Leadership can be defined as ‘a way to lead others’, but it is so much more than that. A true leader inspires people, recognises their diversity and potential, and shows them how they can develop their skills. As leadership has always been a hot topic, there has been a lot of thinking about different leadership types developed over the years
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on About Leaders
To help you understand which type of leadership suits you best, About Leaders have compiled a list of seven leadership types you should know about.
This style leadership is very successful in events where people need one person to be their leader and to guide them. The leader has the highest level of authority and responsibility. In autocratic leadership, leaders will make decisions without having to consult anybody; after the decision has been made, they will communicate it to others to implement it. This type of leadership usually provides little or no flexibility for the employees.
This leadership style allows team members to be involved in the decision-making process. Democratic leadership is centred on the contributions of others. A democratic leader will retain the final responsibility, but they will also delegate authority to the employees, who will continue working on the projects.
In democratic leadership communication is going both upwards and downwards. This helps with employees’ productivity and motivation and often brings better business results.
This type of leader can be efficient in different work environments, and they will successfully communicate with all employees; it is becoming increasingly popular due to several recent trends e.g. freelancing and remote work. It usually exists in companies where there are people from various cultures. As there are now many multinational companies, cross-cultural leadership is vital for employees to feel valued and included. The best way to achieve a successful cross-cultural environment is by creating a climate where values and interests are shared and respected.
Team leadership is based on building and maintaining team spirit in your company; everyone is working towards the same goal for the future of the company. The biggest challenge for a team leader is to make it work – because being a team leader is not as easy as it sounds; you can’t force the feeling of a united team that shares the same values.
It will take a while for you to build your own team but, once you succeed, this team can achieve much more than employees in other companies.
When a company has a strategic leader, that person is the head of an entire organisation; they are not limited to those at the top of the business organisation. Strategic leadership is usually implemented by businesses that want to create a high-performance organisation for a wider audience.
A strategic leader will always fill the gap between the necessity of a new possibility and the necessity of practicality with its own prescriptive set of habits. In other words, this type of leader will deliver what its organisation needs at that particular time and they will do it successfully. After all, every successful leader is successful in strategic thinking.
A transformational leader sets challenges in front of their teams and expects employees to solve these successfully, with the help of their leader. As this type of leaders invests in their employees, it is a highly popular leadership style with people who want to build their careers. Who wouldn’t want to have a boss who empowers and believes in you?
This type of leadership has one goal, regardless of where it’s implemented, and that is to maintain the status quo. Transactional leadership is based on the exchange process where followers will be rewarded for carrying out the orders of their leaders.
It might sound basic, but it takes a lot of determination for transactional leadership to succeed. From being clear and focused on the expectations you communicate to your team, to providing quality feedback during and after projects, a transactional leader needs to be involved in all stages of the processes.