Company management is real art. The leader of any team requires professionalism, intelligence, and certain skills. Often, the head of a department, even the smallest one consisting of several people, is confronted with the question – which leadership style is the most effective one?
A modern manager can choose from different management styles, for example authoritarian, democratic, passive, individualized, etc. and a mixture of such. To make the right decision, let us describe the key features of the main styles to identify their main advantages and determine which one is the most suitable in a given situation.
Basic Types of Leadership Styles in Business
There are authoritarian, democratic, passive, and individualized as the main management styles. Let us look at these styles in details to determine which one is more suitable for a particular manager in Dubai or some other global business hub.
- Authoritarian style: this kind of management means that all powers are concentrated by one person, the company/department has one manager/leader who makes practically all decisions and bears all the responsibility. Communication with subordinates occurs in the form of orders, which must be strictly followed. Leaders determine the strategy and tactics of management, and they solve the main issues. The strengths of the authoritarian style include speed when it comes to resolving various issues, facilitating the building of a strategy, and predicting the results of specific actions. The weak side is the elimination of the personal initiative of the company’s employees. With an authoritarian leadership style, the manager suppresses employees. One has to take into account that employees have opinions of their own and interesting ideas can emerge and can be further used to guide the company. Under authoritarian style, such ideas may be ignored and go lost. Besides, if a company has a certain size, then the general manager has to appoint top managers where each of such managers in charge of different divisions. And handling top managers with authoritarian style means keeping the entire control in general manager hands, which is very stressful and challenging in the long run.
- Democratic style: Responsibilities are distributed – key positions of the company’s management remain with the leader, but management can be distributed on other issues. For example, some part of the authority lies with the vice-president of the company, some part on the financial director, some part on top managers, etc. A head makes the most important decisions; the rest of the decisions are made by his/her subordinates, each at their level. In this case, there is an active interaction in both directions – both from the head and from the employees. The advantages of this leadership style include strengthening personal commitments of the employees of the company, on whom partial decision-making and responsibility lie, freeing up more time for the manager, who can devote time to developing the overall strategy of the company and creative work. The weak side of this leadership style is as follows – it requires a lot of time for coordination of work between different departments of the company as well as between different managers of different levels. This style can also result in potential gaps in control.
- Passive style: Head of the company delegates all the main responsibilities to the managers, such as the board of directors or top managers. The head performs more representative functions. As a result, the company’s self-government arises on a democratic basis, in the mode that is most acceptable to the company. There is an active exchange of views in the management of the company among the top executives. The main strength of this style – there is no interference of a strong leader, and the majority of the company makes decisions upon the business of the company. The weak side of this style – a group of managers, cannot always agree on all the points, and there may be situations with no decision made. In business, there are situations when only one leader must solve a question and take responsibility for it. In particular, it concerns crises or any other critical situations in the company, when under the influence of pressure, stress, and lack of time a group can be disoriented, lose unity, get lost and the decision of one leader can save the day.
- Individualized style: It can be described as a creative mixture of all the leadership styles as mentioned above styles. The leader uses authoritarianism at certain times, takes a hit, and bears all the responsibility. Then, to resolve some issues, the leader assembles the management of the company and sets several issues to form them to solve, i.e., uses a passive style. And finally, the leader assigns some of the responsibilities to the heads of departments, including giving them the decision of certain issues and the responsibility for making decisions. The strength of this leadership style is: this approach is creative, because a manager may change different leadership styles depending on the situation that occurs in the company. The main weakness – the manager must constantly show certain flexibility and speed of reaction, and if he, for example, in situations that require authoritarianism, shows a passive style, such a leader will quickly lose influence and authority in the company.
There are also sub-styles such as transformational, charismatic, transactional, and others. So, which one to chose any apply and which would give the best results? There is no one answer to this question as the choice of your style depends, first of all, on your personality type and style and your preferences. For example, if you are autocratic by default, you can make efforts to look democratic, but this would not work for a long time. Thus, first of all, you need to keep your integrity. If you try to be what you are not – that cannot work for a long time. However, it does not mean that at some point you can not mix your ordinary management style with the elements of other styles – that would be fine and would let you be more flexible in various situations.
Another factor when choosing your leadership style is the type of the team you are managing, type of tasks, internal company culture, and other elements. Often you can face situations that you need to apply various leadership styles over the day to different people and situations. For example, when having a meeting with the creative part of your team who are responsible, for example, for the conception of new products and services – you have to be more on the democratic style side of leadership. And when you meet with the quality control team which, for example, failed on its main responsibilities – you may need to be more on the autocratic and commanding side. Thus there is no ideal solution for all, and you shall adjust your style as required such a way that it brings best results for each particular case.
A few tips on choosing a leadership style to improve overall performance
Below are some additional tips and points to be taken into account when choosing and applying a particular leadership style.
- Any manager must understand that the company is like a living organism. It lives and develops according to specific internal laws, both general business by intern regulations and laws of its own, which exist only within the company. Therefore, it is essential to feel the unity of the company, and by this, to select a style of leadership that will be most harmoniously fit and would not unbalance the situation. However, this applies only to the regular path of things. If, for example, there is a crisis or other critical situation – you can overrule exiting “habits” inside the company and apply whatever style you may need to fix the matter.
- It is important to remember that nothing stands still. Everything is moving and changing. The leader should not stand still as well; you must grow, receive additional education, always learn something new, introduce innovations in the company, and, what is essential, to adjust your style as the team members progress professionally. This way, you as the leader, would keep up with the rapidly changing environment and avoid the situation when the style of leadership style chosen becomes ineffective due to some changes in the company and its team.
- Take into account the psychology of people who work with as the manager. Remember that business is done first of all by people, and only then by technology. Therefore, for any manager, it is essential to choose the right approach to your team so that everyone can successfully cope with their duties and can use their full potential because the success of the entire company depends on it.
So, we come back to the question we started with – what style of leadership you shall choose. Do not try to fund one answer for it – know all methods and techniques and adjust yourself to each situation accordingly. And if you need to know all the ins and outs of leadership styles and techniques – see the range of courses for management and leadership we offer. The range of provided courses covers all levels of management – from mid to higher management and covers numerous elements, including all components and secrets of management styles and best team motivation techniques.