A company generally has a handful of people in a leadership role. As all individuals are different, these leaders incorporate different styles when it comes to managing their work, directing their team members and overall performance. Leadership style is the mechanism that measures how leaders connect to the corporate or organizational culture of the company. An employee’s leadership style can do more than just affect their immediate team; it may also change the internal culture or even affect the corporation’s branding.
The working environment is made up of a variety of factors including how the company operates, their mission and objectives, what the employees believe, and the leadership style of the executives and management. There are a lot of diverse company cultures and many environments work better than others. Changes to any of these factors can completely affect every other aspect of the business.
Recent research indicates that there is a solid connection between the company’s human culture and it’s overall performance. Businesses with a healthy human climate can expect 20-30% more in both revenue and profit per employee. That is a significant advantage for owners and is worth investing energy in improving the working environment of the business.
There are a variety of different types of people and leadership styles and leaders have quite a bit of sway in terms of environment, motivation and morale. Here are a few common leadership styles:
- Autocratic – Leaders that fall under this umbrella tend to take complete control. They enlist and require little help from team members or employees when it comes to decision-making and strategic planning. They tend to be overly confident and are comfortable taking responsibility and accountability for their actions. This style works best in areas that require fast and effective results but little creativity. Expect employees to feel disconnected from their management.
- Delegative – The opposite of the autocratic approach would be the delegative leader. They tend to avoid decision-making, leaving both direction and planning to other team members. While this style does encourage growth within the team, boundaries and tasks tend to be undefined or confusing. Employees tend to become frustrated with the lack of direction.
- Participative – This approach tends to blend both autocratic and delegative styles. While these leaders do encourage team members to participate in decision-making, they remain and offer guidance through the process. This type of manager accepts responsibility but also offers employees the chance to participate and grow. This style is generally great for a company seeking to improve their corporate culture.
As a business owner, understanding the different leadership styles and their impact is a vital part of strategic planning. As the head of the company, take stock of what your company needs from you and also how your style impacts the business as a whole. Then take that process and examine the other leaders in your firm to determine if any areas could use improvement. A successful leader must be able to adapt to the culture’s needs as growth occurs and must also be accountable for the overall organizational environment.
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