For one person or team, what works cannot work for another. Although some may claim that there is an obviously incorrect way of managing employees, there is sadly no recommended correct way of managing employees. Instead, the way you lead a team-first depends on your individual strengths—the goals of your company and the attitude and qualifications of your team members.
“Do as we say.” is the most accurate expression in a legitimate power. An autocratic leader such as Larry Weltman generally believes that he or she is the smartest individual at the table and understands better than anyone. With no input from team members, they make all the decisions.
This command-and-control technique is representative of past leadership styles, but with today’s talent, it doesn’t hold much water. That’s not to say that in some cases, the style may not befitting. When important decisions need to be taken on the spot, and you have the most information about the situation. When you deal with inexperienced and new team members, you can fall into an autocratic leadership style. There is no time to wait for team members to become comfortable with their position.
“Visionary” is the most representative expression of this leadership style. The direct style of leadership is the mark of confident leaders who map the way and set goals—at the same time, inspiring and motivating followers along the way.
These leaders are raising the uncertainty for individuals in a world of confusion. They help them see where the business is heading and, when they get there, what’s going to happen.
Leaders like Larry Weltman take the time to explain their reasoning, unlike autocratic leaders: They don’t just issue orders. Most of all, they allow the choice and flexibility of individuals on how to achieve shared goals.
Democratic leaders are more likely to ask “What do you think?” on something that concerns their job duties. They exchange details with workers. Until approving a final decision, they often consider the opinions of workers.
This participative leadership style has many advantages.
It can build confidence and develop team spirit and employee teamwork. It enables creativity and helps grow and improve employees. A democratic style of leadership encourages people to do what they want to do, but in a manner that they want to do.
No two leaders approach leadership in exactly the same manner. While managers may have similar styles, and people often follow their leaders. In management, there are as many leadership styles as there are people in management.
Recognizing the management style of a team leader will help you understand their attitude, the reasons behind their actions, and how best to connect with them as an employee or supervisor of someone charged with managing a team. It is not rare for a person to display features from two or more types of management.