Leadership Styles

Leadership styles - small businesses

It is said that leaders are born, but many leaders are self-made. Taking on a business venture will put you in a leadership role; you will have customers, creditors, employees and others to deal with on a daily basis. Your leadership style will affect the running of your business. No style is perfect but some have more downsides than up. Here we look at three of the main leadership styles. What type of leader are you?

Authoritarian / Autocratic

This is a type of leader with controlled authority. This leader usually has a clear vision for the business, is task-oriented and does not solicit response or contributions from employees. As such, she/he is usually viewed as domineering and can be overbearing at times. If you are such a leader get your views across without abusing your power. This style would work in a situation where you are really knowledgeable and there is usually no forum or need for other contributions. This is however not the most favoured style of leadership in the modern business world as employers often prefer not to stifle employees’ creativity.

Democratic / Participative

This is viewed as the most effective style of leadership. This type of leader sees to it that there is cohesion in the organisation. They are usually employee-oriented and encourages employee contribution in decision-making, though they make the final decision. Employees usually feel more motivated as they are a part of an organisation which serves to increase creativity and employee involvement.

Laissez Faire / Free-reign

This type of leader encourages employee participation and usually gives very little direction or guidance to employees. This could be negative because employees need direction from employers as to the role they are supposed to fulfil, so unless employees are experienced and competent in their field, and are used to working on their own, this could in effect kill creativity and motivation since there is absolutely no direction. Also the decision-making process can be extremely slow which wastes time.
What is Leadership Style?
Inevitably your personality and beliefs will determine the type of leader you are but that does not mean you cannot strive to improve your areas of weaknesses. You should have some control, especially where you have started a new business and would like to see things done a certain way for the better of the organisation. Bear in mind the fact that the people you employ are supposed to help you build that dream, however you must provide guidance.

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