Strong leadership is the most critical factor in an organization’s success or failure. Although every leader is an individual and gets things done in their own unique way, there are three main leadership styles that determine the dynamics of all workplaces. While these styles can share some characteristics, the application of these differ, and therefore, so do the results they produce. Here are my thoughts on the three main styles of leadership.
The authoritative leader is demanding and strict but achieves consistent results. The respect they enjoy from their workforce is often the result of fear rather than love. Indeed, this type of leader would rather be feared than loved because they believe this is more effective for optimal operationality and productivity. They use directives and demands as a tool to achieve organizational objectives. Because of this, they often get things done quickly, but not always as efficiently as they could. A major drawback to this style is that it doesn’t empower employees, develop their skills, or seek to unlock their full potential.
A challenging leader is one who always encourages employees to push themselves to become more competent and conscientious. They are strong on vision and set tough targets to push their team to become more creative. They also know how and when to delegate and use empathy and compassion when necessary. Often hard to work with, this leader understands that complacency is the enemy of progress and consistently blends the attainment of organizational objectives with the continuous development of everyone in their team. A drawback of this type of leadership is that there is often little time for rest or relaxation.
Leading with compassion and care, this leader is quite a paternal figure to their team. Highly empathetic, they aim to create a warm and comfortable environment in the workplace. Although their employees are generally happy, they can lack drive and motivation. Less vision and challenges make the drawback to this type of leadership inevitable… Organizational stagnation and boredom can easily set in with too much compassionate leadership. As the old saying goes, if you stand still, you are history.
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