Often, we think of leaders as the managers in our work environments. While we hope that our managers make good leaders, it isnot always the case that a manager and a leader are the same person. The best leaders are people who just understand what it is that their team needs at that moment, whether that is a hand to hold or a drill sergeant. There are different types of leaders that are needed for different goals or situations, and each has its strengths and pitfalls.
The Pacesetter- This leader, does so by example. They set the threshold and expect the rest of the team to follow suit. For this method to be effective, the team should already be motivated and ready to work. The team might just need a guiding force to get behind.
The Authoritarian- This type of leaderinspires an entrepreneurial fire in others. They tend to focus on the goals and aspirations of the team.In order for this type of leader to be effective, they need to have credibility, so this doesnot work when employees are better educated or more experienced in their craft than the leader.
The Affiliative- The affiliative leader focuses on people and their needs. This works best in times of stress and times of distrust, such as recovering from hostile takeovers or employee cutbacks. This type of leader creates emotional bonds and trust within the teams and the organization.
The Coach- This type of leader usually works better on a personal level rather than in the workplace. They like to develop people for the future and their future aspirations on a personal level rather than in the realm of an organization. This might be good for an employee-centric human resources group.
The Coercive- This leader is militaristic, very dominant, and demands compliance. They work well and are appreciated in times of emergencies or crises. During these times, they take charge, give instructions, and ask questions later. If this is used outside of specific situations, it can also alienate people. Any creative person will not like working with a leader like this.
The Democratic- The democratic leaderbases the future of the team with consensus of the entire team. They ask what others think and take their perspective into account. This works best when employees want their opinion heard and want to take ownership of projects.
There is never a perfect leadership style, it is most likely a mix of all of the above. Different situations and team members require different types of leadership for each member to be successful, as individuals as well as a team. A true leader will understand what is needed from their team members and act accordingly. Ashley Herbert
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