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Know all about the different types of leadership

In the business world, leadership is of paramount importance as it directly influences the work of a team. In this regard, it is important to understand that there are different types of leadership, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of setting objectives and leading employees. 

In order to choose the most appropriate style, it is essential to take into account the work environment, but also the personality of the employees and the goals or objectives pursued by the leader. However, it is not impossible to have several types of leadership coexist, in order to adapt to each task or situation that may arise.

To learn more about the different leadership styles and their characteristics, let's take a look at the most common ones in the business world.

The importance of different types of leadership

The leadership style of the team manager or business leader has a direct impact on the employees and collaborators facing his management. Although it may seem relatively insignificant, it can even influence the state of mind and personality of the members of the group, particularly through the quality of the work environment it creates. Thus, according to his objectives and values, the leader must always be aware of the directive power in his hands and his influence on the employees under his command.

For this reason, it is essential for a leader to be able to question himself, even if he has been practicing a certain leadership style for several years. Indeed, the business world is constantly changing, and the expectations of employees within the same organization evolve along with it. In other words, good leadership must adapt to the teams and staff of the company, but also to the world around it.

It should be noted that while good leadership can improve employee productivity, while respecting their well-being within the company, bad leadership also exists, and can be a source of stress and anxiety for the team members involved.

5 different types of leadership and their effects

Traditionally, only a few types of leadership have been recognized, more or less common in the world of business and work in general :

laissez-faire leadership;

autocratic leadership;

democratic leadership;

transactional leadership;

transformational leadership.

Even if the style chosen depends largely on the leader's personality and values, the leader may also decide to adapt to the objectives of the company for which he or she works, to the image it wishes to project, but also to the expectations and needs of the employees.

The leadership of laissez-faire

As its name suggests, laissez-faire leadership refers to the non-directive management of a leader towards his or her team. In this case, the most important decisions are made by the employees, without the employees really being under the control of a leader or manager. The leader intervenes as little as possible in the work process and simply delegates as many tasks as possible to members of his group.

If the company's staff is thus stimulated and motivated, the laissez-faire leadership can baffle a person who lacks experience, since he or she must mainly work in perfect autonomy.

Autocratic leadership

In contrast to laissez-faire leadership, autocratic leadership puts everything on the leader, who is particularly directive with his team. In this situation, the latter even possesses all the powers and makes all the decisions, in a perfectly unilateral way and without consulting the members of his group. Consequently, employees must follow their manager, even when they disagree with him.

Of course, this type of leadership is the opposite of the issues related to the well-being of the company, since the staff is not considered competent, but only executing. Some members can therefore develop significant stress in the face of such a leader, not to mention burn-out, which is legion. However, in the event of a crisis requiring rapid decision making, this leadership model can be effective.

Democratic leadership

In total opposition to autocratic leadership, democratic leadership is a participatory model of management, particularly appreciated by team members. In this case, priority is given to the collaborative aspect of work and decision-making, since all employees participate in the process. On the leader's side, communication and exchanges between employees are favoured, in order to take into account opinions and needs.
Of course, this leadership is often favoured by the company's staff, especially because it contributes to improving their motivation and commitment. However, when disagreements arise, resolving the problem can hinder the achievement of set objectives.

Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership is a management model that is still very different, since it is based on an exchange between the leader and the members of his team. Most of the time, it is about money, as with the implementation of bonuses, which encourage employees to commit to their work and achieve the objectives set upstream. Essentially results-oriented, this leadership style has the merit of providing a clear and structured framework for the teams involved.
However, commitment to the company is only superficial, and the slightest problem can disrupt the smooth functioning of relationships. Similarly, it is a vision that is poorly adapted to the constant changes in the business world.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership is a fairly recent model of the relationship between a leader and his or her employees, although it seems particularly promising. In this type of management, the leader of a team uses his ability to communicate with the team to convey his vision and values. In this way, he helps to influence the skills of the members of his group, but also their own vision, which quickly joins that of their leader.

Slightly more complex than in the other types of leadership discussed so far, the transformational leader must follow some essential criteria from the point of view of the collaborators:

create an inspiring vision of the future;
naturally motivate the members of his group;
manage the realization of his vision with the support of the team;
Coaching employees and fostering their individual development within the group.
To implement transformational leadership, the leader must have a strong personality, otherwise he or she will not be able to meet the perceptions and expectations of his or her team. The impact of the leader on the staff is therefore essential, whether it is to gain their trust, respect or even admiration.

It should be noted that this type of leadership is based exclusively on the sharing of common values and ideas, which can cause problems when one person in the group differs from the other members.

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