6 Business Leadership Styles: Which One is the Most Effective?

Naveen Kumar Singh
4 min readAug 22, 2022
Leadership

Leadership isn’t all about sending orders and getting things done by your teammates. As a leader, you’re responsible for leading a team, department, and even the entire organization.

Leadership has a different meaning for different individuals. But generally, leadership means leading or influencing others toward a common goal. A leader possesses many skills, including dependability, empathy, active listening, and communication. These skills assist a leader in successfully guiding a group of individuals.

Every organization needs effective leaders. Here are a few leadership styles that you can choose and adapt to.

Autocratic business leader

The autocratic business leaders love having all the authority by themselves. They are the kind of leaders who don’t usually open in a group and love to take leadership decisions all by themselves. Instead, they expect others working under them to follow their orders.

Usually, the opinion of team members isn’t encouraged and welcomed in this leadership style. As a result, there is little to no autonomy in the team.

Pros:

● Less to no group participation leads to fast decision-making.

● Direct communication leads to employee productivity.

● Best leadership style for teams that require a strong sense of direction.

Cons:

● As there is no two-way communication, there is no room for collaboration or new ideas on the table.

● Low employee satisfaction and stress for leaders.

Laissez-faire leader

“Laissez-faire” is a French word that means “let it be,” and that’s the sole of this leadership style. It is the opposite of an autocratic business leader, relying entirely on the team to get the job done. They don’t micromanage or give any guidance.

Pros:

● These leaders empower their teammates with tools and resources to get the work done.

● Encourages creativity in the workspace.

● Increases employee satisfaction and retention and improves performance.

Cons:

● Laissez-faire leadership can limit employee development and growth.

● Unsuitable for new employees as they need guidance.

● This style lacks structure.

Democratic leader

In this leadership style, team members actively participate in the decision-making process. A democratic leader considers every team member’s opinion and ultimately presents the final decision.

It is the most effective form of leadership style because it encourages the involvement of all the employees. As a result, all team members are valued, and the leader is the spokesperson.

Pros:

● There is no limit to the creativity of the group.

● Open discussion on issues and solutions.

● Employees feel accomplished and important.

● Results in improved work conditions and employee turnover.

Cons:

● Democratic leadership can lead to a lack of clarity among teammates.

● A democratic team may find it difficult to function under stress.

● It’s a time-consuming process

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is when leaders inspire and encourage the team to bring a change. The leader guides the employees to excel in careers and the organization. This leadership form helps employees adopt a growth mindset and motivates them to perform better.

Transformational leadership keeps changing as per the company’s conventions. Employees are given a set of tasks to complete within a given period. Then, all employees are asked to complete more and more challenging tasks.

Pros:

● Results in lower turnover cost.

● Opens doors for change and improvement.

● Employees are inspired and motivated

Cons:

● Transformational leaders can bring out the negative outcome.

● Continuous communication is essential within the team and the leader.

● Transformational leaders expect their teammates always to follow their instructions

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leaders are the point between the company’s operations and growth opportunities. Strategic leaders accept the administrative burden and ensure that the working conditions are favorable for everyone. It’s a position desired by many companies as it supports multiple types of employees in one go.

Pros:

● Help understand the connection between daily work and the future.

● Strategic leaders ensure that the entire company is on the same page.

● These leaders encourage and support unity.

● Strategic leaders are highly dedicated to the company.

Cons:

● It is impossible to anticipate the future as a strategic leader.

● Strategic plans are not flexible.

● The personality of a strategic leader can stop the company’s growth.

Coach-Style Leadership

In coach-style leadership, the leader aims to enhance the individual strengths of every team member. They also build strategies that lead the team together. It is highly similar to democratic and strategic leadership. However, emphasis is laid on the growth of employees individually.

The coach-style leader focuses on establishing a team where employees have different skill sets and areas of expertise. The leader also aims to create a team that communicates well and embraces the skillsets of others as well to get the job done.

Pros:

● A manager with this leadership style helps improve employee strength by providing constructive feedback.

● Encourages team members to learn from each other’s skills and expand their strengths.

● Managers are highly self-aware and goal-oriented.

● More creativity in solving organizational challenges.

● Constructive two-way communication with less judgment.

Cons:

● Longer time is taken for the delivery of tasks and completing goals.

● Additional time is taken to deliver actionable feedback.

● Staff and leaders need to take training for every new coaching style.

Which Leadership Style is the Best?

Now that you know all the six leadership styles, which one should you choose? There’s no one style that fits all approaches when choosing a leadership style. It would be challenging to find a specific style that compliments the unique personality of each leader.

You are naturally attracted to a specific leadership style. However, try and implement every approach in different situations and see which style fits best. Understanding different leadership styles help you figure out your weaknesses and strengths. You can then work on them and become a better leader.

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Naveen Kumar Singh

Agile Coach and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) @Agilemania, Servant leader @Agile 30 and Developer @GitHub, Ranting @LinkedIn & an Artist @YouTube