“A leader…. is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realising that all along they are being directed from the behind”
A lot has been said and written about what are leaders, their qualities and traits which makes them effective leaders. As each one of us are unique and different so are our leadership styles. Broadly speaking leadership styles can be divided into six styles. They are:
- Autocratic. Autocratic leaders expect you to listen to them and do exactly as they say. They like to be in command and total control of their team. This kind of leadership is beneficial for an inexperienced and new team.
- Authoritative. An authoritative leader is characterized as a visionary and confident. His follow me attitude is beneficial in times of uncertainty. He explains the scenario to the team and inspires them to move ahead towards a common goal. Such leadership is common in armies.
- Pace Setting. A pace setting leader is one who is highly driven and motivated. His motto at work is ‘Do as I do’. He sets the bar high and pushes the team to reach that level. Such leaders have the capability to get things done. Their high bench marks can stress the team and hurt team morale. In times when a deliverable is to be achieved in limited time, such leadership is effective.
- Agile. An agile leader is a pace setting leader with brakes and controls. In today’s scenario it is the most preferred form of leadership style as it prevents burn out at the same time inspiring the team to reach for its goals.
- Democratic. A democratic leader gives equal importance to the views and opinions of his team. Such a leader promotes a culture of participation, promoting team spirits and team morale. It is a preferred form of leadership in public forums where equal participation is essential for any success.
- Coaching. A leader who follows the coaching style believes in the policy of developing a reservoir of talent. Such a leader believes in creating leaders. The best example is that of Mahatma Gandhi who nurtured many leaders under his leadership. This form of leadership is gaining rapid popularity in the corporate world, as they are becoming conscious to the need of nurturing talent for future.
Each leadership style is unique with its own relevance and importance. The need is to know and understand which one to adopt and to what measure.