These Are the Top 8 Leadership Styles You Should Know About

Want to become a better leader? Then the first thing you need to do is figure out what leadership style you follow. Yes, there are different approaches to leadership that leaders everywhere use to drive their teams to success. Knowing which one you are using can give you a better understanding of how you run things and improve your leadership skills.


Speaking of leadership styles, would you like to know what they are? Keep on reading then because we gathered the top 8 most common leadership styles you should know about. We'll discuss what they are along with their strong and weak points. With that being said, let's start.


The 8 Most Common Leadership Styles

Listed below are some of the most common leadership styles that all leaders knowingly (or unknowingly) follow. Check them out and see which one you relate to the most:


Charismatic Leadership

Is drawing people in with your words, small actions, or mere presence feel natural to you? Then you might be following a charismatic style of leadership.  Charismatic leaders are charming and effective communicators, they know which words to use to demand their team’s attention and motivate them to reach a common goal.   


However, charismatic leaders also tend to be too focused on achieving the main goal that they pay little attention to the side components that also need to be improved. Some of the most popular charismatic leaders include Manny Pacquiao and Oprah Winfrey.


Democratic Leadership

As the name suggests, this type of leadership includes all the team members in the decision-making process, not just the leader. Regardless of their position or ranking in the group, everyone can voice their opinions and ideas on things. With their inputs at hand, the leader will then initiate a discussion and decide on the best possible option to pursue.

This is regarded as one of the most effective leadership styles because it makes everyone in the team feel more valued and satisfied.  The biggest downside is that the leader may not be able to make an immediate decision in times of emergency.


Autocratic Leadership

Also referred to as the ‘authoritarian’ style of leadership, an autocratic leadership style leaves all decision-making and other administrative powers to the leader alone. This allows them to make quick decisions on any project or issue they are dealing with.

Group members don't have any say in what they are tasked to do. But they will still be affected by whatever result comes of the leader's decision.


Servant Leadership

Leaders who follow this style treat their members' satisfaction as a top priority because they believe the happier their subordinates are, the more they will be able to consistently produce high-quality results. Servant leaders are great at raising their team’s morale, they also communicate well, and can express genuine care towards the people they work with.

However, leaders who follow this style may find it hard to reiterate their position as the head of the team should the members start acting out. They may also experience burnout because of prioritizing others instead of themselves.


Transactional Leadership

This leadership style is all about giving rewards (commonly in monetary or gift certificate form) to group/individual members who can deliver excellent performance and penalties to those who can’t.  Leaders use this to bring out their team's competitiveness and reach a certain quota or a performance rate.

Team members who can constantly deliver a fantastic job may find this leadership approach a blessing. However, others with difficulties keeping up may feel even more unmotivated.


Transformational Leadership

As the name implies, this leadership style aims to * transform * the team by encouraging its members to venture out of their comfort zones and find new ways to accomplish things. Leaders who follow this style often push their subordinates to their limits while giving them enough space to innovate and work on things the way they think they should.

Although it's considered one of the better leadership styles, many people may find it hard to keep up with because of all the constant changes it demands. Also, members might feel more stressed and pressured to always think out of the box even when they're not capable.


Bureaucratic Leadership

Unlike transformational leadership, the bureaucratic style strictly adheres to rules and is more traditional. Bureaucratic leaders value order and prefer things in a systemized way. They expect the people in their team to only do the responsibilities given to them based on their roles. And while they may be open to collaborating ideas with subordinates, most of them would reject any suggestion that they think is different from what their group should be doing.

The biggest disadvantage to this style is that they'd choose old and ineffective policies rather than welcome new innovative ways that can provide positive changes for the group.


Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire is a famous French term that means ‘leave it be’, which is the kind of approach a leader following this style should have. With this style, the team’s head distributes tasks to all the team members and provides them with the tools they need to get the job done. The leader will then just stand on the sidelines and monitor them as they go along.

This style follows the belief that putting complete trust in your members' capabilities will encourage them to be more innovative in anything that they do. However, it will only work best if your group mates already have experience. Applying this to newbies isn't a good idea as you will need to watch their every move so they won’t make costly mistakes.


Final Words

These are the 8 leadership styles you should know about. Being aware of which one you follow can help you maintain your strengths, improve your weaknesses, and be a more effective leader. Also, keep in mind that your leadership style may change as you gain new knowledge and experience.


That’s it for this article. If you would like to read more blogs that will give you tips on various things, check out CourseFinder's articles section. We have easy-to-read yet informative articles such as the 'How To Start Freelancing as a Filipino Student' for students and young adults like you.