Every organization has a culture. The policies of the company is a large factor that determines this culture, but the one aspect that has the most impact is the leadership style of the business owner or the CEO. There are 8 common leadership styles and each one of them helps build a different kind of value system within a firm.
Perhaps the most common leadership style that has been around since ages is the autocratic style. A business leader who uses this approach tends to give orders to employees like a general commanding his troops, with the expectation that all orders are followed without any questions. While this method may be useful in certain businesses, it is increasingly becoming evident that this is not the best way to lead employees.
A business leader can use the autocratic style in certain situations, switching from her regular style of dealing with her team. Certain urgent situations that leave no room for debate and where the leader is an expert, then the best way to go about it is to give the employees their respective tasks with a clear understanding of the urgency of the situation.
In a start-up that has a small team, it is relatively easy for the business leader to be well aware of the various tasks and procedures of the different divisions of the company. The business leader may also be personally familiar with all the employees. However, when the organization grows larger, the leader has to evolve a style that is more hands-off.
A visionary leader is someone who is able to see a clear path for the company and reach its goals in the future. She simply communicates her vision to her team and ensures that they all have the same vision for the company. The employees then go about setting their individual goals that will be aligned to the long-term vision of the company.
Industrious leaders are hardworking people who are the first to come into the office each day and the last to leave. They lead by example with their hard work, and their commitment can be inspiring for the others to work just as hard.
Not everyone can be an industrious leader on a daily basis. Such a hardworking style, if it’s not in a person’s nature, can lead to people feeling burned out by the end of the week. However, this style will be effective when the company is hard-pressed to finish a particular project within a tight deadline. Working hard to achieve a specific goal occasionally will not help the company meet its commitment, but it will also boost morale with a feeling of accomplishment among the employees.
The democratic style, as the name suggests, is a more participative form of leadership. This is a widely practised form of leadership today where the business owner gets her employees involved in the decision-making by asking for their input.
All the goals and targets that a business owner must obsess about can make her forget the company is made up of people. An emotive style of leadership style helps the leader to understand the emotional needs of her team members and she acts as a coach to help them to overcome their problems to deliver their best at office.
The main task of a liberal leader is to identify the best talent for a job and hire them. She can then sit back and watch her employees perform without getting in their way. This approach empowers the employees to get the job done in the best way they can.
Change is the only constant in business and the companies that don’t innovate tend to perish. A business leader who recognizes this fundamental truth about staying competitive in the market puts all her energies in making sure her team is coming up with new ideas and finding innovative ways of doing things.
Instead of being bogged down with day-today activities, a business owner who follows the innovative style of leadership pushes her team to experiment. Innovation need not be restricted to the product that the company is selling, and it can also be about the production method, supply chain, and procedures at the office.
A bureaucratic style of leadership may sound outdated and undesirable, but it has its uses. When a company grows too large and complex, it becomes necessary to have rules in place to run the day-to-day operations smoothly. This style of leadership may stop the company from growing exponentially, but at the same time it can also stop the growth from falling off a cliff.
Reducing volatility and maintaining a steady growth is required of a large company and a bureaucratic style of leadership achieves that. The only challenge with this approach is to make sure that not all ideas of the employees are quashed in the name of company policy.
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