From micro-manager to free thinker, the type of business leader you are directly influences your performance.
When evaluating your leadership qualities there are different categories you can fall into, based on one of two main principles; autocratic or democratic leadership. Confidence in your abilities, determination and an authoritative nature are all shared skills for leaders but that doesn’t mean each one is the same. Which category do you fall into? Read our list of pros and cons to help ascertain your leadership style and gain some tips on how to be a better leader.
An autocratic leader makes decisions alone, determining how the business will run and what systems will be put in place with very little negotiation, collaboration or input from others.
Pros: Where employees or workers require close supervision, this intense leadership strategy promotes growth and development to ensure work remains well focused.
Cons: This leadership style can verge on the oppressive, leading to feelings of resentment and low morale within staff and employees. Leaders face high levels of accountability for poor decisions as they may reject input from others and take full responsibility for everything.
To improve: Vary your approach to leadership by offering employees the chance to provide input. Some decisions still need to be made by you, but delegating smaller tasks to trusted employees can encourage them to become more independent and act with initiative. Holding discussion groups where staff can suggest ways for the company to improve can also be beneficial as you’ll gain access to a much wider scope of ideas.
The reverse of the above, democratic leaders place high value on input from their staff and operate with a more fluid and flexible approach towards management and leadership.
Pros: Any elements of change in the business are accepted readily by employees who feel they have been involved in discussions from the very beginning. Staff morale is usually high and employees are likely to feel valued in their positions.
Cons: Relying on staff too heavily for their input can influence decisions negatively. The length of time involved to reach a decision through collaborative meetings can also be detrimental where quick answers are needed.
To improve: Establish a tier system which gives staff input but allows quick decisions to be made where needed. It’s important that you retain an authoritative stance which is both approachable and firm.
Kat Prescott is a young entrepreneur who studied Business Management and leadership style to degree level. She has experience leading a small team and is keen to share her knowledge. Kat’s guest post is provided by Steps, a pioneering company who use drama techniques to enhance learning and encourage the development of business skills. Take a look at leadership development from firms like Steps to learn more.