Lewin and his colleagues were among the first to make a distinction between leadership styles, back in 1939. The leadership style is shaped up by the characteristics and personalities of individuals in combination with culture. Also the goals and objectives of an organization play a role. In general, the leadership styles can be classified into 5 different styles. These are: autocratic, democratic, laissez-fair, transactional and transformational leadership.
Autocratic leadership style
In case of the authoritarian or autocratic leadership style, managers are in control. This is because they have the knowledge and skills to do the job. It is a real top-bottom setup. In this case all decision-making power lies with the leader(s). So, there is no input from the subordinates.
Democratic leadership style
The democratic style of leadership concentrates more on employees by increasing their participation. Employees are taking part in the process of setting goals, solving problems and building teams.
Laissez-faire leadership style
“Laissez-faire” is the French word for “leave it”. The laissez-faire leadership style leaves employees free. In this case, the authority to make decisions and creating objectives are in hand of the employees.
Transactional leadership style
The transactional leadership is based on the concept of a “transaction”. Employees are supposed to follow their leaders and in return they get salary and other incentives. Therefore, the transactional leadership motivates employees for increasing their productivity and achieving higher standards or targets.
Transformational leadership style
The transformational leadership style is all about listening to employees, motivating and encouraging people. It is about being visible for employees and having a vision about the team. But, it is also about celebrating successes with the team and being an example for everybody.
Do you want to learn more about leadership styles? Check our workshop ‘The President’s Speech’.