By E. Brown

There are 4 primary leadership styles, many of which you can find within most businesses or organizations around the world. These styles are: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, and Participative.

Each of the leadership styles have impact on reforming and/or creating company culture. There are short and long-term affects of each style. For instance, the authoritative style may produce great results in a short amount of time. However, excessive use of authority will decrease productivity in the long-term. People either get fed up and leave or fall into a malaise of hum-drum repetitive tasks without creativity and innovation.

All the while, a participative style will be unproductive in the short-term. But, the longer this style of leading, the more productive a company can become.

Many leaders never make it to a point of high productivity. They give up before the participative style kicks in and the company starts to escalate. They see the initial drop in production and cannot wait long enough for the true results.

Do not give up.

Though many leaders and managers get discouraged seeing a drop in productivity when transitioning to a participative approach — productivity will come over time. People will see they have opportunities to create and innovate and their production becomes greater than before.

Three Keys
There are three keys that determine your leadership style.

  1. How you view and use authority
  2. How you view and use human resources
  3. How you view and relate to people

The more you keep control the more authoritative your style the more you share control, the more participative your style of leadership.

Questions For Reflection
Ask your self these questions to see if you (or those around you) are moving toward a more authoritative or a more participative leadership style.

– Are employees involved in the planning process?

– What percentage of total employees know the vision and goals for the company?

– Do employees feel ownership?

– Do employees feel trusted?

– Is information readily exchanged between departments?

– Is information received from others truly accurate?

– Is problem solving delegated?

– Is there regular duplication of effort?

– Is there an inordinate amount of time spent correcting mistakes?

– Are relationships between leaders and subordinates good most all the time?

– Are departmental relations good most all the time?

– How rare is conflict?

– What is the company attitude toward authority?

– Are conflicts ignored?

– Do people fear failure?

– How do employees feel toward the organization?

I hope you find these helpful. Be sure to follow the links below to learn when to use the individual leadership styles. Also, I have found that when crises arise (and they invariably do), knowing the temperament of your boss or employees is invaluable to weathering the storm and coming out stronger on the other side. (See Personality Types article)

Let me know what you think and have fun!

Related Links
Leadership Styles: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, Participative
Leadership Styles: When To Use Them
Personality Types: Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver
You Might Be A Micromanager If…

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