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How To Use Different Types Of Management Styles To Drive Success

In today’s workplace, good leadership is make or break.

It’s the difference between an organisation achieving its goals, and sliding towards failure.

And you probably know which side you want to be on.

In this blog post, we’ll tell you all you need to know to drive success with different management styles.

The importance of management styles

Think about the difference between good leadership and bad leadership...

Good leaders are encouraging, motivational, and understanding. They foster success by helping their team to realise their full potential.

Bad leaders oversee dysfunction. They use intimidation, micro-management, coercion, and other ineffective tactics to try to get their way.

And their team’s effectiveness will plummet as a result.

To be a successful leader, you need to understand just what’s at stake…

  • The productivity of your staff.
  • The quality of the work they do.
  • Their morale and job satisfaction.
  • Turnover arising from their work.
  • The profitability of this work.

And much, much more.

With leadership, you can’t wing it. You must reflect on your management style and refine it over time. You must understand the different types of management style, so that you can use the right one at the right time. You must be able to move fluidly between styles as the situation demands.

You can rest easy knowing that you’re not alone. There are tons of theories of management and leadership, all designed to empower leaders to be better at what they do. To achieve more and to help their teams achieve more.

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What are the different types of management style?

You’ll have come across three main management styles in your business career, and maybe even in your current workplace:

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

It’s no wonder that stereotypical bosses in TV shows and movies are boring and lazy. The sad reality is that most of us will have encountered a boss like that in the past.

(Some of us will be answering to one right now…)

So how do you break that cycle?

How do you embody a leadership style that is effective and engaging, and which empowers your team to succeed?

The answer is simple:

You use the right leadership style.

You use the leadership style that best matches your skills, your team’s skills, the situation, and the wider goals of the organisation.

And to truly pave the way for success, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each leadership style.

Here are the five key types. You can find more information about leadership styles in our complete guide to leadership styles.

Authoritarian leadership

An authoritarian leader dictates to their subordinates, and their say is final.

Employees are merely fulfilling orders with little to no input into wider strategy or how the work should be done.

To drive success, an authoritarian leader must be incredibly effective in communicating the expected outcome and benefits of working to this style. If people have full faith in the objectives of an authoritarian leader, it can be effective in driving results quickly.

The takeaway? Many people advise avoid this style unless circumstances are very drastic, because the risk of alienating your team is quite high.

Procedural leadership

In this system, procedure trumps all else. Things are done by the book, with little consideration given to whether this is the best way.

Strict processes determine workflow, and the leader’s role is to ensure they are followed correctly.

Success relies on procedure being up to date, efficient, and effective. There needs to be a mechanism through which improvements can be suggested and implemented, otherwise employees risk becoming demotivated: Either through being forced to follow archaic and unintuitive processes, or by feeling their contributions are not valued.

The takeaway? To be effective, the procedure that is being followed must be open to examination and refinement.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leaders help their staff to move beyond - and achieve beyond - their comfort zone. The other names for this leadership style - charismatic, strategic, visionary - point at its inspirational qualities.

By communicating the vision of the organisation, then focussing on motivating and empowering their staff to create the strategy needed to get there, transformational leaders create an environment that lends itself to success.

Clear communication is a vital part of successful transformational leadership. Those with natural charisma are better suited to this leadership style, and teams that are already driven respond best to the relatively hands-off nature.

The takeaway? Best used when a leader’s skill set allows them to communicate their vision, bring people on board, and guide them toward success.

Participative leadership

Here, the leader believes that everyone should get a say.

A participative leader uses democratic and collaborative processes to invite contributions from their team. This input can be sought anywhere in the decision-making process, from broad objectives, all the way down to nuanced discussion on how best to achieve them.

To be successful, the leader must have the courage to take the final say, and the knowledge on how to foster effective contributions and discussion. Participative leadership can quickly descend into jealousy and frustration of people’s ideas are not treated fairly.

The takeaway? Most effective when contributions are evaluated on merit rather than rank, and when the leader is able to keep things focussed.

Laissez-faire

Here, the leader barely leads at all. Instead, their role is to offer gentle guidance, and to get involved when their team request it.

There is a huge focus on subordinate autonomy, and workplaces with laissez-faire leadership often leave their employees to decide how to structure their time.

Because of the minimal levels of oversight, laissez-faire can be hard to get right. Your team must be skilled, motivated, and confident enough to request help when they need it.

The takeaway? Generally seen as something to avoid, but can work well in certain contexts (usually ones with a highly skilled workforce, capable of autonomy).

Remember…

The right leadership style depends on more than just the leader. It depends on the situation, the skills of the team, and various other factors.

Flexibility and fluidity is required to drive success.

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In conclusion…

Leadership is hard to get right, but with the stakes so high, you have to try.

As situations change, so to do the leadership styles they require. Effective leadership is an ongoing process, and engaging with this aspect of your professional life will lead to success on an individual and organisational level.

Reading this blog post shows that your interest in effective leadership is piqued.

The next step on the journey is getting in touch, and seeing how we can help your leadership to flourish.

Every success,

Graham

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About the author

Graham Wilson

Graham Wilson

I enjoy and specialise in teaching leadership skills, how to create winning strategies, how to build high performance cultures. Outcomes and results are the most important measures for me!