Business Tips: Leadership Styles and How They Can Benefit Your Team

Lauren Sparling


The way you lead your team can have a tremendous impact on how your team operates and the quality of work produced. Not all managers lead the same way and it's important to learn how your team prefers to be led. Here are four leadership styles and how each can work best for your team.


  1. Laissez-faire Leadership

Laissez-faire, meaning “allow to do”, is a hands-off approach to management. This style involves empowering your employees and giving them the authority they need to make decisions on their own. Leaders provide all the necessary resources to their team and give them the power to set their own deadlines. This type of leadership is great when your team is highly efficient and doesn't need rigid guidance. However, this leadership style can be unfit when your team requires a more stringent management to stay on track and make sound judgements. 


  1. Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership describes a circumstance whereby every member has an equal say in the decisions of the team. These types of leaders rely on group meetings to brainstorm new ideas, hear everyone's input, and assess the performance of the group. This is a great style to use if running a small business or startup because it encourages creativity and innovation. This type of leadership is extremely popular and a great way to utilize all your team members. However, consulting every member of your team can be inefficient when a decision needs to be made quickly or inexpensively.


  1. Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is named due to its ‘give and take’ style. This type of leadership works best when you have clear expectations and goals for your team. When your team members meet their targets, they are rewarded for it and feel motivated to continue meeting them. Likewise, when targets are not met, team members are punished. This is a good leadership style for you to be able to monitor the performance of your employees and make sure they are meeting their objectives. Having clear benchmarks for your team can help alleviate confusion and increase productivity. Still, the rigid nature of transactional leadership can limit innovation and lower team member morale when punishments are distributed.


  1. Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership, also called authoritarian leadership, gives the least amount of authority to team members and is seen as the opposite of democratic style leadership. In this style, ultimate power and decision making is left up to the team leader or manager. This style works best when leaders are skilled in their position and can make sure the business stays committed to their overall goals. From an employee standpoint, this type of leadership is generally seen as micromanagement and can stifle creativity.


The type of leader you are will greatly affect the culture of your workplace and how you interact with your employers. While these four are the most popular leadership styles, there are many more to choose from. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Great leaders don’t have to stick to one type of style, but instead can choose the style that best fits the team they're working with or task they are finishing. Ultimately, the leadership style that you choose will depend on the type of organization and work that you're doing.