Different Types of Leadership Style at Work

Key highlights:

  • Every leader has something to teach, be it their leadership style, philosophy or approach. 
  • Understanding different leadership styles can help you develop your leadership personality.
  • Pay attention to the type of leader you encounter in your career and learn as much as possible to grow exponentially.

Not all leaders are equal. Some are good at leading a team and bringing the best out of everyone, while others fail to provide the support team members need to be their best. But that doesn’t mean bad leaders don’t have anything to offer. Every leader has something to teach, be it their style, philosophy, or approach to management. 

Understanding different leadership approaches and their ups and downs can help you develop better relationships with your leader at work and navigate or avoid conflicts with them. But more importantly, it will help build your leadership style and improvise on it to distinguish yourself from the rest.

Here are the different leadership styles you should know about:

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Leadership Style: The less-talking-more-doing leader

This type of leader is task-oriented. Failing to meet a deadline is a nightmare, so they expect their teams to work with strict timelines. Many people may also define them as no-nonsense folks. To get their attention, you need to have facts and data at hand. 

These leaders focus on identifying solutions rather than pointing out problems. They may also be demanding at times and may force you to think outside the box to bring unique ideas and ways to execute them. They also believe in offering a high degree of autonomy and expect their teams to be able to perform independently. However, they can often be rigid or inflexible and expect their team to prioritise their work over everything else. 

The fun-loving leader

This type of leader is fun-loving and has a friendly personality. However, working with such a leader brings its own set of challenges. While they are often understanding and compassionate, their leadership style can quickly turn into ruinous empathy territory, a term created by author Kim Scott to reflect a scenario in which teams or people or teams fail to perform efficiently because of being overly polite or accommodating with each other.

Leaders who focus on the fun always also tend to be lax, which may hurt the team’s performance. There is also toxic positivity. A leader who fails to identify an issue chooses to ignore it or sugarcoats a crisis can’t be trusted and is hard to communicate with. Toxic positivity in the workplace can also make individuals feel invalidated, unseen, and unheard.

The servant leader

Servant leaders possess a serve-first mentality. They consider themselves the coach or a team champion, so they tend to put their own needs last, which is always required of a leader. They can be empathetic and charismatic and often show a keen interest in their team’s growth and career trajectory. Their persona and serve-last mentality can motivate their team and offer individuals access to the right opportunities. Ideally, it’s the best type of leader a group or organisation can have.

Servant leaders may take longer to make decisions since they consider the opinions of their team before concluding. Since they defer to the group, they may also lack the authority to offer the proper guidance or command the team to follow a path. This can harm their abilities as a leader. 

When you know and understand the different leadership styles, you tend to pay more attention to your leader and communicate with them based on your understanding of how they think and prefer to interact. This also helps you develop your management skills for the future.

Reference: What you can learn from good and bad managers | Glassdoor Team | May 4, 2022

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