Knowing your leadership style can help you in many areas of your life and career choices. Styles of leadership differ from person to person and involve your style of implementing strategies, how you motivate others and how you provide direction to followers. Some styles of leadership to study are:
- Paternalistic – As you might have guessed, the paternalistic style of leadership is becoming a “father figure” for your followers – whether family or work-oriented. The paternalistic style of leadership promotes trust and loyalty and followers tend to become committed to the person.
- Laissez-faire – A leadership style where the rule of thumb is “hands off.” This leader lets the workers and subordinates make all the decisions and only offer support when it’s requested. The Laissez-faire worker/leader relationship may be effective in certain cases – such as in an environment where the workers are very skilled and/or educated and where the followers can be trusted.
- Authoritarian – Strictness is the style of this type of leader. They may micromanage because they prefer to keep close control over their followers. Policies and procedures are the main emphasis of the Authoritarian leadership style and the focus is on efficiency.
- Democratic – Decision making is shared with followers in this type of leadership style. Promoting the desires and needs of group members is paramount and the leader believes that everyone should play a part in every decision made.
- Transformational – This type of leader has the objective of transforming his or her followers. These leaders may be very charismatic (such as evangelists or political leaders) and meet challenges with excitement and a clear purpose. They’re great communicators and may often be found in top roles of leadership.
- Transactional – The focus of this leadership style is on motivating through rewards or forms of punishment. These leaders recognize good performances and may provide material or psychological rewards for effort. They may also use corrective intervention if they feel that a worker’s performance isn’t up to par. Transactional leaders are good at enforcing rules and laws.
When you know your style of leadership, you can better have a vision of the work you may be suited for. If you decide you’re a “laissez-faire” type of leader, you likely wouldn’t be happy in a career suited for an authoritarian style (such as policeman or judge).
Knowing your leadership style is especially helpful if you’re considering making a career change or taking courses which put you on a certain career path. Get to know the various leadership styles before you make a crucial life-decision.