Leadership style, by definition, is the way or manner in which a person in charge wields power or authority over a group or a party of people. When you’re part of an organization or even if it’s just an informal group of people, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the different leadership styles that have already been identified. This enables anyone to determine which leadership style would best fit the organizational situation or even how to meet challenges head on.
Being able to change and adapt to what the situation requires is one of the core capabilities expected of a leader. While there are other leadership styles that have been observed and studied, let’s take a look at three particular leadership styles: Strategic, Autocratic, and Democratic.
Strategic leadership is primarily seen in a scenario wherein the leader is essentially the head of an organization but not necessary limited to it. This style showcases the ability of the leader to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that improve the projections for the group or organization’s long-term success all the while keeping a solid grip on the maintenance of long-term financial stability.
In other words, strategic leadership is used when the leader gets the people under them to make their own decisions with the company in mind. This does not make use of threats or force to get their people to follow. Having the vision and foresight to determine what words, activities, or actions to illicit such a response from their followers is indicative of strategic leadership. At the helm of most large companies, strategic leadership is truly required and the market can be volatile and will need a stern captain to weather through the storms effectively.
Autocratic leadership is all about the boss. The person in the position of leadership holds all the authority and the responsibility in the decision making. An autocratic style of leadership does not consult subordinates or other members of the team on what will be done regarding an issue or an event. Autocratic leaders determine actions, relay it to their subordinates, and expect immediate implementation. There is very little room for flexibility in the work environment of an autocratic leader.
A good example of this style of leadership is Donald Trump. While he has people under him to work on various details, all in the end, are turned over for his executive decision. Statistically speaking, there are a rather small percentage of organizations that last under such a leadership style.
The democratic leadership style is aimed at eliciting contributions from the subordinates and members in a group. Unlike the autocratic leadership style, democratic style involves others in the decision making process. While all the responsibility is in the hands of the leader, delegation of authority is often done to others that have been known to exceed expectations in terms of performance.
In a way, an environment wherein democratic leadership is utilized has a better chance of developing other leaders that also use the democratic style of leadership. Statistically speaking, democratic leadership style is the most preferred in working environments. This preference stems from the platitudes commonly linked to a democratic style of leadership which are fairness, honesty, and competence.