a leader to transform and inspire others around them. It allows workers to perform beyond expectations and reach attainable goals. Most companies tend to benefit from this type of leadership style.
A perfect example of this is when a transformation leader enters a workplace with low morale. Changes quickly become visible. Workers start to produce and deliver. In the process, workers become accustomed to the changing pace that becomes the new norm. Hence, the word “Transformational” as this leadership style transforms others for the benefit of the group.
- Development of skills
- Leaders retain employees and customers more effectively
- Easily influences workers to be more productive
- Leaders of this style are often good trainers
- Misuse of influence
- Quickly loses inspiration when goals are satisfied
- Excessive pursuit of ideas that have no contribution to a cause
The Transactional Leader
Reward-driven and goal oriented are the words that best describe this leadership style. Managers who use these methods receive certain tasks to perform and provide rewards or punishments to employees based on the results of their performance.
The leader and team members set attainable goals together. Managers and workers also agree to guidelines that help in accomplishing the set goals. The leader though has special authorization when it comes to performance reviews of the team. They become responsible and sometimes, train team members who fail to meet goals.
- Low cost
- Easy to follow
- Leaders can easily motivate workers due to rewards and punishments
- Faster results
- Causes lack of motivation for some workers who lacks physical acknowledgment
- Limits a leader’s creativity and adaptability if something goes wrong
- Workers can quickly become dissatisfied with rewards-punishment system
- Too much dependence on the leader
The Laissez-Faire Leader
Laissez-Faire is a part of a French phrase that means “let them do it” or “let go.” Leaders with this style of leadership allow employees to do work alone. Direct supervision is clearly absent, along with regular feedback. For this leadership style to work, highly trained workers must be employed.
Examples of this style bring us to a much broader scope. Capitalist countries often leave huge corporations to do their work and provide for the nation themselves. Governments of these countries offer no supervision or guidelines in doing their business and exist only to collect taxes from these companies.
- Greatly encourages creativity
- Highly motivational for some
- Emphasizes good teamwork
- Time consuming
- Can make coordination ineffective
- Decision-making is highly affected
The Autocratic Leader
This leadership style is more focused on the leader rather than the whole team itself. Leaders from this style have total control in the direction of the group as a whole. No ideas are expected from the members since the leader owns absolute power in the decision-making. Members who require close supervision benefit from this method significantly.
North Korean government is the perfect example of an autocratic style of leadership. One person is in charge of everything and anything that has something to do with the overall well-being of the nation. Workplace discrimination is rampant because no protests or oppositions between the government and its people occur. If any protests do happen, violence often becomes a solution.
- Quick decision-making
- Total supervision and oversight
- Absolute control is in the leader’s hands
- Efficient in bringing out high-quality work
- Useful in training members who require supervision
- Dangerous working conditions can thrive
- Workers tend to burn out more quickly
- Lacks creativity
- Full reliance on the leader
The Participative Leader
The total opposite of the Autocratic Leadership is Participative leadership. Often, it is called democratic leadership because it allows members to actively participate in giving output towards the success of the whole team. Although input from the team is highly appreciated, the final decision rests on the participative leader.
Employees become highly motivated when a manager uses this kind of method. Workers feel that they are important because their opinions matter. This situation also makes adapting to change easier for the team in case the organization makes a move going forward.
- Readily accepted
- Effectively raises morale
- Encourages creativity
- Time consuming as decision-making becomes a process due to a lot of members involved
- Notorious for producing low-quality results
- Prone to more conflict due to ideas coming from different sources
- No sense of stability
Specific leadership styles lead to particular outcomes. Depending on the situations that a group is in, each leadership style has its advantages and disadvantages. In the event of a team consisting entirely of highly trained experts, a Laissez-Faire type of leadership becomes fully effective.
In contrast, when a team of experts is formed, having an Autocratic Leadership, can ruin the productivity that the team brings because of the lack of creativity. Leadership types can also be used to produce a more efficient and productive way in doing work. Most commonly, transaction types and transformation styles bring wonders if they are balanced properly.
What type of leadership style do you opt for? Share your feedback in the comments section.
About the Author: As a writer living in Park County, Colorado, Phoebe Walker is an expert in Personal Development and Psychology. She is also interested in Business Analytics. In her free time, Phoebe loves to write and share her experiences with her readers.