TeamGuru is the ultimate leadership tool for lean operations teams worldwide.

Know Your Leadership Style

Published by Kate Apking Kate Apking · Mar 7, 2018
Know Your Leadership Style

leadership style, according to Wikipedia, is a leader’s style of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. Various authors have proposed identifying different leadership styles as exhibited by leaders in the political, business, or other fields.

There are many successful leaders executing numerous different management styles and approaches on how to conduct a great, profitable business, and on how to guide and motivate their employees to achieve the best possible results. There is no one-size-fits-all method. There are many internal and external factors that play significant roles in what style of leadership would be the most successful to apply.

Kurt Lewin, the psychologist who was most well known for his contributions to leadership and management climates, categorized early in the 20th century three main leadership styles - autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.

Autocratic Leadership

Definition of autocratic leadership is pretty much as it sounds. The leaders make most or all of the decisions without any inputs and opinions suggested by other employees. 

Pros:  Companies, which will more likely do well with the choice of this style, rely on leadership who needs to make a quick decision without consulting with others and the job needs to be fulfilled in a very short period of time.
Cons: Motivation and creativity are non-existent under this leadership.

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership is based on team brainstorming but in the end, the leaders make the final decision based on those collective findings.

Pros: Employees sense their opinions are valuable to the company, and they feel more appreciated, respected, and involved in the process. It promotes a higher level of motivation, confidence, loyalty, and happiness.
Cons: Decisions might take longer since more people and different views are involved.

Laissez-faire Leadership

Laissez-faire leadership (essentially translates from French to "let (it/them) do”) is structurally shortcoming; it is offering advice/suggestions/feedback only when requested. The Laissez-fair style is based on guidance rather than leadership.

Pros: Employees have full independence and responsibility to make decisions and accomplish the goals; therefore, the level of ownership and self-motivation is very high. It requires minimal supervision and direction.
Cons: This leadership requires a sensitive choice of work staff with the right personalities, skills, and ambitions.

Your company’s productivity and success can be increased by acknowledging all of the leadership styles, and learning how they work with different types of personalities. These analyses can help you to make the right hiring decisions.

At present, there are additional leadership styles (situational, strategic, transactional, and many others) to consider and study closely.

Which style is the one that describes you the best? This FREE leadership self-assessment test will help you to learn your own leadership strengths and weaknesses.


“A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela

“The best leaders don’t know just one style of leadership – they’re skilled at several, and have the flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.” – Daniel Goleman

“Leadership is not about titles. It is not about seniority. It is not about status, and it is not about management. Leadership is about power and the ability to know when and how to use it to influence the people around you to do and become more! Transformational leadership is about using your actions to elevate others and put them on their path to greatness.” – Terina R. Allen, President & CEO ARVis Institute

Related Articles

This Fishbone Will Help You to Fix Problems

Pavel Humlíček · Jan 25, 2018

Problems are everywhere and (luckily) most of them can be fixed. But it may be quite hard... Read more

2018 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Kate Apking · Jan 11, 2018

Our CEO Pavel Humlicek was invited to present at the 2018 World Conference on Quality and Improvement organized by ASQ Read more

The Importance of Self-Education

Kate Apking · Dec 22, 2017

Life happens! How many times have you heard these words before or how many times you’ve actually used them yourself? Read more

Explore TeamGuru