Leadership Styles

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While the way in which an individual approaches leadership can vary greatly from person to person, there are 4 more styles of leadership: authoritarian, country club/socialite, laissez-faire, and team leader.

Authoritarian leaders have a high focus on tasks and a low focus on relationships. They are very strong on schedules and expect people to do what they are told without question. When something goes wrong an authoritarian leader tends to focus on who is to blame rather than on exactly what is wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. They are often intolerant of what they see as dissent and so it is difficult for their subordinates to contribute or develop.

The Country Club leader predominantly uses reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goal. They are almost incapable of employing the more punitive coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such power could jeopardize relationships with the other team members.

The Laissez-faire leader has a low task and low relationship focus style of leadership. They will often employ a “delegate and disappear” management style. They are not committed to either task accomplishment or maintenance; they essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach themselves from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles.

The Team leader style of leadership has a high task and a high relationship focus. They lead by a positive example and endeavour to foster a team environment in that all team members can reach their highest potential. Team leaders encourage the team to reach goals as effectively as possible, while also working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. They normally form and lead some of the most productive teams.

In reviewing these styles, it is important to note that no one style of leadership is better than another and nor does it fit all situations. You may also not fit neatly into one style, and rather be a blend of 2 or more styles. What is key is learning about the pros and cons of each style, so you that you can adjust and adapt your approach depending on the situation.

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