Action Wheel Leadership

Styles of Leadership



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Types of Leadership You May Have
Experienced or Practiced

It may seem that there are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders. In reality, while there are indeed many ways to lead, most leadership styles fall into one of several categories.

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Styles of Leadership

Autocratic Leadership Style: is also called the Authoritarian Leadership Style. Leaders who favor this style are task oriented and score low on relationship factors.The autocratice slyle of leadership is usually hard on followers. The leader places heavy emphasis on schedules, unquestioning obedience and blame. Followers' creativity or desire for collaboration is often seen as dissent. In worst case scenarios, autocratic leaders abuse power and use raised voices and threats to achieve their goals.

Delegative Leadership Style: is one of the types of leadership styles that can be effective in some situations, and detrimental to an organization in other situations. The delegative leadership style requires highly skilled and motivated followers or it can lead to poorly made decisions and little follow-through or leadership action.

Transactional Leadership: is one of the styles of leadership that is based on the theory that organizations work best with a clear chain of command. It is considered an authoritarian model of leadership as it presupposes that, once workers have agreed to a job, they have tacitly agreed to cede all authority another person in management. As most managers do not depend solely on one type of leadership, most leaders are not strict or absolute transactional leaders, rather they fall somewhere along a spectrum.

Transformational Leadership: is one of the most effective styles of leadership as it is designed to produce positive changes in individuals and organizations. These leaders seek to enhance motivation, increase morale, and create emotional investments in an organization through a variety of techniques. They develop connections between their workers and the collective identity of the company by challenging employees to take ownership for their work.

Democratic Leadership Style: is one of the types of leadership styles that fosters a team approach to leadership. In this leadership style, leaders and followers collaborate. Each contributes his or her skills, knowledge and experience to create a "whole" from many contributions. Democratic leaders offer guidance and lead by positive example. Though they actively participate in the group, input from other group members is not only allowed but also valued.

Participative Leadership is very similar to the democratic leadership style. Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Decision making and problem solving are discussed with the leadership team or group. This gets group members engaged in the process and inspires motivation and creativity. It also allows helps leaders learn to delegate, wisely, to followers who have shown the potential to participate in leadership level decisions.

Gender and Leadership: Do leadership styles differ by gender? Is there a leadership style that is inherently feminine?

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Related Links:

Leadership Models

Authentic Action Wheel

Leadership Metaphors

Leadership Definition

Leadership Versus Management

Characteristics of Good Leadership

Leadership Metaphors

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