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Leadership

What’s Your Leadership Style?

Any personality type can be a leader, but each personality tends to lead a little differently. All that is required is the desire to help get people to go from point A to point B. So whether you run a large business, a small church, a month long project, or the PTA, God has equipped you with a unique set of skills, not only to be a leader, but to be a certain kind of leader.

So if you’re a leader in your community or workplace, it’s important to examine your unique leadership style. 

How Do I Know What My Leadership Style Is?

Take some time to examine the list below and consider which most closely describes your leadership style, or perhaps what leadership style you’d like to have. Consider which style best fits the situation that you’re in at the moment. They are all good, but some work better than others in specific situations. Talk to a mentor or trusted friend about how your personality and impacts your leadership style and what you can do to improve your skills:

Authoritarian

Description: An authoritarian leader is a clear leader who cannot be questioned. Often found in businesses or safety related roles. There is marked difference between leader and follower.
Pros: There is a clear leader and thus roles are more clearly defines for all.
Cons: Those you lead may be hesitant to be creative and offer valuable input. They may also feel threatened or belittled when they don’t feel they have a voice.

Paternalistic

Description: Almost like a coach or parent, the leader is involved and invested in the life for the follower/employee. In order to be successful, this requires both people to buy into the idea that the leader can be trusted and both have to want this kind of relationship.
Pros: Followers feel cared for and give more effort to the work at hand.
Cons: Not every employee or follower wants this kind of relationship with someone who supervises them. It also takes a long time to establish trust on this level.

Democratic

Description: Every member of a team has equal value, albeit different strengths.
Pros: Group members are more likely to feel engaged and excited about what they can contribute to the team. This also often yields high levels of productivity.
Cons: If your role as a leader is not clear in all situations, those you lead may become unhappy if they suggest something and you choose not to do it, they may feel that you do not care about their best interests.

Laissez-faire

Description: Extremely laid back and you allow most or all of the decision making to be done by those who work under you.
Pros: Those who encourage this type of leadership style believe that when people are free to work and compete for themselves, they will do the best work that they are able to do.
Cons: You’ll need to be very sure that your followers are highly skilled, highly self-motivated, and excited about the work you’re doing. You’ll also need to be able to check in very regularly or the project or plan can change drastically from what you had planned.

Transactional

Description: This style of leader focuses on and acts as the deliverer of punishments and rewards based on performance.
Pros: Often goal-oriented and focuses on effective work or results instead of outside factors.
Cons: When people are not performing well, it is difficult to boost morale.

Transformational

Description: This style focuses on developing an employee or follower to be the best that they can be in their role
Pros: Encourages followers to be engaged and feel extremely valued
Cons: Difficult to do because it requires significant time and energy on the part of the leader. Employees or followers may not want to change.

What’s your leadership role and which style works best for you? Why? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!

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