Leadership styles

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Here we will look at 4 styles of leadership known as democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire, and charismatic. We will consider the advantages and disadvantages or both of each style.

Contents

Democratic


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The democratic leader makes decisions by consulting a team, whilst still maintaining control of the group. The democratic leader allows the team to decide how the task will be tackled and who will perform which task. A good democratic leader encourages participation but never loses sight of the fact that they bear the responsibility of leadership. The democratic leader values group discussion and input from the team. The democratic leader motivates the team by empowering them to direct themselves. The leader and group jointly analyse the problem, and decide together on a course of action. The leader does some things, but not everything, helps the group get its way, pulls with the group and respects others.

Disadvantages

Advantages

Autocratic


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The autocratic leader dominates team members and makes decisions on their own without seeking or allowing input from group members. Autocrats set timelines, tasks and then asks for suggestions / objections. They are quick to both praise and punish. This results in passive resistance from team members and requires continual pressure in order to get things done. Some instances call for urgent action and the autocratic style may be best. Most people are familiar with autocratic leadership and accept it.

Disadvantages

Advantages

Disadvantage / Advantage

Laissez-faire


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The Laissez Fare leader performs a minimum of leadership functions and lets the group sort out their own roles and tackle their own work in their own way without his participation. The Laissez-Fare technique is usually only appropriate when leading a team of highly motivated and skilled people who have produced excellent work in the past. Once a leader has established that his team is confident, capable and motivated it is often best to step back and let them get on with the task since interfering can generate resentment and detract from their effectiveness.

Disadvantages

Advantages

Charismatic

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Charismatic leaders tend to be very good listeners and great information gatherers. They like to expose themselves to a wide range of individuals in order to get new ideas. Charismatic leaders create a sense of purpose for their organisation that is motivating and inspiring. Charismatic leaders express things simply so that everyone gets it, they use positive language, often use stories, symbols, metaphors to get their point across. They walk the talk, show empathy, remain optimistic, make everyone feel important and build confidence. Charismatic leaders question the status quo, take risks and thrive on innovation and change.

Disadvantages

Advantages

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