Finding Your Leadership Style

Finding Your Leadership Style


Every leader has his own style of leadership. Which style will benefit the employees and the organization the most? Is there one particular style that will ensure success. Read the blog to know the commonly observed styles of leadership, their impact and their possible adverse effects.


At various points in our lives, we would have come across many leaders who inspired us. Each leader would have had his own style of leadership to guide and stimulate the people around him. Each style impacts people in its own unique way.

While there are many leadership styles, no leader sticks to just one. In fact, a good leader will change his style according to the circumstance. The more experienced a leader is, the more he realizes that leadership needs to be fluid. A good leader is constantly observing his employees and changing his style of leadership to bring out the best in them.

Finding Your Leadership Style

So, why is it necessary for us to know what kind of leadership style we practice?

Being aware of leadership styles is important as it gives us an insight into our own thoughts and how we deal with situations. We can analyze this and change ourselves to become better leaders.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to leadership. Most leaders rely heavily on their instincts. A person’s experiences too invariably shape his style of leadership. But if that particular style is not giving the desired results, it might be necessary to consider a change in approach.

Styles of Leadership

While there are many styles, 5 of the most common ones are discussed below:

Democratic Leadership

  • This is one of the most effective leadership styles.
  • A democratic leader is open and welcoming to everyone’s inputs.
  • Before taking a decision, he involves everyone and invites their opinions.
  • Employees feel listened to with this kind of leadership and as a result their participation and enthusiasm increase.
  • These kinds of leaders are inclusive, empathetic, communicative and empowering with employees trusting their leader.
  • In its negative form, this kind of leadership might result in delayed decision making.
  • When inexperienced employees are also involved in decision making, it might negatively impact the decision taken.

Autocratic Leadership

  • Autocratic and democratic leadership are two opposite ends of a spectrum.
  • Leaders who display this kind of leadership do not consider any suggestions or feedback.
  • There is minimal delegation and hardly any autonomy for employees.
  • Employees are often intimidated in this kind of leadership and creativity and originality are stifled.
  • However, emergency situations which demand decisive action can benefit from this leadership style.
  • The influence of less experienced employees also does not affect the decision-making process.
  • But this leadership is not sustainable as employees are usually unhappy with this kind of work culture.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

  • French for let them do, laissez-faire leadership is very hands off.
  • Leaders do not interfere with the employees until there is an absolute need and employees enjoy a lot of freedom and autonomy.
  • This leadership provides no guidance or feedback and hence new employees can feel a bit lost in this kind of environment.
  • Communication is limited and employees might be unclear on their roles and expectations.
  • It also does not promote team work as each employee is focused only on his task and not the overall picture.
  • This leadership style can be good for start-ups or for companies in fields like advertising which require a high degree of creativity.
  • Employees appreciate the autonomy they are given and work hard to prove themselves and achieve their goals.

Transformational Leadership

  • Leaders with this kind of style are very motivating and encouraging.
  • They are constantly looking to improve practices and outcomes.
  • “How can I make something good into something even better?” – this is how they think.
  • Their goal is to keep raising the benchmark to create a lasting impression.
  • They motivate their employees by starting off with achievable goals which increase confidence.
  • As the employees complete a goal, the next goal is set a bit higher and the next one even more so.
  • This way the employees are slowly pushed to test their abilities.
  • Employees feel encouraged and job satisfaction is high with this kind of leadership but in its negative form pushing employees too much can lead to employee burn-out and that is something people with this style of leadership need to watch out for.

Transactional Leadership

  • A transaction generally refers to an interchange between two people and this is what this leadership style is based on.
  • The leader sets a goal for his employees and when they achieve the goals, they are rewarded.
  • There might even be a punishment of some form if the goal is not met.
  • Also known as managerial leadership, here the leader believes that he has to dangle a carrot in front of his employees to motivate them.
  • Status quo is maintained with this style and no change is made to push results further.
  • Employees under this kind of leadership understand what is expected of them and what they will get in return for their efforts.
  • However, not all employees are happy with this leadership as not everyone is motivated by material rewards.
  • There is not much focus on relationships and team building and hence the work atmosphere might not be very happy.

Changing Your Style

Leadership style is not fixed. It can be changed though it will take some conscious effort. The most important thing is to realize when a change in style is needed. This might be evident when goals are not met, employee turn-over is high or there is a general attitude of malaise at the workplace.

Leadership and Its Impact

The impact leaders have on their employees and the organization’s performance cannot be stressed enough. Great leaders do not stop with just motivating employees and achieving organizational success, they go a step further and do their bit for the society as well. When leaders are seen supporting important causes, they inspire and influence those around them. Bit by bit, leaders can transform the society for the better.