5 Leadership Styles and How to Choose the Right One for Your Team

A leadership styles carry a great deal of responsibility. As a leader, you hold a lot of power, making the role very dynamic.
leadership styles, leading a team

5 Leadership Styles and How to Choose the Right One

A leadership role carries a great deal of responsibility. As a leader, you hold a lot of decision-making power, and you hold a lot of influence, making the role very dynamic. Your greatest gift is a leader is brining your natural style. An individual leadership style is born of a person’s innate characteristics. As you gain experience as a leader, you start to discover what works and what doesn’t among various groups of people. As you grow in your experience, you can begin to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. To be an effective leader, you must be able to read your team and adapt your skillset to meet the specific needs of the group holistically. 

Below are the 5 of the most common styles of leadership and the potential strengths and weaknesses of each. This list will help you determine what is your leadership style. It’ll also provide tips on how you might adjust your style to best serve the members of your team.


5 Common Leadership Styles

1: Authoritarian leadership 

In an authoritarian working environment, the leader makes decisions independently. There is little to no input from the team members. 

Pros to Authoritarian Leadership Style

Authoritarian leaders are great at assessing situations quickly. They can make confident and independent decisions in crisis situations. So, given the right field, an authoritarian leader can present as a real asset. This is a particularly helpful style when fast and effective responses are warranted.

Cons of Authoritarian Leadership Style

Cons: An authoritarian style can demoralize employees. When team members feel like they don’t have a say, it changes organizational perception. This can result in negative attitudes, lower job satisfaction, and decreased motivation to take initiative. 

If you operate as an authoritarian leader, try to shift your focus to finding balance. You will be most effective when you discover how to make executive decisions while also trusting your team’s insight and feedback.

2: Democratic leadership 

In a democratic working environment, the leader values the team’s insights and opinions. They regularly open up the floor for discussion, relying heavily on the input of team members to drive their decisions. If you are a democratic leader, focus on strengthening your ability to make quick and effective decisions by trusting your gut instincts. Continue to respect your team’s input by allowing it to guide your decision-making process, without dictating it. 


Pros of Democratic Leadership Style

Democratic leaders are great for building team morale. Their interest in the feedback of their team helps employees feel valued and appreciated. This leads to higher job satisfaction, feelings of inclusiveness, and greater employee motivation.

Cons of Democratic Leadership Style

In some cases, democratic leaders can be viewed as indecisive. Too much reliance on their team to make decisions can be interpreted as they don’t trust their own decision-making abilities.

3: Delegative leadership

A delegative leader believes in creating a work environment where employees have autonomy.  If you are delegative, commit to follow-up. Allow your team their freedom, but do regular check-ins with them to ensure productivity. 

Pros of Delegative Leadership Style

Delegative leaders are good for team members who are capable of self-managing and working independently. It’s ideal for remote or virtual workers.

Cons of Delegative Leadership Style

This style isn’t conducive to leading teams that need structure and direction to thrive. It can negatively impact communication among the team, leading to missed deadlines.



4: Managerial leadership

A managerial leader places a high value on order and systems. They are extremely goal-oriented, performance-based, and they tend to focus on results. If you operate as a managerial-style leader, focus on strengthening your people skills. Find out what your team needs and compromise.

Pros of Managerial Leadership Style

A managerial leader puts a strong emphasis on procedure, which enables team members to understand what is expected. Procedure allows for control over performance and productivity, which allows for predictable outcomes.

Cons of Managerial Leadership Style

This style is perceived as rigid by employees who thrive in democratic work environments. A managerial leader can suppress creativity.



5: Transformational leadership 

Transformational leaders focus on inspiring and energizing to progress a company’s vision. As a transformational leader, try to find ways to connect in smaller, intimate groups. This helps employees can feel like they are forming relationships, not just jumping on board with the hype. 


Pros of Managerial Leadership Style

Under a transformational leader, employees feel like they are integral parts of the company’s success. This is empowering and creates a strong sense of loyalty to the mission.

Cons of Managerial Leadership Style

Transformational leaders in large corporate companies can be perceived as disingenuous and distant.



What is Your Leadership Style?

With any style of leadership, you can recognize which qualities need to be developed as you lead your team. This will help you to become the most effective leader you can be. Finding a way to relate to your team so you can meet their needs is key. Figuring out your style and how you want to grow will help you with this. 


At COA, our expert coaches can help you hone your natural leadership abilities by getting to know you, helping you shape and own your story by finding your archetypes and squashing your inner critic. So you can be an authentic leader who earns trust of those around you. Together, we can figure out how to most effectively lead your team, producing personal and professional growth. Reach out today to learn more!


About The Author

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Heather Evans is a guide and coach for professionals looking to maximize their individual, team, and business potential.

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