The Definition of Leadership & Leadership Styles

I believe Leadership is the ability to lead and influence others in a positive way, motivate people, provide direction and being innovative. A leader is an individual who notably influences the thoughts and behavior of a considerable group of individuals. I think today’s leaders must understand that you have to give up control to get results; they should act more as coaches and not as the boss.

Now let us talk a little about the leadership styles. There are three key leadership styles:
  • Autocratic
  • Participative
  • Delegative
Although good leaders use all three styles, with one of them normally dominant, bad leaders tend to stick with one style.

1. Autocratic: This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their team or followers. An appropriate situation to use this style would be when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your employees are well motivated.

Normally, I recommend using the authoritarian style on rare occasions only. If you have the time and want to gain more commitment and motivation from your team or employees, then you should use the Participative style.

2. Participative: Leaders with this style generally involve one or more individuals before making a decision. The final decision making authority is still maintained by the leader. This style is generally respected by the group led by the leader. This type of leader believes in working together to solve a problem or situation. The leader acknowledges that he or she only has a portion of the information and the other individuals are knowledgeable on the remaining areas.

As a leader you are not expected to know everything however, you are expected to make the right decision under the circumstances. The key strength in this leadership style is that it enables superior team relationships and helps you make better decisions.

3. Delegative: In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decisions. However, the leader is still accountable 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. As a leader you cannot do everything. You must set priorities and delegate certain tasks.

Using this style does not mean that you can blame others when things go wrong, rather this is a style to be used when you fully trust and have confidence in the people that work for you. Do not be afraid to use it, however, my only advice would be to use it wisely.

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