Traditionally, leadership is defined as “an interpersonal influence directed towards the achievement of a goal or goals.” This means that a leader has to influence more than one person in order to achieve his goals. The contemporary definition of leadership is that it is a dynamic relationship usually based on influence, and common purpose between the leaders and collaborators. Both parties are led to higher motivational levels and moral development, since they both enhance change on each other. This means that the leader is influenced by his collaborators and this result to a change for both parties (Hudson, 2006, p.1).
AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
It is considered to be an extreme form of transactional leadership. In this leadership style, the leaders have absolute influence over their workers. The staff and team members are not presented with opportunities to make any suggestions. This is regardless of whether their suggestions may be for the betterment of the organization. This form of leadership leads to high levels of turnovers as well as absenteeism since most workers will tend to resent their work. It can only be considered effective if it is being applied on to some routine and unskilled jobs (Manksalow & Carlson, 1996, p.1).
BUREAUCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
In this form of leadership the manager manages by the book. Everything carried out in the organization, is done so by following the rules and procedures provided. In case an issue arises and it is not handled in the book, the manager then refers to the next level manager for the way forward. The manager’s work in this case of leadership is to reinforce the rules. It works under several circumstances:
- If employees are undertaking the same tasks time and again.
- If employees’ tasks involve handling cash.
- If employees are working with dangerous equipment (VectorStudy.com, 2008, p.1)
CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
It is considered similar to transformational leadership. Leaders in this style inspire lots of enthusiasm to their team. They are very energetic when it comes to forging others ahead. These leaders invest more in themselves than in their teams. This is dangerous because once such a leader leaves there can be some dire consequences. A project that had been ongoing can collapse or worse still an entire organization. From the teams’ view, their success wholly lies on their leader. Charismatic leadership has a lot of responsibility and requires long-term commitment from the leader (Manksalow &Carlson, 1996, p.1).
DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
In this form of leadership, more emphasis is placed on people’s knowledge and skills. The leaders also ensure that they create teams that are committed to achieving the goals that are set. It is very effective when there is no specific direction provided for the organization to take. It is also effective when the leader is on a mission to tap collective amount of wisdom from the group. It is dangerous however, to use this form of leadership style during times of crisis since during these times; there is a need for quick decisions (Murray, 2011, p.1)
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP STYLE
It is a form of leadership style that results to positive change for those who follow it. The leaders inspire their followers to change their motivation, expectations and perceptions. This helps them work towards the common set goals. The leaders who practice this form of leadership are usually enthusiastic, passionate and highly energetic. The leaders are concerned and involved in the process. They are also focused on helping every individual in the group to succeed. All the group members’ advance at the same level since no one is left behind (Molera, Cuadrado, Navas & Morales, 2007, p.359).
This form of leadership style tends to be a popular form of leadership. Mainly, the servant leader serves the people that he leads. This means that rather than being a means to an organizational purpose, the servant leader is an end in himself. This leadership focuses on meeting the needs of the members. The leader develops the employees so that they can bring out their level best to the benefit of the organization. It usually replaces the commands and controls that are a common feature in most leadership styles. It is effective since the workers usually perform their best. (Dierendonck, 2010, p.1229).
TRANSACTIONAL LEADERSHIP STYLE
The leader usually works through setting certain structures to be followed. Through these structures, it is clear what is expected form the workers. It is also spelled out what they stand to be rewarded once they follow the orders that the structures have recommended. The system also spells out the punishments that can be administered to any worker who does not follow the rules, though few punishments are actually administered. If anything goes wrong the worker who is in charge at that particular point is considered liable for punishment. Management is usually by exception (Solansky, 2008, p.335).
TASK-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP STYLE
The leaders who practice this form of leadership focus mainly on accomplishments. The leader’s commitment and competence on the team members determines the initial success for the entire team. The leader is supposed to help his team members understand the challenges ahead. To do this, the leader provides steps that should be followed in their initial meetings. These steps usually include: ensuring that the team has the right set of skills that they need; providing strategies for commencing; creating a persuasive challenge; and; developing a form of understanding of the interdependent relationship that exists (DePaolo, 1999, p.2)
LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERSHIP STYLE
It is known as delegate leadership. Leaders in this style normally offer very little guidance to the workers. They leave the decision making processes to the teams. This results to a lack of motivation. There is also a scenario of poorly defined roles. This is because even if the leader leaves everything to the workers, he does not specify which role each worker should play. It is effective in a situation where the group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise. This is because they do not need much attention (Gill, Levine &Pitt, 1999, p.51).
RELATIONS-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP STYLE
It focuses on supporting, organizing and developing the people in the teams. Leaders in this style know their employees’ strength and weaknesses. After gathering this information, they make sure that they place the employees in positions where they are sure will best suit them. A place where they can take full advantage of the positive characteristics that they own. They inspire their workers and they are mostly the reason why people remain loyal to the organization. The manager focuses on trying to unlock every potential that lies within the employees. It results to good team work.
In conclusion, there are many leadership styles that exist all over the world. However, they have been limited down to the ten above by scientists and psychologists. For one to know which form of leadership style to use, they must first study the situation. This is because, every leadership style has its own situation where when applied to, it is most effective. This will help to reduce any contingencies that arise in a situation because the wrong form of leadership was used. The leaders in the leadership position should ensure that they choose styles that best suit their personality.