Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. - Warren Bennis, Ph.D. "On Becoming a Leader"
Styles of LeadershipLeadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. There are three different styles of leadership: (1) authoritarian (autocratic), participative (democratic), and delegative (free reign).
Although most leaders use all three styles, one of them becomes the dominate one.
Authoritarian (autocratic)This type is used when the leader tells her employees what she wants done and how she wants it done, without getting the advice of her people. Some of the appropriate conditions to use it is when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your employees are well motivated.
Some people think that this style includes yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abuse of power. This is not the authoritarian style...it is an abusive, unprofessional style of leadership.
However, if you have the time and you want to gain more commitment and motivation from your employee, then you should use the participative style.
Participative (democratic)This type of style involves the leader including one or more employees in on the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.
This is normally used when you have some of the information, and your employees have some of the information. This allows them to become part of the team and allows you to make a better decision.
Delegative (free reign)In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decision. However, the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made. This is used when employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it. You cannot do everything! You must set priorities and delegate certain tasks.
NOTE: Also known as lais·sez faire (or lais·ser faire) which is the noninterference in the affairs of others. [French : laissez, second person pl. imperative of laisser, to let, allow + faire, to do.]
ForcesA good leader uses all three styles, depending on what forces are involved between the followers, the leader, and the situation. Some examples include:
Positive and Negative Leaders
There is also a difference in ways leaders approach their employee:
Also note that a leader is not strictly one or another, but is somewhere on a continuum ranging from extremely positive to extremely negative. Leaders who continuously work out of the negative are bosses while those who primarily work out of the positive are real leaders.
Leader Use of Consideration and Structure
Two other styles that leaders use are
There is evidence that leaders who are considerate in their leadership style are higher performers and are more satisfied with their job (2).
Also notice that consideration and structure are independent of each other so they should not be viewed on opposite ends of the continuum. For example, a leader, a leader who becomes more considerate, does not necessarily become less structured.
Also, see the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid as it is based on this concept.
References1. U.S. Army Handbook (1973). Military Leadership.
2. Schriesheim, Chester A. "The Great High
Consideration - High Initiating Structure Leadership Myth: Evidence on
its Generalizability," The Journal of Social Psychology, April
1982, pp. 221-228.
3. Newstrom, John W. (1993) Davis, Keith. Organizational Behavior - Human Behavior at Work. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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Created May 11, 1997. Last update - February 6, 2000.