What does it take for a venture to become truly successful? Is it time, substantial investments, or other material resources? The answer might surprise you. While an innovative idea is enough to grow a business, those in command keep it surviving and thriving. Indeed, the growth and development of any organization are largely dependent on its leader.
Who is a Leader?
Anyone can be crowned the CEO of an institution, but it takes more than a title to make up a good leader. With a set direction and purpose in their mind, a leader sees the bigger picture and visualizes the organization’s future. They have the unique ability to recognize and harness the individual strengths of their team members, utilizing their capabilities to reach the desired goal. By mastering the art of communication, leaders can convey their vision, ideas, and plan to those around them.
One of the most defining skills of a leader is their ability to collaborate and empathize with their team. Through compassion, active listening, and patience, they can establish relationships with their co-workers built on mutual trust and respect. When employees feel valued, they unlock their true potential and work at optimal levels.
Styles of Leadership
Leading an entire organization is no easy task and comes with numerous hurdles and responsibilities of its own. Managing organizational challenges requires knowledge, practice, and years of training. For someone just setting foot into the business realm, the wise move is to opt for a Master’s in Business Administration to hone leadership skills. Fortunately, eLearning allows business professionals to pursue higher academic programs like online MBA no GMAT required while juggling job responsibilities. These MBA programs assist budding leaders in developing their strengths while also focusing on their work.
With enough practice, any individual can learn to flex between these styles as the situation demands. To make it easier, we have provided a brief description of the few leadership styles you can opt for:
Perhaps the oldest style in the leaderships handbook and one implemented by most leaders back in the day. The autocratic or the ‘Do as I command’ type is usually employed by the leader who believes they are superior and the smartest individual in the room. Such a leader prefers little to no involvement from their employees, making decisions based solely on their perspective and ideology.
While this technique may have worked previously, modern-day employees demand recognition and creative control. Instead of being followers and quietly sticking to commands, they want to express their creative side and equally contribute to organizational development.
A confident leader who prefers to guide but simultaneously keeps their employees engaged opts for this style. An authoritative leader knows how to set the goals, impose expectations, and define outcomes while encouraging and motivating their workforce. Although such leadership allows team members to have a say, it is the leader who holds all the cards and the ultimate authority at the end of the day. With all critical decisions being monitored by the leader and the chain of command clearly emphasized, this style is the fastest way to get a job done.
It comes in super handy when an objective must be accomplished within a time-constrained period. However, most successful business owners believe that this style shouldn’t be implemented permanently. It is relatively strict and can lead to employee rebellion in the long run.
Pacesetting is mostly adopted by driven individuals who intend to set the bar high, motivating team members to reach that level. Establishing strict goals and outcomes creates competition amongst colleagues, forcing them to run hard and fast towards the finish line. While maintaining rivalry is good to encourage workers to put their best foot forward, it can get pretty off-putting in the long run. The immense pressure of constantly proving themselves can cause employees to become physically and mentally exhausted. This repeated stress makes employees develop negative emotions towards each other and the workplace.
Although pacesetting shouldn’t be used long-term, having it in your arsenal can prove to be beneficial from time to time. For instance, this style can drive workers to develop creative pitches and ideas when the company plans to launch a new product.
This style is perhaps the most commonly implemented and successful leadership style in today’s era. A democratic leader regards employees as partners and considers their input, opinions, and perspectives before making the final call. While the leader calls the ultimate shots, they ensure that every member gets a say in the decision-making process. When deciding the organization’s future, all employees are heard, guarded, and treated as equals regardless of their position.
Democratic leaders serve as the glue uniting and holding the entire organization together, avidly ensuring that employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. They nurture a healthy and positive ambiance, where co-workers feel connected to their jobs and the organization itself. This sense of belonging, trust, and respect allows workers to participate with full dedication and work at their best level.
A unique leadership style that focuses on recognizing, harnessing, and enhancing the individual abilities of each team member. It is based on the criteria that every person has distinct qualities. If these qualities/characteristics are nurtured with consistency, they can become powerful traits. A coach works to embrace every worker’s unique personality, skillsets, and talents, creating dedicated teams where each member specializes in something different.
Rather than forcing employees to acquire the same skills and reach the same goal, they are encouraged to tap into their exclusive abilities. This practice removes unnecessary pressure and reduces competition, allowing workers to focus on becoming their best selves and reaching their ultimate potential.
As a leader, how you treat your workers will significantly impact your tenure. All businesses are multidisciplinary fields, requiring the combined effort of each team member to flourish and prosper. A good leader knows which leadership style works best for them, but a great leader strengthens their grasp on all and employs one based on the current situation. While most days, they must be gentle and compassionate towards their colleagues to boost their morale and lift their spirits. Other days they must be strict and take a more rigid approach to get the job done.