Understanding and applying leadership styles

Original by Stephen Haunts, Pluralsight, 2020Hamster_gagarin_linkedin
hamster writter This summary note was posted on 7 March 2020, by in Management #, #, #

Leadership vs management

  • Effective leadership is hard
    • Inspire | Motivate | Encourage | Remove obstacles |Great delegators
  • Management is more involved with the day to day running
    • Plan | Organise

Leadership styles

  1. Servant leaders: (+) People oriented | Decisions can be slow (-)
  2. Transaction based leadership: (+) Clear roles and responsibilities | Stiffing to a team (-)
  3. Autocratic leadership: (+) Make decisions quickly | lower moral (-)
  4. Bureaucratic leadership: (+) Good for compliance or safety env. | overly dogmatic (-)
  5. Laisser-faire leadership: (+) Allows for creativity and innovation | not ideal of unskilled work (-)
  6. Democratic leadership: (+) Everyone plays a part | can be slow decision making (-)
  7. Charismatic leadership: (+) Inspiring organisation change | influence can back fire and potential lack of succession (-)

Must use different styles according to the situation but have one default style

1 . Servant leadership

  • Lead by example
  • Removes blocks
  • Makes sure people get the credits
  • Attends meeting in place of the team so the team can focus on the tasks
  • Very people oriented
  • Ends up creating teams everyone want to be part of
  • Provides the needed support
  • Team more likely to take risks because they know they are supported
  • Must make sure the work is done otherwise it might slow down work


  • Decisions are made for the benefit of all
  • Encourages empathy from leaders
  • Your people will grow
  • Serves the customer


  • Decision making is slower
  • Not a natural fit for experienced leaders
  • Leaders my feel their rule is lessened

2 . Transaction/task oriented leadership

  • Everyone understand their place
  • More of a managerial style
  • People are judged on completion of task
  • Does not suit creative people who do not like to be told what to do
  • Emphasis on performance and rewards
  • Might not work intellectual staff
  • Can be used for people struggling, help them perform again


  • Short term increase of performance
  • Clear commands given
  • External rewards can be used as motivations


  • Can come across as insensitive
  • Can impact creativity and innovation
  • Can frustrate with lack of flexibility
  • External reward wont work all the time

3 . Autocratic leadership (rule by one)

  • What leader says must be followed
  • Good for short times (crisis)
  • example: army


  • Decisions are made quickly
  • Clear line of control
  • Useful for inexperienced or unmotivated workers


  • Can cause increased work burden for leader
  • Can cause low morale for highly skilled and motivated workers
  • Creates a dependency on the leader

4 . Bureaucratic leadership

  • Leader is following rules, controls rigouriously
  • Happens in lot in banking
  • Not good for creative workers
  • Fear of change can be big


  • Clarifies roles within a team
  • Removes favouritism
  • Predictable
  • Seeks to follow best practice


  • Can limit leaders forward progression
  • Limits freedom for creativity
  • Can be difficult for leaders to adapt to change

5 . Laisser-faire leadership

  • Trust the worker to do the work
  • Not best for fast delivery
  • Get feedback regularly
  • Need people who can manage their time
  • Good for self starters, self motivated staff
  • Make sure you remove the blocking issues


  • Motivating for highly skilled team
  • Gives sense of independance
  • Encourage creativity and innovation


  • Not good for teams that lack required skills
  • Leader may appear uninvolved
  • Could be used to blame team for failure

6 . Democratic leadership

  • Leader makes final decision but encourages team members to participate
  • Teams feels more involved and job satisfaction is higher


  • Good solution for complex problems in the team
  • Builds strong teams with job satisfaction
  • Encourages creativity through collaboration within teams


  • Can make a leader seem uncertain if used too often
  • Can be time consuming if quick decisions are needed
  • Can make people feel like they have lost of their ideas do not get a vote: needs to be taken into account and must remain observant with what happens in the team

7 . Charismatic / transformational leadership

  • Focus of themselves
  • Best leadership type when high in the organisation
  • Need support from more transaction leadership
  • Make sure the vision of the company is followed
  • example: Steve Jobs


  • Aligns team to vision
  • Inspired and creates enthusiasm
  • Motivation tool
  • Decrease staff turn over rates


  • Closely related to charismatic self serving ambition
  • Can be mistaken for charismatic leadership only
  • Leader might not be detail oriented
  • Passion and emotion might get in the way

src: Pluralsight, Understanding and applying leadership styles

Here is the wild chatGPT prompt version