The 5 Types of Leadership Styles

Participative Leader

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The participative leader is all about democracy. This type of leader values the input of their team members and peers in all company decisions, and will look towards the majority vote to help determine the best course of action. Participative leadership boosts employee morale because it makes them feel like they are a large part of the decision making process. This style helps employees accept changes easily because decisions are shaped and influenced as a group.


Autocratic Leader

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Autocratic leadership is sometimes referred to as authoritarian leadership. This leadership style is characterized by the individual leaders control over all decisions. Employees, peers, and team members typically have no ability to provide feedback or input. These types of leaders rarely accept advice or ideas from followers and their decisions usually go unchallenged. This leadership style benefits employees who require close supervision, but can be detrimental to creative employees who thrive in a group environment. 


Laissez-Faire Leader

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Laissez-faire leadership, also known as delegate leadership, is a style where leaders operate in a hands-off way and allow employees to make their own decisions. Highly experienced and trained employees requiring little supervision fall under the laissez-faire leadership style. However, this leadership style hinders the production of employees needing supervision and can lead to poor production, lack of control, and increasing costs. Researchers have found that this is generally the leadership style that leads to the lowest productivity among group members.


Transactional Leader

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Transactional leadership is a style that focuses on supervision, organization, and performance. Managers using the transactional leadership style delegate certain tasks to perform and provide rewards or punishments to team members based on performance results. Managers and team members set predetermined goals together, and employees agree to follow the direction and leadership of the manager to accomplish those goals.


Transformational Leader

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Transformational leadership is a style where the leader works with their team to identify needed change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executes the change by working with the committed team. This leadership style rely's on high levels of communication from management to meet goals. By focusing on the big picture and casting a vision within an organization, employees remain motivated to complete delegated smaller tasks that the leader assigns to make the vision a reality.