What is Leadership and what are Common Types of Leadership

What is Leadership?

Let’s start with the basics: a boss is not necessarily a leader. Previously, the boss figure was omnipotent. This means that a hierarchical and vertical structure was used where one person had absolute power and commanded and made decisions that other employees below his rank had to abide by.

Although this method is still used in certain companies (mainly the most traditional ones), the truth is that this authoritarian figure has evolved and adapted to a new concept: that of the leader.

Leadership is considered as a set of skills and attitudes that collaborate to direct the processes of team members to achieve a common goal. The term is much more flexible than “boss”, because it adapts both to the natural talents of the leader, and to the type of team he faces.

Most Common Types of Leadership

Natural Leadership

Although there are those who say that leaders are not born, but they are made, this type of leadership is completely born and people exercise it without any prior preparation or indoctrination.
As its name implies, this style of leadership comes naturally to the leader. These leaders are not formally recognized as such, but, thanks to their communication characteristics, their charisma and their personality, they are very easily given to guiding others and successfully organizing a group.

Let it go

These leaders maintain a policy of non-intervention and only get involved with the work of other members of their team when it is strictly necessary or when they are directly requested to do so.
Employees have a lot of freedom to carry out their tasks and can even make decisions in their day to day. This is one of the types of leadership that is recommended to be used when team members are very experienced in their area or have outstanding skills in the field, requiring little supervision.

Democratic leadership

Also called “participatory leadership”, this style of leading focuses on encouraging the collaboration of the entire group in decision making.
Allowing the intervention of employees helps them feel valued and motivated. The sense of belonging to the group is consolidated in a much more solid way and the knowledge and skills of each employee can be used to solve specific situations. However, it must be remembered that, although members can participate in the processes, the final decision is always made by the leader.

Autocratic leadership

This type of leadership is the opposite of democratic leadership. Autocratic leaders make decisions without considering the opinion or views of their team members.
This style is much more traditional, as it is based on authority figures. The leader gives direct instructions and the subordinates follow them. Although it sounds extremely unidirectional, the truth is that it is one of the most effective types of leadership in companies where decisions need to be made quickly. Similarly, it is also useful when working with employees with little experience or training and, therefore, need constant supervision and direction to avoid mistakes.

Transactional Leadership

The transaction between leaders and subordinates is the basis of this type of leadership. In this case, the leaders are the ones who dictate the rules of the game and the employees abide by them in exchange for rewards for their job performance. Similarly, those who do not comply with the leader’s instructions can also be punished.
This is one of the types of leadership that focuses on objectives and is easy to carry out because it is based on a reward/punishment mechanism. However, one of its problems is that, many times, employees may not be truly committed to the cause of the company and only perform their tasks to avoid repercussions or gain personal benefit.

Bureaucratic Leadership

According to bureaucratic leaders, rules were not made to be broken. On the contrary, the ideal goal is to stick as closely as possible to them.
The company’s policies and procedures are the most important thing for this leader and therefore each of the tasks must be carried out meticulously and without taking creative liberties or deviations from the processes previously approved by the company.
It is one of the types of leadership that is recommended for tasks where there are very strict security measures or where a change in the steps to carry out a product or process can negatively affect the final result.

Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership is based, more than anything, on the personality of the leader. His interpersonal and communication skills help motivate the team and make everyone feel part of the same group.
Empathy, people skills and the ability to listen are classic in a charismatic leader. These characters can “seduce” his followers and get them to give him their unconditional loyalty.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is often considered the best among the various types of leadership. More than an authority figure, the leader is seen as a support for his employees. His skills help inspire team members to do their jobs to the best of their ability, but not in exchange for a prize or reward, but because they truly believe in the company’s goals and identify with its values ​​and objectives. .
More than a coordinator, the leader becomes an inspirational role model who also exudes confidence in his employees.

People Oriented Leadership

This is one of the types of leadership in which the priority is the team members. As the name implies, people are the ones at the center of leaders’ attention. To exercise it properly, a leader must be able to know the personality of their employees and identify their main strengths and abilities, as well as generate a plan to use these skills in favor of the company.

Task Oriented Leadership

Contrary to people-oriented leadership, in this case, the focus is entirely on the work and not on the employees. The task-oriented leader must delegate what needs to be done and organize functions and roles in order to accomplish a task.
Although he is a good leader to meet goals and divide tasks, he often fails to maintain the team’s sense of belonging and raise their work motivation.

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