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8 Types of Leadership Styles

Leadership styles refer to the different ways in which leaders interact with their followers and make decisions. There are various leadership styles, and each has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Leaders may adopt different leadership styles depending on the situation and the type of followers they are leading. Let us understand eight different leadership styles and provide examples of popular business leaders who have successfully used these styles.

  1. Autocratic leadership – Autocratic leadership style is a top-down approach where the leader makes decisions without seeking input or feedback from the team. This style is suitable in emergency situations where quick decisions need to be made. However, it can create resentment among team members and lead to a lack of innovation. Examples of business leaders who have successfully used the autocratic leadership style include Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, and Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.
  2. Transformational leadership – Transformational leadership is a style where the leader inspires and motivates the team to achieve a common goal. The leader sets a vision for the team and encourages them to work towards it. This style is effective in situations where the team needs to adapt to change or work on a new project. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, and Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks.
  3. Servant leadership – Servant leadership is a style where the leader prioritizes the needs of the team over their own. The leader acts as a servant to the team, supporting and empowering them to reach their full potential. This style is effective in situations where the team needs to work collaboratively to achieve a common goal. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo.
  4. Laissez-faire leadership Laissez-faire leadership is a hands-off style where the leader gives the team the freedom to make decisions and take action. This style is suitable in situations where the team is highly skilled and motivated, and the leader trusts their ability to get the job done. However, it can lead to a lack of direction and accountability. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, and Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
  5. Democratic leadership Democratic leadership is a style where the leader involves the team in the decision-making process. The leader listens to the team’s input and feedback and makes decisions based on consensus. This style is effective in situations where the team is diverse and has different perspectives. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.
  6. Transactional leadership Transactional leadership is a style where the leader motivates the team through rewards and punishments. The leader sets clear goals and expectations and rewards or punishes the team based on their performance. This style is effective in situations where the team needs clear guidance and direction. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, and Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox.
  7. Charismatic leadership Charismatic leadership is a style where the leader inspires and motivates the team through their personal qualities and vision. The leader is confident and passionate and can articulate their vision in a compelling way. This style is effective in situations where the team needs to be inspired to achieve a common goal. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Oprah Winfrey, a media executive and talk show host, and Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos.
  8. Situational leadership Situational leadership is a style where the leader adapts their approach based on the situation and the needs of the team. The leader can switch between different leadership styles depending on the circumstances. This style is effective in situations where the team faces changing circumstances or challenges. Business leaders who have successfully used this style include Bob Iger, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, and what works for one leader may not work for another. It’s up to each leader to find their own style and adapt it to the needs of their team. By being open-minded and willing to learn and grow, we can become effective leaders who inspire and motivate our teams to achieve great things.

Discovering leadership styles and techniques – Executive education

If you are someone looking to transition into a leadership position, executive education is a great choice to support your transition. Here are some executive education programs from top universities with features fit for someone wanting to move into a leadership position.

Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM)

The Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) is a general management program that prepares you for the next level of leadership. This program is created in such a way that it helps transform proven leaders into global executives ready to lead the charge. The Berkeley Executive Program in Management encourages its participants to reflect, enhance strategic thinking, and develop authentic leadership. It is designed to create an immersive, relevant, and dynamic learning experience for senior executives, ready for the next level of the leadership challenge. It includes modules on advanced management competencies, leading innovative change, etc., which are a must for a person in C-level positions to ensure the growth of the company.

MIT Professional Education Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

This is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and virtually, geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and emerging leaders.  The program is designed for technology leaders and experienced practitioners from large corporations as well as startups—innovation-oriented firms that are focusing on leveraging emerging digital technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. After completing TLP, you will be part of a cohort of global leaders and practitioners. You will also become an integral part of the global MIT Professional Education network and will be considered an alumni of TLP as well as MIT Professional Education.

MIT Professional Education | Technology Leadership Program

UCLA Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (UCLA PGPX)

It is an extensive general management program offered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, one of the world’s top business schools. It is a part-time program with a modular format that provides great flexibility for busy professionals, while the UCLA faculty and industry leaders ensure that the program covers all aspects of best-in-class management education expected from a highly respected and globally renowned institution. The UCLA PGPX will put you on the map of global leadership, with a combination of strategies, skills, and acumen that will stretch your thinking and hone your abilities as a leader and manager capable of achieving remarkable growth in your business. This program has been designed to expose the participants to management and business leadership essentials in an extensive general management curriculum designed to be experiential learning and applied in focus.

Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program (ADP)

The Chicago Booth ADP is a rigorous learning journey across 8 modules spread over 9 months and gives you access to the latest management thinking and tools. It is taught by an award-winning faculty at the Chicago Booth School of Business and accomplished senior business leaders. It creates an amazing opportunity to build a strong personal brand and competitively position yourself and your organization. ADP actively engages you in a collaborative learning environment with accomplished peers in London, New Delhi, and Chicago. The Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program is designed for the global executive with a focus on delivering impact and leveraging the significant history of the Accelerated Development Program delivered across the globe, including London and India. The program is tailored for the busy schedules of senior professionals and is blended in design, with academic on-campus modules and off-campus experiences with online learning and live interactions to complement the on-campus experiences. You will build a global community of like-minded leaders and will become part of the Global ADP Network for life.

Summary

In conclusion, there are various leadership styles that leaders can adopt, depending on the situation and the needs of the team. While each style has its unique strengths and weaknesses, successful leaders know how to adapt their approach to fit the circumstances. By understanding the different leadership styles and the leaders who have successfully used them, we can learn how to become better leaders ourselves.

The seven primary leadership styles are:

  • Autocratic
  • Authoritative
  • Pacesetting
  • Democratic
  • Coaching
  • Affiliative
  • Laissez-faire

The 4 basic leadership styles are as follows:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Laissez-faire
  • Transformational

The democratic leadership style is considered one of the most effective styles as it encourages people or employees to participate in various processes, share their opinions, and give them an opportunity to be heard. This helps make the employees feel involved and valued.

An executive education program such as Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program (ADP), can help you prepare to be a leader in an organization.

The top 10 leadership styles are:

  • Autocratic leadership
  • Transactional leadership
  • Bureaucratic leadership
  • Charismatic leadership
  • Transformational leadership
  • Coaching leadership
  • Democratic leadership
  • Collaborative leadership

Padmavati

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