Leadership Style & Fit in the Workplace

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  • 0:03 Style & Authoritative…
  • 1:29 Participative Leadership
  • 2:26 ''Laissez-Faire'' Leadership
  • 3:27 Situational Leadership
  • 4:20 Bureaucratic Leadership
  • 5:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
In this lesson, we'll review several types of leadership styles and discuss characteristics of each. The lesson also provides examples of which styles fit which types of jobs.

Style and Authoritative Leadership

Have you ever had the opportunity to lead in a business setting? If you have, you may have realized that it can be a lot harder than it appears. As a leader, it's important that you find and develop a leadership style that works best for the type of business environment that you are in. Let's take an in-depth look at several styles of leadership including authoritative, participative, laissez-faire, situational, and bureaucratic; and what type of workplace environment is the best fit for each.

Can you recall a time that you may have witnessed a drill sergeant barking orders to members of the military? It was clearly evident that the drill sergeant was in complete control and in a position of authority. This is an example of the authoritative leadership style, which can be defined as a style where a leader has total control over subordinates (those who report to the leader) and is the sole authority figure that makes decisions with minimal or no input from others.

Let's assume that you work in a restaurant that stays quite busy. You have a boss that is demanding, verbally abusive, and seems to enjoy confrontations with employees. This is a prime example of the authoritative leadership style. Here are a few jobs that are best fit for the authoritative leadership style:

  • Prison guard
  • CEO of a Fortune 500 company
  • Head football coach
  • General in the Army

These jobs often demand a leader that is disciplined, great with making executive decisions, and meeting deadlines.

Participative Leadership

When people participate in something, it means that they are involved with others or with a specific thing. The participative leadership style is when a leader involves subordinates and others when making important decisions for a business, but the leader has the final say in the decision. This style of leadership centers around the fact that although others may participate and give their opinions, the final decision still lies with the leader.

Imagine that you are in charge of a project at work, and you have been given the authority to make the final decision. As a leader that uses the participative leadership style, you have chosen to get input from your subordinates. You have made an executive decision for the project but with the helpful information and opinions provided from your subordinates. Let's take a look at several jobs that may be a good fit for participative leadership:

  • Teachers
  • Physical trainers
  • Managers of small businesses

The traits of this style of leadership include a willingness to openly communicate with others, the ability to empower subordinates, and the ability to foster an environment that breeds creativity.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Imagine that you are employed as the manager of a software company. You and your team have been tasked with designing a program to help children learn to read and write. You have decided that each employee has the right to create their own programs, as long as they meet the requirements of educating children. You have provided no other rules or regulations, and the team does not have to consult you at all unless they have questions. This describes the laissez-faire leadership style, which uses a hands-off approach that allows employees and subordinates to perform their duties without having to consult the leader.

The leader acts as a facilitator and supplies any materials or resources the subordinates may need to complete the task. The characteristics of the laissez-faire leadership style include having the ability to trust those around you, believing in a hands-off approach, and having little to no anxiety issues. Some of the best job fits for the laissez-faire leadership style include:

  • Software developers
  • Independent contractors
  • Painters

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