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Lead, motivate and command your team better with these leadership styles!

When evaluating different types of leaders, we often simplify things into good and bad leadership. However, leadership styles are not always so black and white.

Take a moment to think about the leader you admire the most. What specific qualities in their leadership style do you relish, and could you incorporate them into your leadership approach?

These questions are valuable; understanding the various leadership styles can help you find a more nuanced answer. 

Continue scrolling to know why it’s essential to identify your leadership style, gain insight into favored leadership styles, including their uses, cons, and defining attributes, and discover how to identify or modify them.

What is Leadership Style?

A leader’s particular way of leading, motivating, and commanding their team is known as their leadership style. This strategy is affected by a leader’s unique attributes, values, skills, and prior experiences.

⚠️No “correct” leadership style exists; what works for one leader may not suit another. This is a crucial point to remember.

There are multiple modes to classify a leader’s approach, but they all hinge on a few key elements, including the leader’s temperament, background, and experience; the team members they are responsible for and how they respond; and, most importantly, the company’s intrinsic customs, values, and ideology. 

Importance of Leadership for Organizational Success

Let’s first discuss the significance of leadership styles for organizational success before moving on to the specifics. 

Understanding one’s leadership style is essential for all leaders. This motivating self-awareness enables leaders to understand how their behavior affects the individuals they supervise. It also allows leaders to pinpoint their strong points and opportunities for development.

While some leaders may quickly acknowledge their leadership style and evaluate how it actually operates, others may uncover that it is a little more fluid and combines segments of several distinct styles. 

Discovering your leadership style can be valuable since it lets you merge these components with your organization’s vision, goals, mission, and values. Furthermore, it motivates employees to become intrapreneurs!

You must be an exemplary leader to have a powerful influence. You must first know where you are as a leader and where you want to go to be convincing. 

Common Types of Leadership Styles

Entrepreneurs and leaders can improve their leadership skills by participating in one of the many available leadership upskilling programs. Given that leadership combines art and science, it’s crucial to remember that specialists may have slightly different definitions of these approaches.

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership, often called participative leadership, involves multiple individuals in decision-making. This leadership style can be observed across various domains, including businesses, educational institutions, and governmental bodies. 

Even though these leaders may inhabit higher ranks on the organizational hierarchy, they prioritize teamwork and actively confront their teams in forging ideas and seeking input from others.

Key Characteristics:

  • Collaboration is a central tenet of democratic leadership.
  • This leadership style can raise employee morale and motivation since team members have a say in the direction of their work.
  • The inclusive nature of democratic leadership typically leads to greater creativity.


  • Welcomes a range of viewpoints and ways of thinking to promote collaboration.
  • Increases group productivity and engagement, which produces more creative ideas through brainstorming.
  • Ensures that the majority will agree with the final decision.


  • May disregard minority views in favor of the majority’s stance.
  • It may require a longer time to reach a decision.

Real-Life Example👍: Nelson Mandela’s democratic leadership style was most favored in South Africa. His power to unite individuals from different backgrounds, engage in debate, and seek compromise depicts a democratic leadership style. 

Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership styles are famed for their severe and open management style, giving precise plans and directives to their staff and anticipating unflinching obedience. 

However, they often don’t accept criticism or negotiate because getting outcomes is their priority. 

As a result, authoritative executives can act quickly and reach sensible business decisions when necessary without requiring much outside input.

Key Characteristics:

  • Autocratic leaders can make rapid decisions, as they do not rely on extensive consultation, consensus-building or employee surveys.
  • Communication primarily flows in a one-way direction, from the leader to the team.


  • Centralized decision-making under one person encourages team cohesion and uniformity.
  • It clarifies each team member’s job because precise tasks are assigned, and there is little encouragement for them to go above and beyond their obligations.


  • This may result in disengaged individuals and teams who perceive a lack of influence in decision-making.

Real-Life Example👍: Henry Ford, the man behind the Ford Motor Company, is a prime example of an autocratic leader. He famously said that consumers could choose any color for their Ford vehicles “as long as it is black.” He tended to act alone when making choices and had extensive control over how the business was run.

Servant Leadership

The doctrine of servant leadership is to “serve first and lead second.” People-centric executives who utilize this leadership style believe that when team members are fulfilled personally and professionally, they are more productive and consistently do excellent work. 

Those who observe the servant leadership paradigm do not hold on to their authority rank with an iron fist while having natural leadership abilities.

Key Characteristics:

  • They prioritize the well-being and needs of others over their own.
  • Their prior focus is on nurturing and cultivating the individuals who follow them.


  • Highlights the development and growth of others.
  • This can lead to enriched performance, innovation, and collaboration.
  • Encourages a safe environment where people are unafraid to take risks and learn from failure.
  • Eases employee turnover and disengagement.
  • Builds trust between leaders and their teams.


  • It is challenging to train other leaders in the “serve-first” mindset.
  • It may take longer to observe results or achieve objectives.

Real-Life Example👍: Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has changed the company’s culture by embracing a more sympathetic and client-centered mindset. He promotes a growth attitude and prompts staff members always to improve themselves.

Transformational Leadership

Indeed, this leadership style is evident from the name: Transformational leaders strive to bring about change or transformation in their associations or groups by igniting their employees’ enthusiasm for innovation.

These leaders are deeply committed to enriching strategies and uncovering more efficient ways of accomplishing goals. 

Key Characteristics:

  • Individuals enjoy a significant degree of independence and the freedom to think creatively, unburdened by orthodox constraints.
  • These leaders can build trust with their team members and unite them to pursue a shared vision or ultimate objective.


  • Highly motivating for the entire team.
  • Fosters the development of robust relationships and promotes collaboration.
  • It grants team members the autonomy to excel in their roles.
  • It can nurture greater creativity, growth, and empathy within the team.


  • The leader shoulders a substantial burden, needing to lead by example.

Real-Life Example👍: Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, provides an excellent illustration. He is well recognized for having an expansive outlook on the future, including space exploration and environmentally friendly vehicles. Many people have been motivated to support the aims of his companies by his virulent enthusiasm, original viewpoint, and relentless dedication to them.

Transactional Leadership

The best way to understand transactional leadership is to compare it to a standard transaction: “I provide you with this, and in return, you deliver that.”

This leadership style is transaction-based, with leaders giving team members explicit directives. They use various incentives and sanctions to reward or punish their team’s replies and activities.

Key Characteristics:

  • Clarity and certainty prevail as tasks and anticipations are explicitly outlined by the leader.
  • This leadership style tends to corporate enterprises, as it emphasizes earning outcomes, adhering to established frameworks, and employing a system of rewards and penalties.


  • It can be an efficient approach for attaining short-term objectives.
  • It defines team members’ expected conduct through a structured employee reward and punishment system.
  • It imparts a sense of structure and steadiness.


  • It may prove demotivating for people seeking professional and personal growth prospects.

Real-Life Example👍: Consider a boss rewarding a team member for a job well done or penalizing them for missing a deadline by giving them a demanding, company-wide task. These examples demonstrate how rewards and penalties are utilized in the workplace.

Charismatic Leadership

You know the idea of charisma, which is exactly how these leaders are described. People with compelling personalities and an unyielding devotion to achieving their objectives are examples of charismatic leadership styles.

These leaders excel at persuasive communication and persuasion to unite their people behind a shared goal. They can express their vision clearly and inspire others to share their excitement for the same purpose.

Key Characteristics:

Charismatic leaders are a great source of inspiration, effectively engaging an entire group to pursue a shared goal.

Their profound connection with people makes charismatic leaders particularly valuable in organizations grappling with crises or struggling to progress.


  • Exceptionally motivating and inspirational.
  • Fosters a sense of unity, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • It gives followers a feeling of being heard and understood.
  • Initiates positive change through collective action.


  • Often perceived as superficial or insincere.

Real-Life Example👍: The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, is well known for his dynamic leadership. His persuasive oratory abilities and talent for motivating and relating to people were crucial to his political success.

Laissez-Faire Leadership  

Laissez-faire is a French saying that translates as “leave it be.” This term accurately captures the core of this leadership strategy, which contrasts sharply with micromanagement. 

Laissez-faire leaders provide their team members with the necessary tools and resources, then step back and enable their team to make decisions, solve problems, and carry out their tasks without the leader continually watching their every move.

Key Characteristics:

  • Primarily focuses on delegating tasks to team members and involves minimal direct supervision.
  • Leaders refrain from intensive, hands-on management, freeing up their time for other projects.


  • Designate individuals to hone their leadership skills.
  • It can prompt raised creativity and innovation.
  • Fosters trust between team members and their leader.
  • Encourages a sense of independence.


  • This may result in reduced productivity.
  • Potential for clashes among team members.

Real-Life Example👍: During the early stages of a business, the creator or leader may adopt a laissez-faire approach to foster creativity and encourage risk-taking. This technique can aid in developing an entrepreneurial and ownership culture among employees.

Visionary Leadership

Their propensity for big-picture thinking distinguishes a visionary leadership style. They place a high value on the company’s mission, which serves as a unifying and motivating drive for their personnel. 

To attain these goals, great leaders set ambitious targets and develop a culture of innovative thought within their employees. 

Key Characteristics:

  • This mindset is exceptionally well-suited for chief executives and entrepreneurs.
  • Visionary leaders supply vision statements and other motivational tools to kindle team enthusiasm and commitment.


  • Transparency helps in building trust and garnering support from the team.
  • Visionary leaders can establish robust organizational cohesion.


  • When used with proper team development or when the leader needs more credibility, this technique might provide more problems than advantages.

Real-Life Example👍: During the hiring procedure, Steve Jobs famously asked John Sculley, the retired CEO of Pepsi, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugared water, or do you want to join me in changing the world?” The statement’s closing captures the heart of a visionary leader’s approach.

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership involves managers leveraging their creative problem-solving abilities and strategic foresight to guide team members and an organization toward attaining long-term objectives. 

Virtually employing strategic leadership necessitates managers to select from a range of leadership styles based on the specific situation and the individuals involved.

Key Characteristics:

  • Strategic leaders actively promote and actively seek diverse perspectives.
  • Strategic leadership is most effective in organizations or teams where the leader enjoys creative autonomy.


  • Builds an innovative and dynamic work environment.
  • Highly adaptable in the face of changing events.


  • Engrosses in intense commercial competition.

Real-Life Example:👍 Sundar Pichai has led Google through major strategic shifts, including forays into cloud computing and artificial intelligence. His leadership style is notable for its adaptation to changing technical settings.

Situational Leadership

The situational leadership style is known for its extraordinary adaptability to change conditions, much like the chameleon of leadership methods. In contrast to the concept of one-size-fits-all leadership, this style acknowledges that there is no universal “best” way to lead.

Key Characteristics:

  • Entails a careful analysis of the unique situations at hand. 
  • It thrives on the ability to keenly perceive the prevailing dynamics, customizing the leadership style for maximum resonance and impact.


  • This leadership style excels in motivating employees.
  • Ensures that the efforts align with the specific demands of the situation. 
  • It proves particularly beneficial in startups or enterprises.


  • However, it can pose challenges when a leader’s approach changes too frequently, potentially leading to confusion and stress. 

Real-Life Example👍: A project manager may employ situational leadership to guide a team through a challenging project. The project manager may embrace a directive style early on, giving specific instructions and strict supervision as team members still learn their roles and duties. The manager gradually shifts to a more hands-off delegating approach as the team develops experience and skills.

How to Find What is Your Leadership Style?

Assume you’re exploring the leadership route and develop a more systematic approach to leadership. Consider asking yourself the following questions to aid you in this contemplative process:

  • What holds more excellent value for me—achieving goals or nurturing relationships?
  • Am I bent toward providing a clear structure for my team, or do I favor allowing freedom of choice?
  • When it comes to decision-making, do I rely on making conclusions alone, or do I value collective input?
  • Is my leadership mindset geared more toward short-term goals or long-term concepts?
  • Does my explanation strategy revolve around authorizing team members or delivering clear direction?

Also read: Emotional Intelligence in Business: A Blueprint for B2B Success

Closing Thought

Inculcating different leadership styles is important to succeed in personal as well as in your work life.

You might have been thriving in your prior job employing a particular leadership approach. Still, a diverse set of leadership habits may be needed in a new role to ensure your team performs at its best.

By grasping the various leadership styles discussed in this guide and understanding the derivatives they aim to accomplish, you can skyrocket your success in your current position.

Next up, the manager’s guide to 360-degree feedback the way to genuine, progressive and growth oriented reviews!

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  • Taiba Hasan
    A postgraduate in Computer Applications with over three years of experience as a technical writer, she loves to craft content revolving around Windows, Android, and trendy technologies like SaaS and AI. Focused on writing in-depth research…
  • Joy R Bhamre

    Joy R Bhamre is a multifaceted professional, holding the title of Editor at Geekflare. She is a Google-certified Digital Marketing Specialist, a seasoned Editor and writer, and a Cambridge-certified English Language Trainer, boasting…

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