The 6 Most Effective Leadership Styles and How to Find Yours

Juliet D'cruz

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When you start to analyze the behavioral patterns, characteristics, and leadership styles of the most outstanding leaders of all time, you begin to notice the vast differences between them.

Fortunately, researchers and experts have developed various speculations and theories on these leaderships styles. They have created foundations and structures on the techniques of numerous great leaders that allow us to understand better how each one leads.

It’s important to study these different categories of leadership styles to determine which one is most suitable to fit your own personality and adopt. Here is a general list of the most effective ones.

The Most Common Leadership Styles

Leadership styles are the different divisions or classifications of how a person conducts themselves while leading a group of people. 

The three major leadership styles identified by a group of researchers led by Kurt Lewin have provided a starting line for other kinds. The so-called Lewin’s Leadership Styles are the authoritarian (autocratic), participative (democratic), and delegative (laissez-faire) leadership styles. These three and more are explained under:

  • Transformational Leadership

Now you might be thinking, What is transformational leadership? The short answer is that transformational leadership aims to transform and improve each component of a company, including its employees.

Transformational leadership is all about exploring new, creative solutions and ideas, and it encourages your team to let their imagination flow. 

Successfully inspiring your staff through potent communication and cooperation with proper implementation of this style has stapled it as one of the most effective types of leadership.

  • Transactional Leadership

Though its name may sound similar to the transformational leadership style, they could not be further apart, in theory and in practice.

While the other may focus on creativity, transactional leadership points its attention towards setting a clear order of authority and establishing an incentive-based management system. It motivates the employees with bonuses and benefits, and it works best in goal-oriented workplaces.

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  • Democratic Leadership

Participative or democratic leadership is another vastly effective authority style. This style thrives on a participatory approach to most activities, encouraging collaboration and help from subordinates or employees.

It is similar to how decisions are made in company board meetings. For instance, a democratic leader would be the one who provides open-ended discussions that allow the team to make decisions collectively.

  • Autocratic Leadership

The Authoritarian or autocratic leadership style is an exact inverse of democratic leadership. In democratic leadership, the inputs and considerations of others are consulted, whereas, in autocratic leadership, the one in charge acts alone while others are supposed to follow.

Though this leadership style does not suit most modern business settings, there are various circumstances where it is significantly effective.

  • Laissez-Faire Leadership

The French term Laissez-Faire directly translates to “let them do.” From a leadership perspective, it can be taken as “let it be.” Also known as the delegative leadership style, it is the third and last style established in Lewin’s three classical leadership styles.

It is known for its hand-free approach, where the leader allows subordinates to make their own decisions. It is suitable for most creative and not-so-serious workplaces.

  • Charismatic Leadership

The charismatic leadership style holds a bit of similarity with the transformational style, in the sense that both largely depend on the charm and charisma of the leader.

However, its style is risker since the progress and advancement of projects are closely associated with the work ethic and significance of the leader.

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