Some leaders are successful at building a team and leading individual members to develop and grow with the company. When asking yourself why this is, you may consider many factors including the incorporation of traits of different leadership models. Understanding these models may help you improve your leadership abilities.
In this article, we introduce you to different leadership models you can adopt for your team and company.
What is leadership in business?
The meaning of leadership varies depending on the situation and the people involved. There are many different approaches to support team members in achieving goals specific to their company and roles, but leaders typically possess the following traits:
Clear communication with an emphasis on active listening
Efficiency and productiveness
What are leadership models?
Leadership is a flexible concept in terms of the methods and models used for specific applications. Some leaders fit into a single leadership category, while others pull from different leadership models, adapting them for the best fit for their situation. Different leadership models are generally used as guides that outline specific leadership behaviors and how they’re effective for specific environments and situations.
A leadership model shows examples of how to lead. This differs from a leadership style, which represents the way an individual leads based on a combination of their personality, industry, workplace culture, and ideals they pulled from different leadership models. Managers often customize their style of leadership to what the atmosphere demands and this style can be the deciding factor in whether a project or team succeeds.
8 types of leadership models
While there are many types of leadership styles, many of them fall under the larger scope of a leadership model. The main leadership models are:
1. Team-oriented leadership
Team-oriented leaders set a positive example by creating a collaborative team environment in which the focus is on nurturing the individual strengths of each team member, encouraging them to reach their highest potential as individuals and as a team through collaboration and motivation.
Team-oriented leadership, often referred to as “people-oriented leadership,” is one of the most effective in terms of efficiency, productivity, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction. The leadership styles that relate to the concept of team-oriented leadership are:
A coaching leader strives to identify individual strengths and works with team members to develop strategies for growth. This leader focuses on the overall success of the company and works to achieve it through coaching their team members and providing support and tools for building their strengths so they can use them to contribute to the company’s success. A coaching leader is goal-oriented rather than task-oriented, and they observe situations as a “big picture” rather than focusing on the details.
An affiliative leader excels at building teams within which the members work well with each other to increase quality and productivity. This leader supports team members in maintaining unanimity within the group and freely bestows praise for accomplishments. An affiliative leader motivates team members to meet goals and resolve conflicts amicably among the group. This type of leader often manages a team to provide inspiration, team building, and employee morale.
This leadership style, often referred to as democratic leadership, is a combination of subcategories of leadership known as authentic, authoritative, and group-think leaders all in one. Each of these subcategories focuses on productive feedback, communication, and open dialogue to unify the team and bring success to the organization. A participative leader strives to encourage their team to set and meet goals, creating efficient processes to facilitate the highest possible level of productivity. A unique trait of democratic leaders is that they seek feedback and participation from team members in making decisions that affect the whole team.
5. Authoritarian leadership
Authoritarian, or autocratic, leaders are extremely task-oriented and have little to no interest in collaborative decision-making. This type of leader insists on holding full control over their team, motivating them through rules and punishments.
While this type of transactional leadership can be effective in urgent situations, the desire for total control over team members can lead to lowered motivation, a lack of employee satisfaction, and higher staff turnover. Authoritarian leaders may display the following characteristics:
Makes decisions independently
Thrives by sticking to a strict schedule
Asserts an unquestionable authority
Uses rules and penalties to motivate
Focused on setting and reaching goals
6. Country club leadership
This people-focused leadership style relies on the presumption that if team members are satisfied with their jobs, their work may naturally be better. These leaders predominantly use positive reinforcement to encourage their teams to achieve their goals. Ultimately, this leadership style, sometimes referred to as servant leadership, seeks to create an environment of rapport and high morale hoping to make team members feel valued and may make them more engaged in daily tasks and the long-term success of the company.
Theoretically, team members who feel valued enjoy their work and produce a higher-quality of output. They’re loyal to the company, and the work environment is pleasant and positive. The downside is that these leaders are almost completely focused on the happiness of their team members, allowing productivity to become neglected. The inability to reprimand or enforce rules stems from the fear of jeopardizing their relationships with their team members, blurring the lines of authority, and often resulting in substandard levels of productivity and lack of growth.
7. Impoverished leadership
Possibly the least effective leadership style, this leader has a detachment from results, motivation or teamwork. This type of leader, commonly known as laissez-faire, has little to no concern for people or production and puts as little effort as possible toward doing the job, as they have no interest in the long-term success of the company or its team members. The advantages of this type of leadership can include the following:
Facilitates problem-solving between team members
Employees can be happier due to the freedom to self-govern
Employees are free to try their ideas
These leaders may have team members who lose interest in the company’s success due to their leader displaying such negligible interest in them or their work. These leaders may use a “delegate and disappear” management style, essentially allowing their team to do whatever they want, allowing staff to endure internal conflicts without guidance or leadership. This can lead to a lack of accountability, poor time management, and inefficiency among teams and individuals.
8. Bureaucratic leadership
Managers who are better administrators than hands-on leaders may adopt bureaucratic leadership. This type of leadership involves a sharp focus on results and performance, asserting a strict chain of command, and answering to the board of directors or shareholders. A bureaucratic leader creates non-negotiable processes, holding team members to a clear set of metrics and objectives that allow the manager to track results.
This type of leadership is best utilized in industries that require strict adherence to safety standards and legal regulations. It would not work well in a creative industry as it stifles creativity and new ideas and discourages individuality and collaboration.
Employing the right leadership style
Modeling your team’s leadership after a single style can breed a specific culture within your team. As people are diverse and multifaceted, that culture may not prove advantageous to your team in the long term. With a clear idea of the goals you have set for your team, you may be able to understand the skills, personalities, and diverse strengths of the team members you can use to help you succeed and management that may help facilitate this success.
For successful implementation of leadership values, it’s usually most advantageous to identify what parts of each leadership model may promote the type of culture and success you want your team to experience. Different business sectors may benefit from different combinations of leadership values, which is why it’s important to be flexible in trying out different things and evaluating the short-term successes of each in terms of the work environment, staff retention, and generated revenue.
I hope you find this article helpful.