Humanity has a thing for leaders; we have been trying to study them and break down their practices for ages. To give a simple definition of a leader – is a person with authority that organizes people around him/her to achieve a goal.
Modern businesses rely extensively on leaders, or rather “managers”, to assemble the workforce and, to put it in simple terms, ensure stuff gets done. With regards to that, numerous leadership programs, seminars and trainings have been set up to accommodate the latest fad and provide businesses with the chance to get top-notch managers that can inspire employees and increase productivity.
With growing exploration of the concepts of leadership, many have started to categorize leaders into different styles and forms. By doing so, we are able to identify how exactly we like to interact with other people as leaders and how those interactions affect others. Here is a brief overview of popular theories regarding leadership today:
1) Transformational Leadership
A popular form of leadership these days: It aims to inspire and motivate a worker into action, as well as create a sense of belonging to a particular cause. While seen as the ‘ideal’ form of leadership, by no means is it always the most suitable.
2) Transactional Leadership
I give you something, you give me something –that is the essence of transactional leadership. There is no goal of transforming a worker; rather these kinds of leader seek to use rewards and punishments as a means to get the work done. This is a common form of leadership in managerial positions.
3) Autocratic Leadership
These leaders are merciless. Everything must be done according to their specifications; there is no room for deviance. While autocratic leadership seems harsh, it is especially useful when faced with an urgent task where creativity is not a priority.
4) Democratic Leadership
Everyone has some sort of say in how the workplace is run. Most other leadership styles incorporate this concept, but with varying degrees. Some leaders let employees control the course of the entire project (laissez-faire), others merely take their opinions into account.
There are many other styles of leadership, but these are the 4 main concepts. Other, lesser known forms of leadership include:
1) Pacesetting Leadership
These leaders lead by example. Workers follow in their foot-steps and mimic their actions
2) Servant Leadership
In this case, the leader lacks authority and merely acts an individual that bonds the group together while providing support.
3) Charismatic Leadership
These leaders use their personality as a tool in their work. They rely on charm to build support from employees as well as motivate action from them.
This is where leaders or managers control every aspect of an employee’s work; scrutinizing it and adding to it continuously. It is often seen as counter-productive –who hires a leader to do an employee’s job?
One key thing to note is that leadership is not meant for only a few people. It is generally accepted that a person can grow into a certain style of leadership as well as nurture traits and attitudes that are not innate within them. It is up to you to decide what kind of leader you want to be.