The Seven Most Important Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles

While in a management position, it is paramount to understand the different leadership styles you can apply to successfully lead a team.

Don’t be surprised when employees start quitting after you resume a management position. Unbeknownst to many, most employees quit managers and not the job. That’s why you need to be aware of the different leadership styles you can apply to different teams.

When we talk about a leadership style, we simply mean the practical way you choose to lead and work with the team you lead. It includes and is not limited to the way you make decisions, exercise authority, manages projects, communicates with team members, and conduct your day-to-day operations.

You can apply several management styles depending on the situation at hand and the type of team you manage.

Here are the seven most essential leadership styles.

7 Most Essential Leadership Styles

1. Democratic

This is one of the most popular leadership styles used by different managers in their operations.

In democratic leadership, decision-making is open to the entire team. Therefore, team members work towards a common goal. Unfortunately, this style is not suitable for a team if the team you lead comprises individuals with various metrics.

An example of this managerial style is to ask a person, even if there is an urgent task. For example: “Hey Carl, could you write my essays for me within the hour?”

The high level of collaboration experienced by members of a team with a democratic management style increases morale. However, decision-making processes are slower because members have to reach a consensus.

2. Autocratic

Autocratic managers give limited orders that offer team members room for creativity. Employees are expected to work toward predetermined objectives or goals even with their creativity. The tasks you assign to your subordinates have fixed deadlines and instructions.

Although there are several arguments against this type of leadership, we cannot conclude about its ineffectiveness.

Unilateral decision-making processes are instantaneous and time-saving. This style has been blamed on several occasions for employee dissatisfaction. Managers are encouraged to apply it only when necessary.

3. Laissez-Faire

This is one of the most complex and contradictory types of leadership. Leadership roles are unclear because all team members have equal decision-making rights. All individual contributions in decision-making are considered with respect and due diligence.

Your reports are supposed to sit and make a decision in your absence as team leader. Employees feel important because of their “unusual” role, but this ends up confusing the organization.

When you have a team of highly skilled professionals, you should consider using this style of leadership because they are all experts and will not frustrate with their decisions.

4. Agile leadership

Although unique, this leadership style focuses on the personality of the leader. A well-defined vision of success guides journalists. The leader may write his or her agenda for success or work to achieve the company’s mission. Everything you do as a leader is for the success of the company.

Agile leadership is motivating because the leader serves as a role model. Unfortunately, team members are likely to lose focus trying to be recognized by their boss.

This type of leadership seeks employee growth and development. The leader is also well informed of current trends and therefore works to ensure that the company he or she leads does not fall behind.

5. Servant Leadership

In this type of leadership style, the manager prioritizes service to the company’s employees. The leader is always on the lookout for ways to foster greater cohesion with employees. His interaction and consultation are continuous.

As a team leader, he must perform identical tasks for his employees and be present in their work environment. Employees are highly motivated by this type of leadership. Servant leadership does not work well with a self-motivated team.

6. Directive leadership

This is a type of leadership in which the director makes all decisions independently without regard to member input.

Younger members are expected to implement decisions without modification. With this type of leadership, employees are less motivated in their activities. However, it is advantageous because it saves the time needed for consultative decision-making.

7. Collaborative Leadership

Decision-making in collaborative leadership is a function of the team leader, but it takes into account the input of employees.

When planning the implementation of something, the leader consults with those with extensive experience and other team members. Members are expected to contribute to the team leader’s issues, options, or problems raised by the issues.

Employees are motivated by collaborative leadership and feel valued for participating in decision-making.


We have seen that there are several leadership styles that managers/team leaders can apply. It is up to you to choose the one that suits your organization or the situation.

The leadership style you choose should depend on the urgency of the decision, the academic and professional qualifications of the team members, and other important organizational aspects.

Choosing a leadership style that fits the organization ensures your success. If you are unwilling to choose a leadership style, you will see employees leave your company.