So you just got promoted to a managerial or supervisory post. After celebrating with your friends and colleagues what’s next? Along with power comes great responsibility. This means that you need to live up not only to the prestige but with the demands of the position you are now holding. As a leader you are expected to motivate and influence your subordinates to achieve your company’s goals. However, there are different leadership styles that best suit every workplace. You just have to know which one is right for you and your workplace
Remember that control-freak boss you once had? You don’t want to follow in their footsteps and be disliked by your subordinates right? Autocratic type of leadership puts the power and decision-making to the leader only and allows little to no chance for the subordinates to make suggestions. This leadership style can be very helpful during crises especially when quick decisions are need. This is also effective for routine procedures and unskilled jobs. However, most employees do not like this leadership style because it suppresses creativity and allows leader to be too controlling and abusive of their power.
Leaders who follow this style go by the book of rules. This style is very effective and efficient when it comes to managing highly technical work such as operating machines and robots. This kind of leadership prevents conflict of ideas among leaders and their subordinates because they just have to comply with the written rules or steps. The downside of this style is that it doesn’t develop creativity and innovation among members. This can be very frustrating for employers that are highly imaginative and can lead to poor performance and low job satisfaction.
Laissez Faire Style
Laissez faire is a French phrase meaning “leave it be.” In this leadership style, the leader leaves his subordinates to work on their own. He can offer some advice and resources but generally allows the worker to work the way they want and set deadlines on their own. This type of leadership can be effective if the workers are highly-skilled and experienced with their work because this allows the leader to perform other tasks while the subordinates focus on their work. This also enhances creativity and stimulates innovative thinking among subordinates. However, this leadership style can be detrimental to the workplace if the workers are inexperienced and unreliable. They may become lazy and perform poorly.
This leadership style allows the perfect balance of authority from the leader and participation from subordinates. In this leadership style, the subordinates and the leader work hand in hand in accomplishing the tasks set to them. Both parties are also involved in decision-making which ensures that the leader does not abuse his power and the subordinates are allowed to voice out their ideas and suggestions. However, this leadership style may be disadvantageous when it comes to work requiring quick decision making because it is time consuming to deliberate among the team members to come up with a decision.
It is your responsibility as a leader to ensure that your subordinates are motivated and the company’s goals are met. Study your workplace and identify which leadership style will suit your team perfectly and then everyone will be working at their most optimal level.
Lisa Rezac is Vice President of Instruction for the Western region. She is based in Seattle, Washington, but she also teaches in Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and other Western cities.