Leadership has a formal aspect (as in most political or business leadership) or an informal one (as in most friendships). Speaking of “leadership” (the abstract term) rather than of “leading” (the action) usually it implies that the entities doing the leading have some “leadership skills” or competencies.
Types of leadership styles
The bureaucratic leader (Weber, 1905) is very structured and follows the procedures as they have been established. This type of leadership has no space to explore new ways to solve problems and is usually slow paced to ensure adherence to the ladders stated by the company. Leaders ensure that all the steps have been followed prior to sending it to the next level of authority. Universities, hospitals, banks and government usually require this type of leader in their organizations to ensure quality, increase security and decrease corruption. Leaders that try to speed up the process will experience frustration and anxiety.
The charismatic leader (Weber, 1905) leads by infusing energy and eagerness into their team members. This type of leader has to be committed to the organization for the long run. If the success of the division or project is attributed to the leader and not the team, charismatic leaders may become a risk for the company by deciding to resign for advanced opportunities. It takes the company time and hard work to gain the employees’ confidence back with other type of leadership after they have committed themselves to the magnetism of a charismatic leader.
The autocratic leader (Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1939) is given the power to make decisions alone, having total authority. This leadership style is good for employees that need close supervision to perform certain tasks. Creative employees and team players resent this type of leadership, since they are unable to enhance processes or decision making, resulting in job dissatisfaction.
The democratic leader (Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1939)listens to the team’s ideas and studies them, but will make the final decision. Team players contribute to the final decision thus increasing employee satisfaction and ownership, feeling their input was considered when the final decision was taken. When changes arises, this type of leadership helps the team assimilate the changes better and more rapidly than other styles, knowing they were consulted and contributed to the decision making process, minimizing resistance and intolerance. A shortcoming of this leadership style is that it has difficulty when decisions are needed in a short period of time or at the moment.
The laissez-faire (”let do”) leader (Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1939) gives no continuous feedback or supervision because the employees are highly experienced and need little supervision to obtain the expected outcome. On the other hand, this type of style is also associated with leaders that don’t lead at all, failing in supervising team members, resulting in lack of control and higher costs, bad service or failure to meet deadlines.
The people-oriented leader (Fiedler, 1967) is the one that, in order to comply with effectiveness and efficiency, supports, trains and develops his personnel, increasing job satisfaction and genuine interest to do a good job.
The task-oriented leader (Fiedler, 1967) focus on the job, and concentrate on the specific tasks assigned to each employee to reach goal accomplishment. This leadership style suffers the same motivation issues as autocratic leadership, showing no involvement in the teams needs. It requires close supervision and control to achieve expected results. Another name for this is deal maker (Rowley & Roevens, 1999) and is linked to a first phase in managing Change, enhance, according to the Organize with Chaos approach.
The servant leader (Greenleaf, 1977) facilitates goal accomplishment by giving its team members what they need in order to be productive. This leader is an instrument employees use to reach the goal rather than an commanding voice that moves to change. This leadership style, in a manner similar to democratic leadership, tends to achieve the results in a slower time frame than other styles, although employee engagement is higher.
The transaction leader (Burns, 1978) is given power to perform certain tasks and reward or punish for the team’s performance. It gives the opportunity to the manager to lead the group and the group agrees to follow his lead to accomplish a predetermined goal in exchange for something else. Power is given to the leader to evaluate, correct and train subordinates when productivity is not up to the desired level and reward effectiveness when expected outcome is reached.
The transformation leader (Burns, 1978) motivates its team to be effective and efficient. Communication is the base for goal achievement focusing the group in the final desired outcome or goal attainment. This leader is highly visible and uses chain of command to get the job done. Transformational leaders focus on the big picture, needing to be surrounded by people who take care of the details. The leader is always looking for ideas that move the organization to reach the company’s vision.
The environment leader ( Carmazzi, 2005) is the one who nurtures group or organisational environment to affect the emotional and psychological perception of an individual’s place in that group or organisation. An understanding and application of group psychology and dynamics is essential for this style to be effective. The leader uses organisational culture to inspire individuals and develop leaders at all levels. This leadership style relies on creating an education matrix where groups interactively learn the fundamental psychology of group dynamics and culture from each other. The leader uses this psychology, and complementary language, to influence direction through the members of the inspired group to do what is required for the benefit of all.